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Self-esteem monsters

Why do I constantly feel that what I have to say doesn’t matter? I feel like people, even my friends, don’t want to listen to my stories or even hear my voice; that it bores them, makes them feel uncomfortable, that they’d rather talk to someone else. As a result, I always get super self-conscious in situations where I have to speak in front of people, even in one-on-one situations when I’m telling a story. I always rush my words and end up not saying half of what I wanted to say for fear of boring people. I feel like everything I do is wrong: the way I walk, the way I talk, my words, my actions, even my facial expressions. I feel so inappropriate half the time. I constantly censor myself in every way imaginable and as a result look anxious, tense and insecure. 

It gets so bad that I often feel that no one genuinely likes me, that even the friends that I have only hang out with me because a) they pity me b) they have nothing better to do. It’s really really painful. I obviously understand that objectively speaking this might not be true, but the trauma I experienced growing up speaks for itself and tells me this is exactly how it is.

I wish I could see my good qualities. I know that in theory I have some, but when I’m being honest with myself I can’t come up with a single thing I like about myself. When people approach me and show interest in me, I’m deeply suspicious. I never truly believe any compliments I get but even the smallest unintentional slight seems to define me forever.

Is there a way out of this? I want to get out of this self-destructive mindset but how can I really know if someone is being genuine with me? Or else I spend my life feeling like a monster.

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24 thoughts on “Self-esteem monsters

  1. Learn to differentiate between friends and acquaintances. I have 6 really close friends. They care about everything I say/do and vice versa. Everyone else doesn’t matter. If you find 1 amazing friend, be thankful. You can still hang out with others, but just find ones that care and keep them close.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to know who really cares and who doesn’t when your own judgement is clouded by your past experiences/family issues etc. It’s more like I know it’s in my head, but the emotional trauma overtakes and passes it’s own judgements. Thank you for reading!

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  2. Well I’ve never been bored by your voice on here. 100 plus other folk seem to agree from what i can see.

    Mostly I’ve found that in time we stop giving a toss what people think …things get easier then.

    Unless of course u r dead boring…but i very much doubt that…

    πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Low self esteem sucks. I do agree that with age and time we tend to not care as much what other people think. Quite often the way we perceive others may not be the reality of how they perceive us, rather a corrupted self critical version we apply to ourselves from an imagined perception.
    Have you read anything on external and internal locus of control? It is an interesting theory on how many humans feel and think based on our environmental influences rather then our own authentic selves.
    Brave post. Thanks for sharing your truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I must say I’ve never read that. I totally agree with you, I know it’s my own damaged perception but I find it really hard to differentiate between objective and subjective realities when it comes to these issues. Thank you for your comment! πŸ™‚

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      1. I think as humans we are socialised to feel and think based on external cues/people/things/events so I don’t think you’re alone or damaged in the slightest.
        Reality is complex hey? Is there ever really an impartial or objective reality?
        All I know is when I am flat I tend to be more self conscious, self critical and I experience my emotions as reactive to others behaviours. When I am happier and content I am not as enslaved by others behaviour and am detached from their possible perceptions of me.
        I wish for you peace and self love.
        Jordan.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. That’s true, I also tend to react much more strongly if I’m simply not in a good mood that day or if I’m in environment/circumstances that cause anxiety to me. However, I’m looking for ways to be independent of these sort of things and basically stop caring so much about what anyone might think. Thank you, same to you! πŸ™‚

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      3. Stuff what people think!

        There is a pretty quote by that Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao Tze

        ‘The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white;
        Neither need you do anything except be yourself”.

        😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s something i’ve had to deal with throughout my life, though less so in recent years. You kind of realise what you have to say is as important as anything others may say.
    It’s something you work through as you go in life i think. πŸ™‚

    What still affects me is when someone talks over me or disregards me and changes subject. Those people are arseholes and you can remove them from your life.
    Don’t let anyone get you down or make you feel less than others

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly, thank you for your insights! And yeah, when someone disregards me, changes subject or just doesn’t pay any attention it makes me furious. The least bit of kindness we can show to another is listening to them when they want to share something πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It may be a lack of respect from your social circle – if you don’t feel heard maybe it’s because they’re not listening, not just because of your anxiety. I have seen these situations quite a few times and I never consider the person getting ignored just be anxious but the people who talk over them just bloody obnoxious.

    Your friends want to know your opinion, stories and silly jokes – that’s what makes you you, and that’s what makes people like others. I for one definitely find your words incredibly impactful and if you were to put it down verbally, you wouldn’t see me talking over you. Maybe you should reevaluate some relationships because friends ought to make you feel valued and it ought to be innate and easy.

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    1. First of all, thank you for a very insightful and encouraging comment! πŸ™‚

      Well, my friends do listen to me and do not talk over me, but for some reason I still feel like they’re bored when I talk to them sometimes. Like they look away for too long or just don’t display too much interest on their faces. The thing is, I do get pretty anxious when I tell stories because I almost feel obliged to keep them interested, but the anxiety affects my way of speaking and makes it less congruent. So I’m not really sure where the real problem lies, but I still feel like it’s more me and my irrational fears and caring too much about what people think. Which is always an issue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw I’m glad to hear it! I’m thinking it is easier for you to change your perspective than change others. Then for sure, it’s a self-esteem thing, if you believe what you are saying is interesting (which I reckon it is) then you know it’s worth saying and worth being heard. But I hear you! It’s also a culture where maintaining someone’s attention is harder than it used to be I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess so, yes.. sometimes I really wish we’d all just leave our smartphones and come back to living simply for a while without all these distractions. Then again, it’d have to be a communal effort which is very unlikely to occur.

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  6. Some months ago, I was really struggling with this as well. One of my friends said to me: Don’t rob the world of what you have to offer it. And that got me really thinking, what DO I have to offer the world. My list was short. Embarrassingly short. But I continue to cling to those couple things that I have to offer the world, and I don’t hide myself away. Yeah, I’m weird and socially awkward and I may be a bit too honest for some people. But to those who really matter, my handful of close friends, they appreciate me for being me. Don’t sell yourself short or compromise the depths within you for fear of boring others. Say and write what’s in your heart and mind. To those that really matter, they will appreciate it too, and you will feel better about not compromising your own self. (And PS like it was mentioned above, I personally thoroughly enjoy your blog, it’s one of my top five favorites to see in my feed.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for this comment! It’s incredibly encouraging and a real honour to hear that you enjoy my blog πŸ™‚ I know you’re right, I should believe that there is something that I can offer to the world and that my life and presence in this world is not some sort of mistake.. I’m trying my best to allow myself to be myself and speak my mind, although I get very anxious and awkward when I do it (at least in my mind). It’s just really hard when you were told growing up that you’re not good enough multiple times, to realise that it isn’t the truth. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. god don’t I know it! I spent my entire growing up years never measuring up to my parents standards (starting with the fact I am a girl not a boy), followed by 20 years of marriage to a man who I was never good enough for or did anything right for. I am working to overcome this lifelong set of lies that is so ingrained in my heart and mind. It’s a daily struggle that I choose to fight for. You ARE worth it. You DO have value. What you have to share IS important. Necessary even. Face those fears and lies with the light of Truth.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for this. Really appreciate it. Today I was thinking about how apologetic I am about who I am. Even my way of speaking is apologetic when I have done nothing wrong.. So now I’m figuring out how to take my existence as a gift and not something to apologize for. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. (SORRY THIS ENDED UP BEING TOO LONG!!)
    I know this feeling very well . I spent long years during school and the beginning of uni feeling like complete crap. Together with body image problems, family problems and bad friendships, at some point in life I just started believing I was a wrong thing. Ugly, boring, annoying, too curious, too strong-minded, too excited, sometimes too moody. Not funny, not interesting, no nothing. Not enough. Sometimes I would start saying something and in the middle I would just think “why am I even talking about this?” and I would just stop because obviously better to stay quiet. I’m probably just talking annoying things again. It’s absurd how much I can see myself in your words.
    So first and foremost I want to say to you: YOU’RE AWESOME. Period. I don’t know you but I have read some of your posts and they all show a sensibility and a view of things that could only belong to a nice and interesting person. I know that hearing someone saying this doesn’t help much because, well, you are the one who need to feel like this, but I want you to know that you do have a special soul inside you and it wants to be seen.

