Forum Replies Created
October 16, 2013 at 4:32 am in reply to: Why do we need relationships? #43861
Good Question! And I think there are various facets in the answer. I think that once you are happy with yourself, adding another person just adds another dimension. For example, sure, I have no problem going to the movies by myself and can thoroughly enjoy the time with just me and the silver screen. But going with friends can be awesome too and sharing that laughter at the same scenes. It can be fun to share experiences with people, be it friends or significant other or family.
There is also the point that once you are confident and understand your inherent self-worth, you may see that you have a lot of love to GIVE. And you can give from a place of selflessness and openness, rather than from fear/judgment/desperation/need/filling-a-hole/quota/etc. It is much more pure and beautiful, and more fulfilling to GIVE that kind of love. In my path to self-worth (a work in progress), I’ve noticed that as I’ve “progressed,” I still love the people in my life who have always been there, but now I also am going out of my way to tell them and show them that. I’m going out of my way to show them that I care about them in terms and ways that I know THEY will appreciate. For the simple reason that it’s nice to be able to give that to them. For example, I’m not a gift person. Never have been. Gifts are really important to my mom though, which never made sense to me. We’ve had some serious ups and downs over the years. But now, when I want her to know that I’m thinking of her and love her, I occasionally send her a little gift or a card. It usually brings her to tears and she’s super appreciative. The point is, that instead of looking to her to “correct” the past wrongs and to fill a void in my life, I’ve done that myself and can now give to her freely without strings or expectations. It’s made a huge difference.
Starting a romantic relationship from a healthy personal state like that can be a total game changer. And by that point, you’ll know that you are perfectly fine and happy without a relationship. So, you can take care to date someone who is a good fit for you and who can appreciate you. Rather than dating someone totally wrong for you because you need a way to fill a void.October 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm in reply to: How to be happy in the future #43586
You do have a personality. But when you are young (which you are), you try on various personae to see what is comfortable and what fits, and you go through various phases. This still happens as you get older (30+), but for many it’s less dramatic and less frequent. So it finally feels like your personality is stabilizing. But by that point, you’ve gone through a lot of the bad phases already. Been there, done that, and not willing to do it again 🙂
I think most people do this. I did it plenty. So, no, it’s not unusual or weird. Most of us have also gone through a few phases that we aren’t overly proud of and have made some poor decisions during those times. That’s totally normal. And while you might not be proud of those decisions, or phases, I think the important thing is to not beat yourself up over it. Sure, make amends (if necessary) or try to learn from those mistakes.
The fact is, you have a lot of growing to do — we ALL do! And we are going to make mistakes, and screw up, and fail, and get rejected… the key is accept that it is entirely human. Beautifully and imperfectly human.
If I can recommend a book for you, it is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Also, google “Brene Brown TED talk” and click on her speech The Power of Vulnerability. If you like her talk, her book goes into much more detail and I think it’s a fantastic book. It also talks about various ways we protect ourselves from getting hurt and getting close to people, the various masks we wear. I think it might speak to you. Wish I had it when I was 19 y/o.October 9, 2013 at 6:49 am in reply to: Desperate for Advice Please #43468
Please get into therapy. And I don’t mean that as a bad thing (I’ve been in therapy numerous times). Your self-worth is so low right now, which is why you are so co-dependent and making poor decisions.
I know you love the guy, but I really can’t imagine any way of staying friends with him. I don’t see how you can remain “friends” with your lover when you want to remain in your marriage and the affair is clearly NOT over since you love him. If your husband doesn’t know about all this yet, it is only a matter of time. Your only hope of saving your marriage is to cut off all contact with the guy. Also, get into couples therapy (but I think individual therapy for YOU is the most important thing right now).
