For as long as I could remember, I’ve been pin pointed as being a “loner”, “too quiet” and most appalling at a certain time in my life “an outcast”. These words and plenty of others have made my skin crawl. They’ve made me hate myself and reevaluate my life all together.

For years, my toughest time being my adolescence, I’ve battled with others views of me- which eventually led to distaste for myself. When you’re 13, a “nice girl” and reserved, you’re more than likely a target for insecure pre-teens. Being “mean” was an admirable trait because it meant you had power. When you want that power, you choose the easiest target. I tried it once and it ended with me crying in a bathroom stall during lunch everyday for a week out of total disgust for myself. I accepted the fact that being a “mean girl” would never work out for me and that I would choose to be a wallflower forever. I often heard/was told “you’re so quiet, it’s really weird.” For some reason, it stuck with me for a really long time, in a really negative way. I picked apart those words and analyzed them to microscopic pieces, making up harsh self accusations in my head. “Im quiet, so I’m weird. If people think I’m weird, I’m probably ugly and awkward too.” So from age 13–17, I pretty much hated myself and was on a quest to figure out “how not to be weird and ugly anymore”. Stop right there. First and foremost, it saddens me to think I wasn’t figuring out how to love myself rather than figuring out how to please people. Mind you, whenever I did receive a compliment, it was immediately dismissed. I just thought “yikes, they must feel bad for me”. How SICK is that? Letting false self accusations and insecure teenagers dismiss all great, truthful compliments that came my way. “I’m always an outsider in every circle of so called friends, there’s definitely something wrong with me”, “why don’t people like me” these thoughts plagued my mind every damn day. I wish my 24 year old self could hug my adolescent self and just scream “DONT LISTEN TO THEM. You are beautiful, you are smart, you are kind.” I hate to think I hated myself for being a “quiet, nice girl”. I hate to think that I hated myself because of other people’s insecurities with themselves and their unhealthy quest for power and acceptance.

Lets fast forward a few years, better yet to this year, I’m 24 and pride myself in being a “nice girl”. It makes me happy doing good for others and I will never second guess this amazing trait that God has blessed me with. I’ve learned that being a warm-hearted person is fulfilling and valuable. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and should obviously be the LAST thing you should be ashamed of. As for being “quiet”, I’ve embraced that too. I’m a great listener. I’m extremely knowledgable because I’m always observing. I talk when I have something of value to say or advice for a friend. I talk when I have something funny or nice to share. I talk whenever the fuck I want, and it’s really no one else’s place to tell me how much I do it. I’m a nice girl, but don’t cross me. I’ll make you wish you never even thought to try. I’ve learned that being a “nice girl” is something to pride yourself in, not run away from. Ive learned that being quiet has nothing to do with being unlikable… and the people that express that it’s “being unsocial or weird” are usually the individuals threatened by YOU because they think you’re judging them. Do not let their insecurities plague your thoughts or view of yourself. It took me 10 years to figure this out. I hope I saved someone reading this right now the 10 year struggle I faced.

Being a nice girl is fucking awesome. Being a quiet doesn’t mean you have to be an outcast. Let your inner beauty radiate and you’ll see it reflect upon your outer beauty too.