This is a non nail polish related post. Sometimes when I have life challenges pop up I like to share them with you all.
One of my biggest challenges in the past has been social interaction. I will be flat out honest. I lived in Orlando with zero friends from 2007-2011. Self esteem plays the major role into all of my challenges in life including friendships and social interaction.
When local bloggers started meeting up that was extremely anxiety provoking for me. Thankfully, over time I was able to move past that anxiety, and become more comfortable in social situations. I even was able to break off and form individual friendships with some bloggers! Awesome!
I'm good with individual friendships. One on one I feel comfortable with. I suck at group interaction...like really suck. I've always been this way since a child. I'm seriously a loner type. When my friends would get together as a group I'd feel like the outsider. I never really fit in with groups of people. I think it's because I'm guarded as a person. I feel very disconnected socially in group settings. I never let loose or feel like I can be myself.
The problem is even though I am accepted and liked by all the members in social group I still behave this way and feel this way. I honestly think it's because I find it hard to believe people like me and want to spend time with me. Again, self esteem. I had a get together with some bloggers I felt closest to for my birthday and I honestly was shocked that people wanted to celebrate MY birthday with ME. I couldn't just absorb those good feelings I had to question them? In turn, I felt disconnected and awkward, which I then hate myself for. Vicious cycle--here we go again!
This isn't anyone's problem but my own, and it's one I create for myself. I think a lot of this stems from my past behavior and a lot of severe emotional abuse. I used to be an open book to a lot of people and was betrayed many times. I used to get really close to people only to be disappointed by them. I also do not feel good about myself so it makes me wonder "if I don't like myself, how could someone else?" There is also the fact that growing up I was told repeatedly by some peers and and some adult figures that I was not good enough. I think these are a few reasons why I don't fully connect to people. I keep my distance to protect myself in some way. This is probably some psychological defense mechanism that I can't think of the term for.
While I'm trying to protect myself by behaving this way it doesn't serve me well. I even do this in the blog world online. I feel very much like a loner blogger. The truth is I don't know how else to behave? This has been my response to situations for years and years. It's natural and a very learned behavior.
The thing I'm learning is that while I'm able to do little fixes here and there in my life, I'm neglecting the major issue of my low self esteem. That is what really needs to be addresses and worked on as it is the true source of all my problems I believe. Don't worry folks, I'm in therapy. That's why I brought this up today because it was we talked about in our last session. I feel like sharing these thoughts and getting a response helps to put a lot of this in perspective and most of all not feel so freaking alone.
My therapist recommended the book The Six Pillars of Self- Esteem by Nathaniel Branden to help me start battling this nasty thing. I've already started and I'm shocked at how much my low self esteem has been reflected in my actions, choices, and how I've continuously been creating negative self fulfilling prophecies for myself. Yuck. It's good to recognize this though because I hadn't before. I'm hoping now I'll be able to recognize the behavior when it starts and re-direct it.
On-wards and upwards. Thanks for listening.