Self-Doubt

I recently wrote a post with the question of whether or not I am a toxic person.

Logically, I know that I am trying to be the best person I can be even though it doesn’t always show. What I didn’t know is that my self-doubt would increase tremendously since I lost the friend that forced me to confront this question. I didn’t realize how much it would affect me. I can understand it and realize that it happened and there’s not much I can do what happened in the past but I didn’t realize that it would follow me for months.

It’s not the first time I’ve been through a loss of some sort. It’s happened before and crushed everything I knew about myself. I remember feeling like I disappeared for a while. I had to really work hard to find myself. I went through therapy and really worked on myself and I became someone I liked and respected. After I entered my 30s, I thought I knew who I was. I had read enough books and really took a look at my life. I found things and people I loved and believed that I had settled into who I was supposed to be. I had accomplished some pretty cool things that I was proud of and moved forward.

There’s been a lot of changes since that point. It’s been almost 8 years since I turned 30. And somehow, I’m back in the middle of a bunch of questions. I have constantly been meeting new people through my kids’ schools and classes and through the dance classes we teach. And through it all, I thought I knew myself and had accepted the fact that not everyone would be my best friend. That was okay. I knew who my tribe was. I knew the strength of the bonds I had formed.

But now, I’m questioning the basic core of myself. Am I someone that people want to be around? Am I someone that my kids like? Am I someone that I can respect?

I have fallen back into the trap of questioning myself after every social engagement. I worry that I said the wrong thing or did something that offended someone. The logical grown-up in me knows that whatever happens happens and it’s okay as long as I tried my best to be a good person but the emotional anxiety in me has risen up immensely.

Do I have to go through the same work again to be comfortable with myself? How do I learn to trust myself again? What if no one ever likes me? (Oh man, that thought makes me feel like a teenager again.) How do I know that this won’t happen with other people?How do I know if I’m disappointing or hurting someone else enough that they will decide to stop being my friend as well?

How do I manage this self-doubt?

 

Am I A Toxic Person?

A few months ago, I had a long-time friend tell me that I was had been making negative comments about her and to her. And thus was the end of our friendship.

It did make me think.

We are all aware of toxic people and the fact that we should stay away from them because they aren’t good for us. We try to stay around people who have good positive energy and make us feel better about ourselves.

But what if we are the ones that are toxic?

I wouldn’t have ever imagined this about myself except there was literally someone who chose to stay away from me and end a friendship because I was toxic for her.

How do we even figure out if we are the ones who are toxic without going through that kind of heartbreak (and yes, it was heartbreaking)? When does it stop being honesty and more toxicity when it comes to friendship?

I’m not going to defend myself here because I can’t speak for that person’s feelings or how she perceived my words. If what I was saying was being received as negative, then all I can do is accept that my words must have been negative.

I can explain what I have been doing. I have been analyzing myself constantly over the last few months trying to figure out how to better myself as a person. I also have been wondering that if one person could view me as toxic, does that mean another person could as well? Self-doubt and insecurity have now become good friends of mine. I keep thinking about everything I say multiple times after it’s been said to figure out if I’ve hurt or offended anyone else.

I also have been trying to figure out at what point do I stop blaming myself and accept that maybe it was just our relationship that had come to its natural end. How much of my true self do I change just to make sure I am not toxic to anyone else? Is it actually a question of honesty versus toxicity?

How can I fairly judge how and who I am as a person? How much do I need to change to ensure this doesn’t happen again? Or will it happen because we are all different personalities and how we view each other can change over the course of a friendship?

Those Wife Jokes

Have you ever noticed that there seem to be a lot of wife jokes? I saw a post in my one of my mommy groups on Facebook where the mom had mentioned that her friends (male and female) kept forwarding jokes where the wives were being put down.

Why are there so many wife jokes? What makes being a wife a job that is allowed to be made fun of? And why would women partake in this at all?

I do know people who do this. They are consistently making fun of their wives (whether in front of their face or behind their backs). Does it serve as a connection with other men? Is that all they can connect on?

And if you are the women, how do you react?

I remember an ex doing this to me once. I then spent a few hours trying to explain to him why it hurt my feelings and why I would appreciate it if he would back me up in public and not put me down. Needless to say, we did not last. I see other women tolerating it. I don’t know if it is for the sake of their marriage or if they feel like that is the only way they will keep their relationships (friendships, marriages, etc). Do we have to let others say negative things about us in order to have friends?

