It is all too easy to succumb to the desire to be liked. Loneliness is a powerful motivator and causes us to lose our nerve, not confront our fear of being ostracized, and thus we step back into the shadows, mute.
If this is you, take heart. The victories that count are the ones that we win with ourselves, that enable us to be more fully the person we are inside and not the one that our parents, our peers, or society want us to be. It is a lonely road, this road to self actualization. But it is worth it.
That is the victory worth having. At the end of our days, when we sit in silence with ourselves and the Beloved, it is not the games we played that will bring us peace. It is the self we shepherded into being, the self born of Spirit and nurtured in Love.