Loving the thing you hate about yourself

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    Feb 17, 2012 1:22 PM GMT
    I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day, in a way bearing my soul about some hard times I'd had in the recent past, and together we reached an epiphany for me that he said actually helped him as well.

    I told my friend that something that really irritates me about my personality is the fact that on the one hand I am so easy going about most things. 98% of life I'm ambivalent about, have no real opinion, and will really just go with the flow. In almost all ways I'm willing to be completely at peace with the world and the people in it just as it is. But on the other hand there are is that small handful of things I actually care about... and my whole being pours into that small handful of things.

    That's especially true of relationships: I don't have a middle ground really. Either you're a pretty ok guy and I like you well enough, or I love you like you're Helen of Troy. There's nothing for me in the long distance between Peace and Passion. And I was telling my friend how irritating this tendency is in me... because in the rare occasion I feel anything romantic for someone, it has typically led to a lot of heartache because of how strongly I'll feel towards them.

    My friend said, "Larkin, you'll find your one true love... And then, you'll see that there is nothing wrong with loving intensely."

    Thinking about this for a day or two, I realized how powerful it was... and what a change in affected in me. So I told him so. I said, "You know what you said to me the other day was one of the most powerful things I've ever heard about myself. I often feel like that tendency in me is a burden. One of my biggest fears about dating is that I'll feel like too much... like I'll always be monitoring myself to make sure my heart isn't pouring out too quickly. But to think the opposite: that when I find the man I'm meant to have that I will feel exactly the opposite, and so will he - we will be delighted that I love him that much and pour out all of me for him... That was a powerful idea... and I'm glad I have it now."

    And he said that my restating it that way had empowered him as well.

    ***

    I'm wondering if any of y'all have a similar experience? Of finding something you really don't like about yourself and having it change into something powerful and positive? I know there's the trite nonsense about "just love yourself, warts and all" but that's not something people generally do or really believe while they say it. It's very hard to love your warts, even if you're pretending you do.

    But sometimes, as with me above, you can. Anyone else found the warts they like now? icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 1:46 PM GMT

    "I'm wondering if any of y'all have a similar experience? Of finding something you really don't like about yourself and having it change into something powerful and positive?"


    Yes!
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    Feb 17, 2012 2:47 PM GMT
    I used to hate my lack of emotions. Growing up how I did (one event in specific) gave me the ability to turn my emotions off like a switch. I used to think it was a terrible thing that I could go from liking someone to treating them as they never existed in an instant. I thought there was something wrong with me for the longest time.

    I would see people fight then get some kind of apology and things would get better. But when I would see that I would think to myself, if that was me and they apologized the way they did, I wouldn't buy into it so easily. They would have to do something amazing to get my sympathy back.

    What I came to realize is that those lack of emotions aren't a terrible thing, in fact it helps me move forward. Don't get me wrong, when something terrible happens I grieve, get sad, etc... just like everyone else. I just don't wallow in it for days,weeks,etc...
    I am usually reminded of this terrible/amazing quality when I am involved with someone. I had one dude who "almost cheated" icon_rolleyes.gif on me. Long story short, we were seeing each other, I saw him at a bar making out with some other guy, confronted him then left. He tried to apologize etc...but he wasn't even getting the time of day from me, I cut that shit out instantly. He wanted another chance cause they only kissed blah blah blah but I was already done. It didn't matter how (whatever great quality he had) he was, I flat out kicked him to the curb. Its not like he didn't exist to me but he was just another face in the crowd. A useless face, but still.

    My friends thought it was weird too. You know how friends get

    Friends: "do you need to talk about it?" "You going to be alright?" "Do you need anything?"

    Me: Nope, I'm good. When's practice? icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 3:44 PM GMT
    Larkin saidI told my friend that something that really irritates me about my personality is the fact that on the one hand I am so easy going about most things. 98% of life I'm ambivalent about, have no real opinion, and will really just go with the flow. In almost all ways I'm willing to be completely at peace with the world and the people in it just as it is. But on the other hand there are is that small handful of things I actually care about... and my whole being pours into that small handful of things.

    That's especially true of relationships: I don't have a middle ground really. Either you're a pretty ok guy and I like you well enough, or I love you like you're Helen of Troy. There's nothing for me in the long distance between Peace and Passion.

