There’s Nothing I Hate More Than Being the Second Choice

By: Amina El Farouk

That sinking feeling. The one you get when you know you have been replaced. Yup it sucks. Being the second choice utterly sucks. As part of the human race and more specifically, as a woman, I have often felt like a second choice. An inconvenience. Or something less than what I thought I was (which is saying something for most of us). I’m not here to tell you that you’re too good to be anyone’s second choice, I’m not going to tell you that people “just don’t see your worth” or are intimidated by how wonderful you are, because this is not how this goes.

I’m not going to lie to make you feel better about yourself, I’m not going to tell you that you are never going to be someone’s second choice or that you have every fantastic quality a person could ever have. I am telling you that you can never be your own second choice. Over and over again, you have to choose yourself. I know that sounds selfish, but hear me out and maybe you’ll understand what I’m trying to say; if you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?

I’m sorry that the guy you’ve been dating picked someone other than you. I’m sorry that you didn’t get that grade or that opportunity because you’re a woman or because the teacher didn’t like you. I’m sorry that you were your friend’s second choice to go see that movie with. I’m sorry you didn’t get into that school or that organization. I’m sorry people didn’t believe in you and I’m sorry that people still don’t.

Trust me, I’ve been there.

Throughout all of the condescending voices, the hurt, the worthlessness – I realized that I couldn’t be against myself too. We live in a world where we will often times be a second choice, so we have to make sure that we’re not our own either. We have to make sure that we’re not listening to what everyone else has to say about us.

Being second choice means when you try to make plans with someone they will already be busy. But they will still invite you along. You are the after thought, and they would have no problem having you there, but they wouldn’t have thought of it themselves. It also means you won’t feel comfortable saying yes to their secondhand invitation. You have to plan-in times to hang out with friends far in advance because you can’t take the risk of attempting to fit into their busy lives’. 

No matter what you do , its never enough, you go above and beyond to stand out from everybody else, to make them see that you are worth their time, but they continue to talk to you when no one “better” is available. that’s when you decide to put yourself first, cut the damn string that’s been weighing so heavily on your shoulders , and once you do the best rush of feels fills your veins , its like taking a breath that you’ve been holding onto for a while. nothing feels better. they will come back, they always do .just make sure to put yourself first and never keep your schedule free “just in case “

You’ve seen people’s true colors but decided to paint another picture. You spent years blaming yourself because something did not work out. You planted the idea of waiting for someone to return to you once they’re done with whatever/whoever they are doing. You forced yourself to think of yourself as the second choice. You have allowed people mess with your emotions because they are unsure about theirs.

There comes a point where you need to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump puddles for you. You either choose me or lose me. I am a human, not a backup plan. Don’t let mixed signals fool you. Indecisiveness is a decision in and of itself. When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation.

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