February 12, 2015 WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ALWAYS SECOND BEST Today’s question comes from Anita, who writes: I feel like I’m always second best. I’m always the backup friend, the third wheel. When my teachers tell us to get into pairs, I’m always the one left out. All my friends partner up, and I’m left standing there awkwardly. I’m sick of being everyone’s second choice. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be good enough. Please help me! My Advice: Hi Anita! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this SUPER frustrating situation! If it makes you feel any better, you wouldn’t be MY second choice! Actually, you were my FIRST choice when I was looking through my inbox deciding whose question to answer this week! I know that doesn’t really help you with that partner writing assignment in English, but maybe this will… It sounds to me like this whole situation has shaken your confidence. And I totally get why! No one wants to feel like the last kid picked in dodge ball EVERY DAY. Being treated like this can make you feel like somebody has scrawled ‘NOT GOOD ENOUGH’ in lipstick across your forehead. And if you’re feeling kind of insecure, you probably wait around, hoping someone will pick you when it’s time to pair up. Other people probably pick up on this shy, nervous energy, and it might make them want to stay away. I mean, think about it: When someone thinks they’re not good enough, they seem kind of sad and down in the dumps. That doesn’t exactly spell “Super fun to work with!” So, what if instead of waiting, you picked someone yourself? What if instead of looking dejected, you plastered a big old grin on your face, walked right up to someone before she could choose someone else, and said, “Want to pair up?!?” If you act like you’re an awesome partner, other people will be more likely to think the same thing! I doubt all your friends would say no to you…they ARE your friends, after all! And if one does say no, it’s probably because she was super excited to partner with someone specific…not because there’s something wrong with you! So keep telling yourself that: “There’s nothing wrong with me, and I am SO worth being someone’s first choice!” If you believe it, you’ll act like it, and then other people will start to believe it and act like it too! What do you guys think? Do you have advice for Anita?