I wonder if the men who do this do not have a high enough self-esteem that they have to put their significant others down in order to feel accepted in their peer group. Or is it that they have to feel like they aren’t good enough for their significant other so they have to put them down in order to equalize the relationship?

For a while, I was around a lot of people who do this. Then, I realized that I hated listening to it. It wasn’t okay. You can’t necessarily change others but you can change yourself. I stopped hanging around people that do this. Now, the people I hang out with (along with my husband) have a lot of respect for women. They admire and respect women. And it doesn’t bring them down one bit.

There are no more wife jokes in my life.

It’s Okay To Let Go

Today, I saw this article about letting go of toxic people to make room for more positivity in your life. It reminded me of all of the people I have slowly been walking away from because they aren’t good for me.

Let’s be honest. For me, it basically came down to unfriending them on Facebook. The fact that they were toxic already meant we weren’t socializing or in touch at all. But seeing their lives on Facebook just kept me connected to them. When I did have to deal with them in person, it just drove home the point that we weren’t meant to be friends.

It’s a difficult thing to do. Some of the people I have walked away from share so much history with me. There are friends I have had growing up, people on dance teams, old relationships, former best friends. How do you just let go of 10 plus years of friendship? How do you let go people who were there for you in the most difficult times? How do you walk away from people who were there through sweat, blood, and tears? And what happens that these are the people who become toxic?

I honestly believe a lot of it happened because I changed. I learned who I was and because I embraced that part of myself, it changed the relationship I had with whichever person was now toxic. Some friendships have the capability of adapting. But some definitely don’t. And when you believe you are making a change for the better, you can either trust yourself and those who support you or you can view yourself from an outside point of view that makes you feel less than you should. In my opinion, no one should ever make you feel that way.

If you are also Indian, you know that walking away from someone doesn’t mean you won’t ever see them again. Sometimes, I wish it did but let’s face it. We are all 2 degrees of separation from each other. Inevitably, we will run into someone who we have decided isn’t good for us. And we have to learn how to deal with it.

It’s also difficult to see everyone else’s lives go on without you because you chose to walk away. I see groups I used to be a part of living their lives and celebrating events, only now I am on the outside. It would be so easy to find a way back into the groups but I also know it wouldn’t be good for me to be around those people. Sometimes, it does suck to be on the outside.

This is the hard part for me. I would love people to see what I see and “be on my side” about the toxic person. Then, I have to remind myself that just because someone isn’t good for me doesn’t mean that person isn’t good for someone else. And honestly, I can see where I might be toxic for other people. So I have to learn to let it be because everyone has the right to live the way he or she wants as well and I walk away, unfriend, or shield myself from them.

All I can do is what is best for my life and keep positive, supportive people around my family.

 

 

Can A Self-Centered Person Really Be My Friend?

This thought has occurred to me before but I haven’t written about it until now. Well, at least I don’t think I have.

Throughout my life, I’ve run across different groups of girls. The story would always go something like this. We would hang out all the time but I would always feel like an outsider. It would always feel like they didn’t care whether or not I was there or not. If you have been through this at any point, you know it’s a sucky feeling to have. I would then start wondering why I didn’t fit in with them. It wasn’t because I wasn’t as pretty or smart or successful (at least, not in my eyes). Eventually, I figured out it was because they couldn’t see past themselves. I was never going to be as important to them as they were to themselves. It was a great day when I realized that it was them and not me. I knew that trying to impress them was useless and for my sanity, it was better for me to walk away.

Occasionally,  I still have to be around some of these people. And it is reminder of how truly self-centered they are. I really wish I could see into their minds and how they worked. It might help me to understand why they are the way they are.

Most people are self-centered. It is definitely a challenge to find someone who will put others ahead of themselves. I fully realize that I am also in this group of people. I like attention as much as the next person. But I am trying to be aware of these selfish tendencies and hopefully, be a better person that I am instinctively.

So why are these people like this? Is it that they think they are better than everyone else? Why do they feel as if their needs are more important than others? I see people go out of their way for them but that same action doesn’t seem to be reciprocated. It makes me sad for the people that get taken advantage of, especially when the person getting taken advantage of is someone I love.