    TheGuyNextDoorI grew up hating certain parts of my body, knowing I was different than most and it really bothered me. Once I grew up and embraced my shape.. reworked some of it,, accepted the rest, I'm now, fine with the outcome

    ClaystationI would see people fight then get some kind of apology and things would get better. But when I would see that I would think to myself, if that was me and they apologized the way they did, I wouldn't buy into it so easily. They would have to do something amazing to get my sympathy back.

    What I came to realize is that those lack of emotions aren't a terrible thing, in fact it helps me move forward. Don't get me wrong, when something terrible happens I grieve, get sad, etc... just like everyone else. I just don't wallow in it for days,weeks,etc...

    lol.. I guess I'm more complicated as I can see all the above 3 in me! icon_sad.gif
  • kolkii

    Posts: 147

    Feb 17, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    not to be mean as I do think you mean well, but that's pure BS on a Malcolm Gladwell "only $9.99 softcover" scale...

    if this were the true case, we'd all give up our gym memberships and coddle each others' flabs..
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:06 PM GMT
    I used to meet all kinds of men I found to be hugely attractive, but they told me, " You'e such a nice guy...." and that they didn't feel anything more.

    I used to kick myself thinking, "Why do I always pick the ones that don't feel the same way about me?"

    Then one day, out of curiosity and some self exploration, and the idea that if I couldn't have a wonderful relationship with them, why then maybe someone else could! After all, I cared enough about them to want to be with them, so if I really cared about them I'd want to see them happy.

    So I introduced two men I was yearning over to each other. Two years later they found me walking alone at Third Beach and both came over, hugged me right there and said I was partly responsible for their happiness together.

    I was floored and the rest of the afternoon was electric, a million thoughts going through my head as I spent the day alone.

    Ten years later and 1 year or so into my relationship with Bill, we ran into them on one of the Gulf Islands. They were still together and happy.

    -Doug


    PS Ever since then, (before I met Bill) men I found attractive I tried to introduce to each other. My love for them was unrequited, but that no longer made me sad or made me feel that I was some kind of loser for liking guys that didn't like me that way.

    PPS After finding Bill, to this day, men I think are wonderful I always try to introduce to each other.







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    Feb 17, 2012 4:23 PM GMT
    I can be both empathetic and extremely cold. I have empathy for animals who are abused, for people who are downtrodden, and for soldiers killed or injured. But in personal relationships I can become quite detached.

    Several years ago a friend and I decided to start a business. I was good friends with him and his wife. We shared many of the same hobbies and had the same opinions about a lot of things. He was very successful in many things.

    We decided that in starting the business, I would focus on what I was best at, and he would focus on what he was best at. After starting to build it, he started to complain that I was having more fun and his effort was increasingly being replaced by complaints. We had almost no arguments and I felt no real anger, but I started doing more of what he was going to do. We got the business to a point to sell it, so I'd say it was a success, but probably would have been more successful if he had followed through better. After that our contact ended.

    I never felt hostility towards him, just mild disappointment. My main thought that I had erred in misjudging him. In that sense, I like my attitude about not blaming others but taking responsibility and being accountable to myself. That has served me well. But the other thing, even though I felt no hostility towards him, I think even sub-consciously, I felt no regret at the friendship ended. Just moved on and didn't give it much of a thought.

    I've seen that in myself in other situations. I never have any regrets when changing interests leads to friendships ending. Kind of a cold attitude.
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:35 PM GMT
    I have something similar. A love and tenderness vacuum in my family growing up makes me very sensitive to anybody I might fall for. I'll probably go all in with anyone I fall in love with and get my heart broken when they can't handle those levels of complete honesty and emotional intimacy.
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:37 PM GMT
    For most of my life I have hated myself for my appearance. I have hated myself. I have never had any sense of self-worth. For me, that powerful moment happened a couple of months ago when after all the changes that have happened in my life the past year (not just the physical) I looked in the mirror and realized for the first time that I am not a monster.
    It may sound crazy, but it was life changing.

  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Feb 17, 2012 4:48 PM GMT
    kolkii saidnot to be mean as I do think you mean well, but that's pure BS on a Malcolm Gladwell "only $9.99 softcover" scale...

    if this were the true case, we'd all give up our gym memberships and coddle each others' flabs..