I’m sorry the guy doesn’t love you. I know that hurts. We all experience unrequited love and it sucks. But you need to look out for YOU right now. Continuing to spend time with him is just self-torture. Delete his phone numbers, his email addresses, defriend him on facebook, etc.October 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm in reply to: How to be more grateful for what you have? #43385
I recently started a gratitude journal. I keep it by my bed, and every night I write down one thing I am grateful for. Sometimes it’s family or a great boss. Sometimes it’s just the pretty clouds on my drive home during rush hour. I think it helps. Now I notice more small things… like being grateful that my body is able to go for a run (even if it kicked my tush), a tree that I have walked by every day for 3 years but never really noticed until now, etc. Being grateful for the big things like loved ones is awesome for a less obvious reason… because it has helped me express my gratitude to them more. And you can tell that they really appreciate it. Just like me, they are bustling around all day and you see them light up when you tell them how much you appreciate something about them. But I also think being grateful for the tiny little things makes life more pleasant on a moment to moment basis.October 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm in reply to: Embittered about College #43384
Hyo — Been there. It’s frustrating. What I learned in the past 10 years, however, is that I went to college for the wrong reasons. And unfortunately, I think most 18 year olds go for the wrong reasons. In my humble (and possibly incorrect) opinion, wrong reasons to go to college include: because your parents are making you go, because you’re expected to go (by you and others), because you define yourself by being the smart one and this is what smart ones do, because this path is the one that responsible people take to get jobs and get married and have 2.5 kids and be happy, etc.
The right reasons to go to college include: you aren’t sure what you want to do but you want to go to an academic setting to explore various internships and meet inspiring people to perhaps pique an interest for you to pursue LATER on, or because it might not help you get a job or a raise but it is a personal goal that you want to achieve, because you have figured out what you want to do and have actually tried it and loved it and college is a necessary step, etc.
Truth is, I’m not sure that I know any undergrad major that leads to employment — and I’m talking english, physics, biology, engineering, international relations, etc. Everyone had to start somewhere crappy and work up, or they went to grad school with a specific career in mind.
And I know you have loans coming out of your ears (me too!). And I agree that it is unfortunate that parents and schools have created this false impression of what college is and why you need it. But, I do have friends who didn’t go to college and now, in their 30s, they are pretty frustrated with their careers because they can’t break beyond a certain wage, while those with college degrees get promoted to positions they “aren’t qualified for”. Point being — the benefit of a degree is not immediate. It’s gradual. You probably won’t see it pay off in the next couple years (if you’re a recent-ish grad). Take some time. Figure out what you actually want for your career, do internships, volunteer with places, etc. Because liking the academics is VERY different than liking the job.October 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm in reply to: Suicidal Thoughts #43383
Ugh, Liam. You and I could share some bad therapist stories. She sounds AWFUL. One really bad one like that can make it REALLY hard to try going back. There are decent ones though. You kind of have to be willing to walk out the second something atrocious like that happens, which most people aren’t prepared for (who would be??). Online reviews are getting more and more common for doctors and therapists, so you might want to use that as a first step in screening.
I’m still navigating my way through meditation. And I plan to be for a long long time 🙂 and it’s actually okay for your mind to bounce around. Don’t get mad at yourself for it — your mind is doing EXACTLY what it has been trained to do! And doing a darn good job! Just recognize that you are thinking, and let the thought pass. I actually say to myself “thinking” and then let the thought float off like a balloon. Another surely pops up shortly after, but I do the same thing over and over again. You want to concentrate on your breath, but also just want to observe your mind. Even if your mind is running a million miles an hour. One of the best things I have learned is that there is no “bad sit.” You just keep learning about yourself.
I wish you well 🙂October 7, 2013 at 3:23 am in reply to: Suicidal Thoughts #43347
I totally understand where you are coming from. I had “passive” suicidal thoughts starting in middle school and lasted until upper 20s. Sometimes they got worse; sometimes they subsided. For a long time, I really believed that passive suicidal thoughts were totally normal. For me, things got worse before I got help (I was passively suicidal for about 15 years, and then actively suicidal for about 4 months… then I got on meds). These thoughts don’t just get better on their own. I thought they would eventually go away once I found a career I was happy in, once I found a city that I was happy in, once I improved my relationship with my family, etc. Nope. No matter how many cities I moved to trying to “find a place that I felt at home in,” it didn’t change. You need to be more proactive to get rid of the passive suicidal thoughts. So long as you are not actively suicidal though, I do truly believe it can be done without meds. And since you are asking for help here, you’re getting help way before I did which is good. So, some suggestions:
1) I know you’ll hate this suggestion, and you can ignore it, but find a therapist. It sounds like you went to one you didn’t click with. I’ve been there — and YES, a bad one makes it worse. (I’ve had several that I didn’t go back to after one session). BUT, there are LOTS of other therapists, with tons of different styles and personalities. You’ll probably need to meet with several to find one you like. But, once you find one you click with, it will be a big help. Also, the first session is always a little annoying because you are just getting the therapist caught up on what is going on with you.
