Picked Last

To Anyone Who Was Ever Picked Last…Or Not At All

Most of us can remember at least one time or another when we were picked last…or in some cases, never. And for many, those experiences can be traced back to one, painful memory of junior high gym class. Mine certainly can. But…not in the way you might think. 

Let me explain.

In the sixth grade, I had a huge crush on…let’s call him “J” for now. I liked the way he snorted when he laughed at his friends’ dumb jokes, the way his hair flopped perfectly over one of his light brown eyes (give me a break, the side-swooped bangs were popular in the early-2000’s), and mostly just the fact that he was generally nice to me on a regular basis.

I know what you’re thinking:  Wow, real high standards there, Leighann.

But again, this was the sixth grade, people! 

To this day, I still don’t know why crushes (or if we’re being adults – attractions) make people do, say or even, think silly things. All I do know is that I was head over heels in…like with this boy. So naturally, the only thing left to do was to find out if he like-liked me back. And what better way to do that than by enlisting your ride-or-die, true blue, BFF4L-status friends? 

The plan was simple: during afternoon P.E. class, I would hide out in the girls’ bathroom until my friends, tag-teaming the big ask, came back to relay that J totally like-liked me too and that we would be together 4-ever.

I can remember counting down the minutes until my friends came back. My palms were sweaty, but my heart remained hopeful. I just knew he liked me as much as I liked him, and that soon we’d be in like together, doing whatever it was that people in like did.

After a few more grueling moments of waiting, my friends walked into the locker room, an identical sheepish look plastered on their faces as they gazed downward.

“Well?” I asked them, holding my breath and bracing for impact. It took, what felt like forever before finally, their eyes met mine.

I could feel my heart shatter into a thousand pieces when my friends explained that, no he didn’t like-like me, and that he was embarrassed when he found out that I even liked him at all.


Harsh, much?

Let’s face it, rejection sucks. Being picked last or not at all is never on anyone’s wish list. The hard, plain truth of the matter is that, rejection is a normal part of life and we ALL go through it at one point or another.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. Especially when you’re 13 years old – or even, 24 years old. 

In life, we will all face disappointments. Whether it’s a friend choosing another person to spend more of their time with because perhaps they relate better to them, or an exciting joint-project at work that you weren’t invited to participate in, or even a seriously daft 13-year old boy who is ashamed that you even like-liked him in the first place.

Because someone picking you last, or not at all, isn't a reflection of your worth or value. Click To Tweet

Whatever it is, it’s never easy. But here are some of  the things I try to keep in mind when I’m feeling like the last kid sitting on the bench waiting to be picked for dodge ball teams:

You are amazing.

Okay, I’ll admit it – this might be a biased opinion. But that doesn’t invalidate the truth that you are amazing. With so many amazing talents and traits to love, it’s a wonder why you were ever rejected or picked last in the first place. 

It’s actually, seriously their loss.

Do I sound like your mother yet? Well, maybe we should give mom some credit here. She’s right. Didn’t you read that first point? You’re amazing! Anyone who doesn’t want to be in or a part of your life is seriously missing out. And the only one who’s going to end up missing out on something so awesomely great? Them. 

Anyone who doesn't want to be in or a part of your life is seriously missing out. Click To Tweet

Your time/person will come.

As mom always says – and don’t tell her I’m saying all this she’s right type of stuff – “…every nookie has its sookie.” What, you may ask, is a nookie? Or a sookie? To be honest, I’ve never asked. After all these year, I’ve just kind of rolled with it. But I think the message got through alright. Basically, she was saying that there is someone out there for everyone, so try not to panic or feel too down about someone not picking you. You’ll find the right guy/girl who will choose you, and only you first. And remember, “nothing ever happens before the time” – another piece of mom wisdom for you. 

You are no one’s second choice.

And don’t you forget it. See very first point (again) – you are amazing. And having been gifted with such amazingness, before anyone else can recognize your worth and brilliance, you need to. And you need to know that you deserve more than being  someone’s second, or third, or eighth choice. Whether it’s a friend, romantic interest, supervisor, etc. – if they make it clear that they don’t plan on picking you (with all your amazing you-ness, capabilities and potential), do yourself a favor and move on without ’em.

You might not know this, but you have always been chosen.

Truth is – you, dear one have been chosen by God, Himself. In fact, you were first in His mind when He sent His son, Jesus to die on that rugged cross for YOU. There’s never been a question of whether or not you have value or are worth dying for. You just do and you just, are.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17

And you know what? I think that’s the only affirmation we really need. It’s the hope that we desperately need to cling to – and never let go of. Because someone picking you last, or not at all, isn’t a reflection of your worth or value.