    Now, about having a way out… I am much more confident about who I am now, it’s even crazy to remember how I used to think, but honestly, sometimes I still struggle. Sometimes I still go talk with a friend and the first thing I say is ‘I know this is stupid but’. It is a fight that has been going on for years and I’m pretty sure you already know that it’s a slow process and a hard one.
    I’m not even sure when exactly I began to change but I believe it was a group of little random things that together gave me a new perspective. Looking at photos of when I was little and seeing how confident I was and how I missed feeling like that, reading other’s experiences, reading lots of self-help things because hey, maybe someone has something to say that will help, seeing people being themselves and not being afraid. I just really wanted to be like that too.
    So one day I promissed myself that I would start to try really hard to like myself more. I picked up a cute journal(because why not), and wrote in big letters: RULE NΒΊ1 – OWN YOURSELF!
    That meant being unapologetic about who I was, to stop hiding beause I felt wrong, to just embrace who I am.
    Below it I wrote to myself “I know sometimes you will feel like you have nothing good about yourself, but that is not true, you know it. I also know that you will only remember the bad things on the bad days, so let me just give you something that you can’t say is wrong: You’re unique. YOU’RE UNIQUE. Isn’t that awesome? This is a very positive thing that you can’t take away from yourself. No matter what you think about yourself, you still are a unique person, with unique things to offer.” And then a lot of other things that I knew would help me feel better.
    Obviously it didn’t change me, but one day here, one day there, I would remember this and would go around thinking “own yourself, own yourself, own yourself, be you and everything will be ok”.
    And you know, it did help some days. Maybe making your own ‘mantra’ may help too? Make a promise to yourself, even if it seems silly and like nothing will change. Just saying it to yourself can be a big help.

    I don’t really know what I’m trying to say anymore because I’m a mess of thoughts about this, but I want you to know that you’re important and what you say is worth listening, no matter what others say. You’re enough.
    Sometimes you will have bad friends, and you need to admit it and do something about it, and sometimes it is all about how you perceive yourself, how you feel about yourself, and you still will need to do something about it. And you can always talk to them too! Be honest about how you feel, and maybe they will help you see things in a new light!
    And if you feel like people don’t want to hear your voice, make it LOUDER. (unless you are being disrespectful, what I guess is not the case)

    And sorry for making this so long!! I just feel really sad when I see people feeling like this about themselves, because I really wish people could feel as special as they are.
    And sorry If I lost myself in the middle, there’s too much I would like to say and my line of thought got really messy lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for sharing and for your encouraging words! On the contrary, I appreciate you taking your time to write the comment and share your experience with me πŸ™‚ your tips are very helpful and I’ll definitely keep them in mind.

      Personally, I go through periods when I feel good about myself and periods when I feel absolutely crap and can’t see a single good trait in me. When I wrote this post, I was going through a very challenging experience where I went away somewhere for 5 DAYS with lots of people I barely knew or didn’t know at all and it’s been so long since I’ve done anything like this that I majorly panicked and just wanted to disappear somewhere but I couldn’t. I did make friends there and they were lovely but I realise that in situations where I’m far from home and don’t have any “old friends” around I feel extremely vulnerable and insecure. However, it was a good learning experience in the end and I’m definitely in the process of learning to “own myself” πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much again!!

      Liked by 1 person

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