2) I’m a fan of the book Feeling Good, by Dr. David Burns. It is THE book on cognitive therapy, which is designed to change your thought processes quickly, rather than rehashing childhood stuff. It’s a long book, but not difficult. It is essential to actually do the 3-column exercises, not just think about it. If you are adamantly against finding a therapist, at least try this book. My therapist recommended it to me, and I was so doubtful about some crap self-help book, that I checked it out at the library because I didn’t want to waste money buying it 🙂 I ended up buying it anyway because it’s pretty darn good.
3) Meditation has been really important to me. If you don’t know how to meditate (and even if you do), I think the books or lessons by Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chodron are great. Meditation teaches you who you are, by observing your thoughts, observing your mind, and creates an appreciation for the person you are in this world. I prefer silent meditation, but a lot of people like guided meditation (loving-kindness meditations like Matt suggested are a good place to start.)
Things really can get better. But you do need to be proactive in changing your thought patterns and your view of the world and your relationship with yourself. Right now, they are all skewed. Good luck!October 7, 2013 at 2:46 am in reply to: Fear of Losing my Fiance #43346
I’m sorry for your panicky state. It’s an awful feeling. First, I think you need to sit down with your partner and have a calm discussion. Don’t tell him that you think he’s dying or anything. But do tell him that you are worried about his health and that it is causing you a lot of anxiety. Obviously, you can’t make someone do anything. But, you can impress upon him that his refusal to go is making you more and more anxious. Also, you both need to realize that you don’t know what the problem is. Without knowing the problem, you don’t know what solutions or remedies are available. While modern medicine is certainly far from perfect, there are a lot of options. But those options are more successful and likely when addressed sooner, rather than later.
As for your fear of losing him, it is totally understandable. You feel vulnerable and you should acknowledge that. But I do hope that it is not getting in the way of your time with your partner or child. A lot of people have this “what if…” fear in their minds at all times, whether their loved one is sick or not. After all, car accidents happen all the time. If worst case scenario occurred, I don’t think you want to look back at how much precious time you wasted fretting over it instead of just enjoying his company and every moment you had with him. So, DO have a discussion or two with him. But also just enjoy every moment.September 17, 2013 at 3:56 am in reply to: Why do you need people in your life? #42337
Being around large groups of people is exhausting for me. Sometimes it can be very fun, but it’s always tiring. So, I get that. I’m less exhausted one-on-one. But even then, I need a lot of time to myself. I’m not the kind of person who can be around people all the time. Do you have a job that requires you to be around people? If so, by the time you get off work, you might just be too tired to want to maintain friendships. If you simply don’t have any desire to have people in your life, then you don’t NEED them. You can definitely go off grid. Just keep in mind that your needs might change and fluctuate in life. You might be in a phase where you are exhausted around people and don’t want or need them. In a few years, you might desire the company of others. So, if it changes, be open to it. If it doesn’t and you’re content, more power to you 🙂September 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm in reply to: Why do you need people in your life? #42332
I think a more important question is why don’t you WANT anyone in your life? I am also private and I tend to be a home body. It’s where I’m content. I’m single, and am perfectly content with that as well. However, I do have some wonderful friends who get that I’m an introvert. I don’t make friends easily but the ones I make, I keep, even when we move to opposite ends of the globe. They enrich my life, make me laugh in ways I never imagined possible, love me when I screw up, allow me to be a better person by being there for them and loving them just as much when they screw up, etc. There are countless ways that I’m blessed to have them in my life.
