This morning I tweeted to my friend Silagh that I was having a difficult time coming up with my second “90 in 90” post topic because I have a hard time talking about myself. In a stroke of genius she suggested I talk about that very thing. “Great,” I thought, “now how do I go about doing that?” A lot of introspection, a few miles of walking, a dozen sheets of notebook paper, and I didn’t come up with a dissertation on self worth, but I did learn a bit about myself and that’s more than worth it to me.
Difficulty in talking about myself stems from a few areas and whether or not my concerns are unfounded, they are very real to me. The biggest reason I have a hard time talking about myself is because after countless experiences of being told that my thoughts or opinions are invalid, worthy of mockery or that I was just flat out ignored by the person I was trying to open up to I’ve come to realize that most people genuinely don’t care to hear what I have to say about myself, or about anything. They’re either too busy with whatever they’re doing at the moment or have decided that I’m not worth their time. In short, that I don’t matter. Every instance of being written off causes those feelings of inadequacy to come rushing back. Why would I want to inflict that on myself?
I want to matter. I think everyone does, at least to some extent. As someone with a perennial difficulty making friends I realize my challenges in having a conversation about myself also stem from a deep seated fear of rejection and losing what little semblance of a relationship I do have with the person I’m speaking to. It hurts knowing that you don’t matter enough to someone for them to engage in a conversation about what’s on your mind, but when you’ve got so little to work with, you do everything you can to maintain what you’ve got. If that means being ignored, belittled or put in my place, I suck it up, because, after all, crummy friends are better than no friends, right? Therein lies my problem. Because enough people have effectively told me “you’re not good enough,” I’ve started to accept it.
I can’t remember where I read it, but someone once said, “Only when the pain of same is greater than the pain of change will we act.” The pain of same, having tertiary relationships at best with no real trusted friends, is something I’ve become accustomed to. I don’t like it, but the alternative, attempting to speak out, possibly get rejected and losing the “friendships” I do have is terrifying. Rejection hurts. A lot. They say that if you do something over and over again it gets easier, but for me, rejection never gets any easier. When repeated attempts at building friendships go nowhere or end up with me being taken advantage of, it’s no wonder I have self esteem issues. It’s time to make a change.
Everyone wants a confident, positive friend. I’m not currently fitting either of those criteria very well and publishing this post has me petrified about the potential outcome. After all, with the speed of social media to spread any potential gaffes and Google caching this page for the rest of time, anything I say will be out there to come back and bite me. Forever. Regardless of the end result, taking the time to reflect has been extremely cathartic and enlightening. I’m a long way from where I want to be, but I’m a lot more confident in myself than when I woke up today. Hopefully this post will prove to be a much needed step in the right direction. Ultimately, I don’t really want to talk about myself. I want to engage in conversations and establish meaningful relationships. I’ve always known that I’ve been good enough. Now it’s up to other people to realize that for themselves. So, what would you like to talk about?