    Curious: have you seen Larkin's "before" pics?

    Also, to paraphrase a well-known text: all the guys above have gained the strength to change what they can, the serenity to accept what they cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference. That applies whether they're dealing with personality traits or physical tendencies; they're all still working at being the best they can be, but now they know where to focus their efforts. It's not quite the same as plopping down on the couch and saying "yup, I'm fat and cranky, come love me anyway".
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    Feb 17, 2012 4:57 PM GMT




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    Feb 17, 2012 5:35 PM GMT
    Larkin, as I've said before, you have wisdom beyound your years. Oh the man that wins your heart.

    As for me, I have the uncanny ability to be empathic to the suffering of others. It has always been such a drain that at times it blocks my ability to see joy. At the same time, I find few people seem to have the ability to stand in someone elses pain. At the risk of sounding masochistic, I have found a joy in that.

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    Feb 17, 2012 5:44 PM GMT
    TriAth said, " I find few people seem to have the ability to stand in someone elses pain. At the risk of sounding masochistic, I have found a joy in that."

    As have I, which led me unerringly down the road into volunteering in Palliative Care.

    admiring you,

    -Doug
  • mizu5

    Posts: 2599

    Feb 17, 2012 6:03 PM GMT
    I'm the opposite. I used to love my eccentricites and weirdness. Now I'm scared I'm pushing people away more,

    I already push everyone away because I won't let anyone love me.

    though... I've gotten over some of my physical flaws recently. kinda.
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:05 PM GMT
    meninlove said TriAth said, " I find few people seem to have the ability to stand in someone elses pain. At the risk of sounding masochistic, I have found a joy in that."

    As have I .......


    Doug,

    That comes through in many of your postings.
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:12 PM GMT
    mizu5 saidI'm the opposite. I used to love my eccentricites and weirdness. Now I'm scared I'm pushing people away more,

    I already push everyone away because I won't let anyone love me.

    though... I've gotten over some of my physical flaws recently. kinda.


    Mizu5 - not sure what physical flaws you felt you had. You're a pretty cute kid. And from seeing some of your posts over time, you got an alright mind as well. Stay true to yourselficon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 6:13 PM GMT
    All the time. I've learned so much from myself it's mind bending.

    I come off jokingly but sometimes I am downright high strung from the way I was raised. Since I've learned this I've turned it around and have begun to help people understand that that's not the way they need to live also. A good friend of mine has anger issues, much like I used to... and I'm helping her healthily work through them rather than overreact. It's taking a lot of energy, but it's so worth it in the end to be mild mannered.
  • disasterpiece

    Posts: 2991

    Feb 17, 2012 7:48 PM GMT
    It's kinda funny, because I've always felt the same. I'm a very very easy going guy, and my roommate once notice that I'd laugh at only having 10 hours before handing in a 15 pages paper that I had not started yet, but I'd flip shit at the single idea of falling in love so hard again and wrecking myself against a lack of reciprocity...

    The thing is, I've always (and until very lately) considered this as a flaw, especially in today's society. I felt like the way I loved is outdated and would've fitted more in an epic middle-aged love quest...

    I've never thought of it as a strenght, until I find the one who can handle it, and make me feel that it's worth it, that I'm not doing too much, that can dissipate all my worries and just let me love as I can. icon_neutral.gif

    Meh... Thing is, does he exist ? And will I ever meet him ?
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    Feb 17, 2012 8:12 PM GMT
    I used to hate the fact that I love being aroused constantly and always tried to find outlets to release it which I always hated going oh man why am I doing this. But at the end of the day I realized you know what when I'm sitting there afterwards I'm never ashamed of what has happened. Going along with that I easily divide sex and my emotional feelings toward someone and it really irritates me sometimes but I know that now the two things I dislike work perfectly together (my constant need to fulfill sexual desires and division of sex and emotions).

    It didn't bode well with my ex during an open relationship but it's who I am and I'm sure I'm not the only one out there like this. So the last year I've learned to love the thing I used to hate. icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
    I hate having ADD. For one, it sucks trying to read something. And by sucks, I mean really impossible. I cant recall the last time I read a book that had over 80 pages in it.

    Second, its hard for me to listen to a conversation with other people talking around me. It doesnt matter how intimate the setting is, focusing on the person in front of me while they are talking is damn near impossible when others are talking around me.