You seem to base your desire to not be around anyone on your strong dislike of sharing your feelings and emotions. I’m not so great at those either; it’s a work in progress. But I think you need to ask yourself WHY you so intensely dislike sharing your feelings. In my experience, that often comes down to fear or shame. Fear of what people will think, fear that your feelings aren’t normal, that there is something wrong with you, that people will realize how weird you are, that you aren’t perfect, etc. And shame that people might figure out that you aren’t loveable.
None of those are true, of course. But a lot of us struggle with those thoughts. Part of the reason that I don’t share my feelings with many people is because, as an introvert, I prefer to work things out in my head first. I prefer to get a grasp on the situation, my options, my thoughts, before sharing them. That’s okay! But then I also sometimes still don’t share once I have a handle on everything because I’m afraid I’ll be judged. And that really comes down to my own sense of self-worth. And that is why I’m working on it.September 16, 2013 at 4:58 am in reply to: …made me feel #42306
You are right that once the damage is done, pain is there. But there is a difference between someone causing you pain and someone abusing the power to cause you pain. And we all experience both. I have plenty of friends who have caused me pain but I keep them around because they haven’t abused it. I also have had my share of friends that I have had to walk away from. I’ve also had to walk away from relationships that were very painful because the other person abused that power. After all, MOST friendships or relationships don’t last a lifetime. Some fade away, some end in fireworks. And that’s okay.
But do I think it was a mistake to give that power over to each of those people who hurt me? Not really, even when it causes pain. Because, like I said, pain and vulnerability also create more beautiful emotions like empathy and compassion. Heartbreak is a near-guarantee for this life. But those painful experiences (which I may still be working through) also let me be there for my friend when her relationship is on the rocks. Or for my (future) kid when he gets dumped for the first time.
So, it’s okay if you give that power to the wrong person once in a while. You just need to maintain enough self-worth to know when to take it back.
I also liked your point about when someone calls you an ass, and well, you just might be. lol. It happens! I think this is where knowing yourself becomes important. When someone says something that I think is mean, but might be true, my first impulse is to get defensive (you might have a different reaction). I’m learning that when I start feeling defensive, I STOP. I breathe, and take a minute to think about it. If I think they might have a point, I tell them that. And this usually breaks the tension and opens up a much better conversation that just calling me an ass. 🙂 No one is perfect and you can learn to accept criticism as a way of improving yourself, without it damaging your self-worth.September 16, 2013 at 4:37 am in reply to: Can't accept that luck/fate can be more important than talent/hard work #42305
I’m sorry, but no, you DON’T know that you are more deserving. You don’t know how much work other people have put into things. You might work longer hours, but maybe they are more efficient. Maybe they communicate their ideas better. Maybe they work in teams better. Maybe they are better leaders. Maybe luck is part of it; they met the right person at the right time who saw their potential and decided to take a chance on them. But life doesn’t OWE you anything. Deciding who “deserves” what in this life is crap.
Maybe you are dissatisfied with your work because it’s not the field for you. Maybe your bosses notice your work, but also notice that you have no spark for this work. You have no passion for it. Maybe you need to try something new. Or maybe, you need to look into new ways of viewing your job, your work, your life… because I’m going to guess that opportunities HAVE presented themselves to you but you didn’t recognize them because they weren’t exactly what you were looking for, or not neatly packaged enough for you. Maybe your friends have recognized these opportunities and jumped at them, took a risk, and it payed off in the end.September 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm in reply to: Guided Meditation #42278
There are some good guided meditations focused on compassion and self-kindness at http://www.self-compassion.org.September 15, 2013 at 9:07 am in reply to: …made me feel #42266
I totally understand what you mean. And I think I separate it into two categories: people I let into my inner circle and people I don’t.
