Something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately is my identity. I’m constantly trying to figure out new ways to learn things about myself and my behaviors and why I think or act a certain way in different situations. I never stop questioning myself, which has been both a blessing and a burden. The other day, my friends and I were talking about this guy who had a crush on me. I said something about how I was surprised about it because we are both so different in almost every aspect. One of my close friends, Alyssa, said she believes that one of the reasons he was attracted to me was because I already know who I am.
When Alyssa said that, it immediately gave me pause. I thought it was ironic because over the past few months, all I’ve been doing is trying to figure out who I am. Here I am thinking that I need to find myself when the people around me believe that my self-discovery journey is one that has already been complete. It was interesting to me that my inner battle and struggle with finding myself didn’t resonate with the people around me.
I think one thing that coincides with knowing yourself is knowing your worth, and this has probably been the biggest struggle for me over the past few months (well, really, just in life in general). In the past, I’ve been described as a doormat. People think I’m too nice. I rarely ever say ‘no.’ I suck at confrontation, and I’d rather avoid conflict (can’t we all just get along?). Since I’ve been in my twenties, I’ve been able to better find my voice, and if something makes me extremely uncomfortable, I won’t hesitate to say so, but at the same time, I’m a people-pleaser, and I’ll be the first to admit that about myself. I want everyone to like me, and I hate leaving arguments or small tiffs open-ended.
>>> I’m the kind of person that will give people compliments all day, but when someone says something nice about me, I deny it before thanking them.
>>> I’m the kind of person that will give a friend advice, and if they were to repeat the same advice back to me, I wouldn’t be able to follow it.
>>> I’m the kind of person who has an argument with someone and will almost immediately take fault in fear of them hating me if I continue to argue.
>>> I’m the kind of person who will exhaust myself trying to meet the needs of others while forgetting my own needs in the process.
I’m beginning to realize how toxic some of these behaviors are. I’ve noticed that I let others dictate the way I feel about myself. I listen and watch for reactions to the things I do or say. I’m constantly seeking approval. I have a sanguine compulsive temperament when it comes to inclusion, and having identified this about myself has helped me recognize the reasoning behind some of my behaviors.
On one hand, being sanguine compulsive means that:
I’m a people person.
I remain optimistic in most situations.
I have an upbeat personality.
I love spontanaeity and tend to live in the ‘now.’
On the other hand, this also means:
Being away from people for too long gives me anxiety.
I’ll do whatever it takes to make people like me, including taking on bad behavior.
I have a strong fear of rejection.
I’ll prioritize socializing over tasks that I need to complete.
I’ve allowed people to treat me poorly, resulting in a loss of confidence and the constant questioning of ‘What can I do to make them like me?’ I let my self-esteem and self-worth deteriorate because of my hunger for the attention of people who couldn’t see my worth. It would be so easy to blame others, but the only person at fault is myself. As the saying goes, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and truth be told, I allowed people to invade my brain and ultimately make me forget what I deserve and what I’m worth.
On the other side of that, I’m so lucky to have made some new friends who have brought such a positive light into my life. Just the other day, I was talking to them about how much my life has changed since I met them, and I’m honestly so grateful for it. It’s amazing how surrounding yourself with people who radiate positivity and build you up can make such a huge difference. It’s important to surround yourself with people who will remind you of your worth when you’ve temporarily forgotten.
When it comes to love, whether it’s romantic, friendly or self-love, you should never settle:
>>> Find a partner who shows that they love you through both their words and actions. Think of this quote: “We accept the love we think deserve.” Never settle for anything less than butterflies, stolen kisses, sweet surprises, inside jokes and true love.
>>> Spend time with friends who make you smile so much that your cheeks hurt. Identify the friends who add more good things to your life than bad. Be friends with the people who will answer your call at 2 in the morning because someone broke your heart. Be friends with the people who will drive hours to come get you when your tire blew out. Be friends with the people who are happy for you when you get good news rather than being jealous or hateful. Be friends with the people who expect nothing from you apart from good conversation, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and maybe a little wine.
>>> Be able to look at yourself in the mirror and truly love the person staring back at you. Remember: you decide your own happiness. Waiting for other people to make you happy is the easiest way to be unhappy.
Rid yourself of the people who cause you distress and bring you down. Life is way too short to spend your time being anything less than happy. Never forget that you are the determinant of your worth, and in the slightly altered words of Fifth Harmony, “Baby [you’re] worth it.”