August 20, 2013 at 6:22 am #40820
I have made so many amazing changes to my life over the last two years. I am unbelievably happy every single day. But there is only one thing in my life still bothering me. I love myself. I am fun, I haven’t experienced boredom since my teenage years, going from one exhilarating activity to the next. I rarely think bad thoughts about others or the world as a whole. I am affectionate and open and loving. I am pretty and intelligent, well read, have a myriad of hobbies, and an exciting future ahead of me. I know I am a good person, I know I am a whole person. I am no longer co-dependent or anxiety and overemotional prone.
And yet sometimes it feels that no one else in the world seems to appreciate me. I constantly see others surrounded by friends and loved ones. They seem to just magically gain friendship and compliments.
I would love to gain friends and affection the way that other women seem to. While I am overall happy with my life sometimes it feels a little empty. I haven’t really had a family since I was a child, my boyfriend has depression and while I know he loves me he has trouble showing it. And I have had no friends just acquaintances since moving across country a few years ago. I know that all this makes it hard to get the sort of general care and friendship others do, but it shouldn’t be this difficult for me should it? I mean I am so sure I am a good person, someone people should like. Could I just be delusional and maybe kidding myself about who I am? I don’t like this doubt but I am genuinely confused about why other people don’t see the same person I see when I look in the mirror.August 20, 2013 at 7:52 am #40825
I have found in my experience that most people generally gravitate towards happy people with positive energy. I am unsure why you are having a hard time making friends. Maybe you are just looking for a more meaningful connection than most or desire friendships that connect on a much deeper level than what some people are comfortable with. Friendships take time to build and work on fostering the ones that really matter. And know that the ones that really matter will be few. Having friends has nothing to do with being a “good” person. Even “bad” people have friends, loyal ones even. (Good and bad in quotations marks because I don’t really like to use good or bad, its too black and white for me. Plus at any given point in time we all have been good or bad).
“I love myself so why don’t others?” Your forum title is rather interesting. How can you assume if others really love you or not? Everyone loves at their own capacity, at their own level. How are you measuring love? Are others mistreating you or abusive or putting you down? That isn’t love. And if it is, it is a tainted love at most. Or are others just not giving you the amount of love you think you deserve? Others can only love you as much as they love themselves. So I wouldn’t expect much from your depressed boyfriend. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, it just means he needs your support while he figures himself out. Here is an article on how to deal with a depressed partner: http://www.healthyplace.com/depression/men/depression-in-men-understanding-male-depression/. I personally never thought I would ever be depressed before. I am intrinsically a joyful, upbeat, high energy person. A smile and laugh comes easy and I can cheer people up in a snap. However when I became depressed, it was the worse feeling ever. Everything was numbed. I just needed someone to listen. So just be supportive of him. You can’t fix it only he can. Also I believe that a little depression is good for growth so long it’s not chronic or last too long.
Also know that the love you have for yourself is enough. If someone loves you, it’s just a bonus. I found that if I don’t really love myself, no matter how much people share their love, show their love, prove their love, its never enough. Sometimes we love what we do and not who we are. Sometimes we love the idea we have created of ourselves but not our true selves as in the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Sometimes we love how others love us but not how we love ourselves. Sometimes we love what others think of us but don’t love what we think of ourselves. Self love can be confusing. When my self love is strong, I don’t need any love from others. I have too much already, I want to share it with others. It doesn’t mean I reject the love of others, it’s just means whether I get it or don’t it doesn’t disturb me. My world isn’t going to come crashing down. However when I don’t feel real love for myself, all of myself, then it does disturb me.
Hope you make some good connections!
ZenhenAugust 20, 2013 at 8:54 am #40835
In addition to Zenhen’s heartfelt and wise words, consider that friendship isn’t something given or received, its something that is shared. As a recovering codependent, it makes sense that one might go from giving from a place of self sacrifice to a place of self nurturing. As we pull back and shift our relationship to our world, it is important to self nurture. “How am I nourishing myself with my actions.”
This is healthy and stable, and produces the joy you’re describing. When we are authentically nourishing to ourselves, we develop a deep self love. From the stability of that self love, we can let go and dive back in, and become authentically nourishing to others. Friendship, fellowship is the result. It doesn’t matter if it that love is returned, because the friendship arises on our side, deepens our feeling of connection to others, and their response is not that important. Said differently, as we pour our love into others, friendship arises on our side. When they are ready, they join us in fellowship, and friendship is the connection that is shared in those moments.
Finally, do you pursue connecting with others? Go on platonic dates where you share your passion and zesty view?
MattAugust 20, 2013 at 9:57 am #40838
As hard as it is sometimes, it’s always best to focus on what you DO have rather than on what you don’t have. Life will never be perfect, and if we spend energy on what our life is missing, we won’t be able to appreciate all the good things in our life. It seems to me you are craving appreciation, affection and compliments which suggests that perhaps you feel if you can get these things from others, you will be happier. I also feel like maybe you have chosen situations where you are less likely to develop close bonds–moving to another country and having a boyfriend who suffers from depression. I would guess there is a lesson for you in all of this; something you need to learn. You said you haven’t really had a family since you were a child so there may be some issues buried that need to be worked through. (I am only guessing here) Take this time to look deep into your soul and see if you have any feelings that are craving YOUR attention.