As for people who are not in my inner circle: if someone cuts me off while driving, I do have a choice in how I react. I can get mad, call him a glassbowl, ride his bumper, and go into a road rage fit. And people do this because they take it personally. When really, there is no reason for it to be taken personally. OR, I can take a second to realize that he probably wasn’t thinking about me AT ALL. He’s just trying to get home after a long crappy day of work, has perhaps had a much worse day (or maybe life) than me, and he hasn’t spent two seconds thinking about me. And be okay with that. Personally, I choose the second route. I choose to let the aggravation slide off of me. But this can be applied in closer settings too. For example, I am an attorney. I get yelled at ALL THE TIME, by other attorneys, by judges, whoever. It’s part of the job and it rarely bothers me. These are people I work with on a regular basis, but they each have their own issues they are dealing with, their own frustrations, and very different world views or priorities than me. I don’t take it personally. I don’t let it affect me. It’s a choice. (This aspect took me a long time to cultivate and it is still a work in progress. I’m not perfect at it, but I do think it’s true. I also think my life is much more balanced and harmonious since I realized how to CHOOSE who affects me).
Now, it is different for people that I am close to: my family members who are important pieces in my life, my close friends, etc. I DO think that in order to make connections with people that you cannot close yourself off to all people and not feel emotion. I don’t try to prevent from feeling all negative emotions because I think they are beautiful and necessary. Painful, yes. But they are also the foundation for empathy, compassion, giving, etc. I also think shared humanity and vulnerability is what brings people together. It makes us feel not alone. But you do choose WHO you let affect you. Yes, my best friend definitely has the power to hurt me. I’ve also given her that power and trust that she’ll use it carefully. If she *abuses* that power, I will take it away from her. I also trust her, and our friendship, enough that if she does hurt me, I can talk to her about it. I can tell her that I was upset or sad or disappointed. I’ll give her a chance to tell her side. Heck, we might even argue. But I trust that we’ll get through it. And that is worth it.
September 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm in reply to: I am frustrated by myself #42239
- This reply was modified 9 years, 8 months ago by Lindsay.
It sounds like there are a couple fundamental problems here that are all curled up together and that is going to make it difficult (but entirely possible!) to sort out.
You seem to get a LOT of criticism from the people in your life, which can mean several possibilities:
(1) You maybe grew up in a toxic household and you are drawn to toxic people because you are so comfortable with it. You said your father criticizes you all the time. Has he always done this? Does he also criticize your mother all the time? Does she just accept this? Is that what you grew up understanding was “normal”? If so, you are repeating your history. You might hate it, but you are comfortable with it, and don’t know how to break away from it. This will likely require therapy. Start with a cognitive therapist, which focuses on changing the thoughts that are bothering you NOW and then will work on the other family history stuff once your immediate depression and low self-worth eases up. If you can’t afford therapy, get a book by Dr. David Burns called Feeling Good. (I was VERY reluctant to get it, but it was surprisingly helpful).
(2) You may be defining your self-worth on how you THINK other people perceive you. If you are getting the impression that other people are dissatisfied with you, then you will be dissatisfied with yourself. Unfortunately, self-worth and self-love has start with YOU. Without self-love, you run into boundary issues (which another post above talks about so I won’t repeat). It is internal self-worth that allows you to calmly say “No, you cannot speak to me like that.” A website you might want to look at: http://www.self-compassion.org. I only recently discovered it, so I haven’t gone through all of it but it is promising so far.
(3) You might be selectively hearing only the bad things your husband says and not take notice of the good things. You seem to really value what people SAY. It sounds like your love language (from the book: the 5 love languages) is spoken words. If you have a solid and good marriage to a good man, he may not realize that his words have such a profound impact on you. Words might not have much impact on him; his love language could be acts of service. If so, you are misreading each other and misinterpreting each other. You need to get on the same page. The Five Love Languages is pretty good to read. It is really Christian-based, and I’m not Christian. But, it had some good info. Also, Feeling Good has a chapter on how to better communicate which would probably help you and your husband get on the same page. Better communication is a slow road though and it’s best if he’s willing to read both of these books (or the chapters) too. This may only work if you aren’t in an emotionally abusive or toxic relationship. But it will still be helpful for you to gain perspective.
If you want other books or websites to check out, let me know. Good luck!