I’ve ended up walking away from several groups of people at several different points in my life. I am glad I can finally recognize when a friendship is toxic for me. It’s hard because when these types of people bestow attention on you, you feel so special. You feel worthy and like you are important. The problem becomes when they take that attention away. All of a sudden, you feel like nothing. You try to impress them with everything you do over and over again. But why should you have to? In a friendship, shouldn’t your friend be accepting of how you are and never make you feel like less? Shouldn’t it be a 50/50 relationship?

I finally figured out that I wanted to be around people who are real and loving and caring. I wanted to be around people who would be there for me when I really needed them. I know we all need to put ourselves and our families first but what good is a friend if they aren’t there when you need them? Friends are supposed to be the family we choose. I didn’t want to hear fake compliments and shallow conversations anymore.

I honestly would rather be friendless than be friends with a self-centered person.

When We Change, Do Our Friendships Change?

Facebook keeps us connected with a lot of people we have met in our lives. I still have friends on Facebook from high school and college. And, honestly, it’s interesting to see where we end up.

Somehow, over the last few years, I’ve become completely separated from most of my friends from college. I had already separated from the friends I made at the first college I attended but now I’m not really in touch with the friends I had made at my second college as well.

When I look over the last 10 years and see the amount of friendships that have just faded, I wonder if it’s me. Is it that I’ve changed or that I haven’t kept in touch? Or is it that these friendships were never really solid in the first place and were more a matter of circumstance? Have I stayed in touch more with those people who I share a mutual interest with or was there something different that kept us connected?

We want to keep those around us that helps us be better people. And when we don’t feel good about ourselves around some, we choose to give ourselves some space. But when we look at the past, it is sad to realize that there are so many people we have walked away from or that have walked away from us.

Could we have done something differently? Could I have done something differently? Would I have wanted to do something differently? Would it have to take a sacrifice of self in order to maintain these friendships? Or just working through difficult times with certain people?

How much of ourselves do we have to give in order to stay friends with people who we have outgrown or who have outgrown us? Is it worth it? When I see so many people I know still socializing and celebrating each other’s life events (thanks completely to Facebook), I definitely do wonder if I missed out.

I know I need to focus on the people who are currently in my life and continue to work on those relationships. I don’t want to take them for granted and there is a reason that they are in my life now. I don’t want to dwell on what could have, should have, would have been.

But every now and then, I do wonder.

Someone I Love

In my last post, I talked about passion versus validation. Now I want to talk about something related but in a different way.

When I was dating, I figured out something: 1) I could either be the person that I thought the other person would be attracted to or 2) I could become the person that I would have found attractive. I know that, growing up, we focus a lot on what makes us cool and popular. We want to be wanted by the person we are attracted to (and maybe even the people we aren’t attracted to). We like the things that we think others will want us to like and we do the things that everyone else does. But is this really us? Do we respect ourselves? If we were on the opposite side, would we want to date the person we are?

This is something that even relates to my life today as a wife and mother. Stepping into that role really messes with your self-esteem in some ways. I mean, doesn’t long-term get boring? Especially after you’ve had a kid? Now, you’re tired and have gained weight and don’t have the same social life going anymore. How can you get your significant other to even notice you?

My insecurity levels have definitely gone up after having a kid. I feel like my husband has continued to move forward career wise and can do a lot more things than I can at the moment. Being stagnant hasn’t been the best place for me. The feeling was worse right before and after I had my baby. A few months after the pregnancy, it started getting better. But I still felt really dependent and kept wondering if he was still even attracted to me or if he still loved me.

I hate that feeling! I don’t like questioning how he feels about me and I really despise myself for thinking negatively. I realized that the problem wasn’t him. The problem was myself. I haven’t been attracted to myself. Not necessarily looks-wise only but also my personality. If I was someone else, I would never look twice because I’m emitting qualities that I am not crazy about.

So I’m going back to my dating mantra. Become the person you would be attracted to. Do things that make me feel good about myself. If I ever question how someone else feels about me, I know to tell myself that I’m being the best person I can be because I really do like who I am.

The only person that is responsible for making me feel good is myself. And I deserve to be with someone that really loves me. I’m lucky that I also have my husband and family and friends but the only person that is required to love me all the time is me. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Be someone I love.