I was recently told something that I thought was profound. It made such perfect sense that I grapple with why I didn’t think of it. I was told that I tend to form relationships with people who feed into my self-talk. What is self-talk? Well, it can be that self-doubt that a lot of people have, or it can be the great things you tell yourself you are. Some people will question if they have done something good enough, but in the end, they know they did do a good job. Other people, it wouldn’t matter how well they do something, they will see only their failures. I don’t think of it as a self-esteem problem, as much as a confidence issue. It is more comfortable to surround yourself with people who view you how you view you. I know, right?
Those who view themselves as outgoing and professional will generally have an easy time befriending others who view them that way. If you are one who, like me, can easily spot your own shortcomings, can find the smallest mistakes in what you do, you will find that you tend to form relationships easier with those who are also quick to find and point out your flaws. Not everyone who you befriend does this. You will have relationships where the other person will praise you, but you will be mistrusting of their compliments and suspicious of their motives. It isn’t until you change your self-talk when you realize how awesome you are, that you are able to believe the good others see in you.
Over the past few years, I have dug in, and I have been working on what I think I need. I have spent endless hours reflecting on where my life has gone, what I have done, mistakes in my past, and my expectations for the future. I think it does make for a little bit of a lonely life right now, but I am happier because I know I will only settle with relationships where the other person views me how I view me. I will not allow another person spend their time finding everything wrong with me… filling up notebooks or keeping logs on how I have caused disappointment to them.
I have recently started hanging out with someone who does see me the way I see myself (on a good day!). I haven’t had a best friend since my military days, but I think I have one. She is honest, friendly, genuine, down to earth, and you know what? She likes me just how I am. She sees the good in me where others only saw bad. She inspires me to be more and be better, without telling me I am not enough. For the first time there is someone I can call on the phone, and if I want to talk forever, she will talk to me for that long. We are as opposite as you get, but our moral compass and core values are right on the mark. We have very different backgrounds but still, have so much in common. So, thank you, friend.