When I was younger, I was a nerd. I played too many video games, my favorite class was computer programming, I couldn’t figure out social interactions, and felt resentful of people who could make friends well. Now, I’m happy to say that I figured it out from reading the Bible after my conversion. I have friends from a wide variety of walks of life.
I had bought into the Disney myth: just be yourself and the right people will like you for who you are.
There is a piece of truth in this: do the right thing and pursue your own excellence no matter what haters say.
But, there is some serious silliness (heh, get it) in the notion as well. If people do not respond positively to your social interactions then, even though they might be evil and exclusive, you also might actually be uninteresting or unpleasant to be around.
I was rereading the Song of Solomon last week and noticed this line:
Song of Solomon ESV 1:2-3 She: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; (3) your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.
The woman wants kisses from this guy because his romantic overtures make her dizzy, he smells good, and people talk about him positively. But in all of that, she notices that the young maidens/virgins all love him. In other words, he wasn’t some complete doofus who put his foot in his mouth, screwed up all of his jobs with laziness, and ruined his relationships with unchecked eccentricity or rudeness. He was well liked (Jesus was well liked for most of his like, btw).
Though not the point of the passage, what I observed is how often younger nerds won’t look around and ask, “What do people like about each other?” And the thing is that back then all the other young nerds resented not being accepted, but very few of us hit the gym, studied Proverbs, or engrossed ourselves in planning for our future. We mostly played video games.
If somebody isn’t accepted by others because they’re legitimately doing well for themselves, living righteously and wisely, and he/she gets hated on any way, that’s one thing. If somebody isn’t accepted by others because they don’t take the time to figure out how to make friends, but they still resent everybody, that’s a failure of observation.