    Third, I always feel like people are giving me a pass for having ADD. Yea I get it, it is a learning disability. But I cant help but feel like there are times that I would get into a program because people have cut me slack and taken the spot from someone who worked harder to get in, just cause they have an easier time reading and paying attention.
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    Feb 17, 2012 9:31 PM GMT
    I hate how emotional I am, but I get pretty good songs out of it icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 17, 2012 9:42 PM GMT
    Claystation saidI used to hate my lack of emotions. Growing up how I did (one event in specific) gave me the ability to turn my emotions off like a switch. I used to think it was a terrible thing that I could go from liking someone to treating them as they never existed in an instant. I thought there was something wrong with me for the longest time.

    I would see people fight then get some kind of apology and things would get better. But when I would see that I would think to myself, if that was me and they apologized the way they did, I wouldn't buy into it so easily. They would have to do something amazing to get my sympathy back.

    What I came to realize is that those lack of emotions aren't a terrible thing, in fact it helps me move forward. Don't get me wrong, when something terrible happens I grieve, get sad, etc... just like everyone else. I just don't wallow in it for days,weeks,etc...
    I am usually reminded of this terrible/amazing quality when I am involved with someone. I had one dude who "almost cheated" icon_rolleyes.gif on me. Long story short, we were seeing each other, I saw him at a bar making out with some other guy, confronted him then left. He tried to apologize etc...but he wasn't even getting the time of day from me, I cut that shit out instantly. He wanted another chance cause they only kissed blah blah blah but I was already done. It didn't matter how (whatever great quality he had) he was, I flat out kicked him to the curb. Its not like he didn't exist to me but he was just another face in the crowd. A useless face, but still.

    My friends thought it was weird too. You know how friends get

    Friends: "do you need to talk about it?" "You going to be alright?" "Do you need anything?"

    Me: Nope, I'm good. When's practice? icon_biggrin.gif


    I have the exact opposite of this. My emotions are so effing strong it's hard to deal with!!
  • Trepeat

    Posts: 546

    Feb 18, 2012 12:50 AM GMT
    I alternate between loving and hating my default sense of detachment. Despite how much I interact invarious situations, I almost always tend to feel more like an obersver than a partîcipant. I love the moments where I become so totally engrossed in whating Im doing that I actually feel present and fully engaged.

    Another thing I alternate between appreciating and despising is my emotional temperance. For the most part, my emotions just dont seem to run as high or low as others do. It makes me seem like a cold person, even though I do feel really deeply.
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    Feb 18, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    Claystation saidI used to hate my lack of emotions. Growing up how I did (one event in specific) gave me the ability to turn my emotions off like a switch. I used to think it was a terrible thing that I could go from liking someone to treating them as they never existed in an instant.


    Hmmm I am ponderful.

    Claystation saidLong story short, we were seeing each other, I saw him at a bar making out with some other guy, confronted him then left. He tried to apologize etc...but he wasn't even getting the time of day from me, I cut that shit out instantly. He wanted another chance cause they only kissed blah blah blah but I was already done. It didn't matter how (whatever great quality he had) he was, I flat out kicked him to the curb.


    icon_idea.gif This was how I did in high school. I was really afraid of being outed or made fun of, I was always in full armor, ready to punish anyone who made a joke about me. When some quasi-friends started disrespecting me one day, I cut off all ties from them immediately and didn't look back. Emotions turned off for a long while. For me, I think it's about vulnerability.. needing to block off the bad feelings because I couldn't take them all at once, and by the time I let the shields down, I didn't care so much and was about to process it.

    It only happens with me in personal matters, not other types of grief. I've grown away from that since then. Not completely tho.

    I guess the thing I realized wasn't so bad was showing people when I'm hurt. It was the be-all-and-end-all in public school, but as an adult, I think it's a good sign when I can cry in front of someone.

    And as for everyone, we start hating that we're gay but as we get older we see some advantages to it.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Feb 19, 2012 1:21 AM GMT
    SkinnyBitch saidAnd as for everyone, we start hating that we're gay but as we get older we see some advantages to it.


    ...or, to put it another way, It Gets Better.

    Seriously. It's become cliché to say that, but it's true: as you get older, you become much better at handling difficult situations.