I have met some guys recently….
I wouldn’t call them “dates” but my friend is constantly laughing at me because I am meeting with guys and I don’t even realise that they are dates. Maybe I am naïve or maybe I am right, who knows. Regardless, I have many male friends and I think it is normal. Anyway, let’s get to the point.
I have met with this nice guy and very soon he made some observations that I have found very negative. It is not important what he said and I am pretty sure he didn’t want to be mean but soon enough I put a wall up and I started to be very quiet (so not like me!). He didn’t notice it at all. Made me wonder why I took it so personally, I shouldn’t have. I know who I am, what I am worth and my confidence is ok (finally). But at the same time my gut feeling told me to run away. Why? Because I don’t need anyone around me who likes picking on me or on others actually. It is not inspiring at all. Who wants to be judged or criticised especially by someone who doesn’t even know you? No one is perfect and this is the best part. And I have thought of someone from my past. Made me realised how positive he was and why I missed him so much, he is the exact opposite. He would never say anything bad about anyone, he talks about his family and friends with so much love. And he has the ability to make you feel special.
And all of this taught me two lessons. First of all, I started to pay attention to my own comments and making sure I don’t say anything negative and I don’t judge or criticise. Sometimes I am quite sarcastic so I do have to be careful. And the second lesson I have learnt is even better. Whenever I notice that someone is doing this I know straight away that it won’t work (guy or girl) and I cut it short. When someone has this attitude I know for sure we won’t click at all. This is something I really don’t like and it puts me off. At the end of the day who wants to be told on a daily basis that you are not good enough or you do this and this wrong instead of being surrounded with people who bring out the best of you and encourage you to do even better. BE POSITIVE! I believe in this more than anything.
There is a very thin line between being “helpful” and actually telling someone what to do or highlighting that they are doing something “wrong” (and maybe it is not wrong at all anyway). I am still learning this and no one is perfect, the key is that you recognise your weaknesses and you do your best to improve.
(Author: An, not edited)
Next: it’s all about the ring
Most of the people don’t realise how much feedback means to single people. Since I read a Dale Carnegie book* I understood the reasoning behind it. Before that, I just knew it. How do I know when a friend becomes single? Within days her Facebook is full of selfies. I have no problem with this by the way it is normal (I did the same). It is very easy to get addictive to this and count the likes. And at the beginning it does help a little bit but then again it is only a temporary fix.
When after many years of your daily feedback (as in somebody telling you how you look) suddenly stops it is very hard to find a new source to fill this gap. I used to be told how nice I looked or how good I am on a daily basis. Breaking up is not just a massive shock to the body but also massive shock to our confidence levels (in addition to many other things). When you are lucky enough to be feeling stronger you realise it wasn’t your fault and there is nothing wrong with you. However you can still have confidence and self-esteem issues. Bye-bye self-esteem, see you later! The fear is palatable. All the paranoid thoughts are there. You think you were not good enough, you think there is something wrong with you. And how can a guy like someone like me, when I don’t have big boobs (just an example)?! We all have fears.
How to replace this nice feedback flood we used to get? You can’t really get it from outside as much anymore, you have to find it within yourself and just simply learn to know that you are amazing and no one should make you question that! I started shopping to get my confidence up- even though I literally only bought black clothes! However we soon realise that doesn’t help really either. So we start to work on our body, appearance and looks, which is a good thing actually (don’t stay at home and eat chocolate and get fat because you make your life even more difficult). Why do we always get bigger and lazier when we are in a relationship (well done if you are the exception)? We shouldn’t really but we do.
So ditch the shopping habit – old clothes are just as good, save your money! (Retail therapy does work, don’t get me wrong, just keep it minimal for now…)
So feeding our self-esteem will come from working inside/ out. We can work on our appearance as a good start, and taking photos of ourselves to post to social media will hopefully get you the comments and likes your confidence so needs. However especially important is to start doing things, which makes us proud of ourselves. It can be anything, charity, a course, exercise goals, or just learning to play a new instrument.
If you have a single friend be nice to her and compliment her, even if normally you don’t do it. It costs you nothing and you can make such a difference.
*(How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie – READ IT!)
(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)
Next: Just shut the f*** up
I can be anyone! The girl in a suit, the girl in ripped jeans, the girl in the red high heels, and the girl in a hoody! Anyone. I can be anyone from the outside. But who am I inside? Am I a good girl or a bad girl? Am I smart or stupid? Am I a silly or a serious person? All of them are me. Many pieces of me. But when I am single (and therefore not putting the real me out there straight away) I worry I will lose my sense of self. Confidence level is low or no confidence at all…. Took me a very long time to get it back…
Why do I want to be liked or loved by everybody anyway? When I am down and full of fears any tiny criticism makes me cry, pathetic I know, but I couldn’t control it. Around this time (of writing this particular blog) my tears were flowing freely and I couldn’t stop them. I was scared I was forgetting who I really was. Finding that girl who could make others laugh, who would give, who was never tired and full of energy… who smiled a lot more. That girl was there and I needed to find her. Somehow.
Once again I realised the first, and best thing, to do was to meet with my faithful friends and family. I immediately felt free, like a bird, no strings, no filter, no judgment, no thinking. It was me, the true side of me. Everything begins with building up your confidence and self-esteem. To get it back is tough. It is a long and painful process- reflecting on yourself. How can you believe in yourself when there is no one close-by to tell you that you are amazing? I needed to get to a point where I believed- even if no one else ever did. I had to be proud of myself by doing the things I always wanted to do and not being afraid of showing off the real me. This is the key. And this is when my new journey started…
(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)
Next: The fear of living alone