God chose, no –  handpicked you and so loved you that He sent His son to die for you. Truthfully, He’s never had a doubt about how amazing of a person He’s made you to be. 

And sometimes you just need to remind yourself just how incredible you are.

You are...amazing.

When you are chosen last (or not at all), what things do you try to tell yourself to remind yourself of your worth and value?

12 thoughts on “To Anyone Who Was Ever Picked Last…Or Not At All”

  1. Avatar

    Oh, being picked last or not at all is really heart breaking. I have experienced that far too many times. It hurts the heart to know that people don’t want you around. I try to remember that God has given me gifts and that he has plans for me. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to remember that.

    1. Leighann

      Oh Alice, thank you so much for sharing. You’re right, it’s never easy to get picked last or never (it sucks, if I’m being quite honest). I hope you feel better knowing you are talking to a kindred spirit – and you are not alone in it. But like you said, it’s heartbreaking. I appreciated what you said about remembering that God has given you unique talents and gifts – because it’s so true! And only you can use those gifts – in all your awesome Alice-ness – to make the world a more beautiful, and unique place. And for every one person who doesn’t choose you first, there will be 3 more people out there who are excited to pick you and keep you around!

  2. Avatar

    Oh my gosh, I totally get it…the sting of rejection…and it can be so hard to deal with in middle school. I’ve had a lot of time to put things in perspective since middle school and have now gone through some of these rejections with my kids. (It hurts a lot when your kids are going through it, too.) Remembering that we are all God’s children and He doesn’t make junk goes a LOOOOooooong way! Thank you for this great post!

    1. Leighann

      Thanks for that insight, Carlie! Your kids are lucky to have a mom who gets it and can support them as they go through these kinds of things in life…don’t know what I would have done (or would do) without my mom’s wisdom to get me through those middle school years, and now twenty-something years! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  3. Avatar

    You know, this is precisely what my mum says each time I see the others going ahead, or getting picked. She says that there is a time for everyone, the right time when each one will get picked, or chosen or move ahead in life, so why worry? Just relax and be patient!
    Wonder what we all would do without our mums!
    Loved your post! 🙂

    1. Leighann

      It must be some kind of mom thing, huh? That’s awesome that our moms were on the same page though! It’s so true. I often fall into that trap of comparison and it gets me nowhere. I’ve only recently begun to refocus and train my brain to think, well – they might be there, and that’s good for them – so maybe where I am right now, is exactly where I need to be. Such a simple, but real truth, “just relax and be patient!” Thanks for reading, Shilpa!

  4. Avatar

    I was always picked last. I was always seen as worthless and in middle school, the teacher always had to put me in a group cause no one wanted me. People never like me because I was quiet. I would always sit alone, only talk once in a while cause no one would sit next to me. I hated every single time we had to work in a group, I hated the sound of it! All I wanted was for people to accept me the way I am! I did have a few friends who did accept me for me. And I appreciated that! Its kinda still happening but this time I’m not the only one, who is unwanted and unloved. But still! I just wished that people will choose me. But thanks a lot for the tips, it makes me happy to see that I’m not the only one going through this!

  5. Avatar

    In middle school people never want me. I was always the quiet one, I used to sit alone in class cause no one (except my really good friend, but now we are not in the same school anymore) used to sit next to me uless otherwise stated. I have no idea what I have done to deserve this. I am never picked to work in groups, cause no one wants to work with me. It happened again this year. The people had to pick who they wanted in the group and no one chose me. And to make it even worse it happened infront of my crush. What will he think of me now?! No one likes an unwanted person, and I’m unwanted. I’m in highschool now! I wanted to start of a fresh, a new begining but I failed to make a good impression! People are mean to me. I’m unwanted, unloved and I’m starting to doubt my purpose! There is this other girl who is mean to everyone, she treats people badly and she’s mean, I’m nothing like that! I try my best to be nice and as polite as possible but I’m never good enough! It happened again! No one wants me (and that other girl in their group), which means people hate me as much as they hate her! Maybe my life was meant to be like this!! I am just not good enough! My grades, looks, race and friends don’t matter at all cause no matter what I’m always going to be unwanted by people the exact same age as me! I have no worth. It happens every single time and its heartbreaking to see that people don’t want to have anything to do with you, that their always mean to me no matter how nice I am to them. That they judge me and hurt me with their words. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?! Was my life meant to be like this? Unwanted, unloved, worthless?!
    I am so sorry about all of this talk about me being unwanted by people in group activities. These tips you gave were really helpful and you helped me realise that I’m not the only one going through this! So thank you!!

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