The thing I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember has been relationships whether it was romantic relationships, family relationships or relationships with friends.
Growing up, I wasn’t the most popular kid in school. In fact, I remember when one of my classmates had a birthday party I was the only one out of the class of 24 who wasn’t invited. I experienced mild bullying and it felt like I struggled to connect with people. Fast forward to my 20s although I had a large social circle, there were times when I could be surrounded by people and feel completely alone.
This was driven by my need to be liked and get approval from others. It looked like when people liked me and approved of me, it raised my self-esteem. In romantic relationships, this led me to try and do anything to keep the relationship, which ironically was very unattractive and would push the other person away.
I thought the answer was therefore to be aloof and less caring. But as you can guess, that didn’t work either.
What I find now is that the most important relationship is the one I have with myself. As I’ve learned to truly love myself and truly be ok with who I am – not needing validation from anyone else – I’m able to give my all of my relationships without needing anything in return and also without feeling like a doormat.
Some years ago I recorded a podcast episode with Dicken Bettinger about How to Have Better Relationships with Anyone and it’s one of the most listened to episodes we got. Please check it out below:
With love and appreciation,
Coach and Author of Sweet Sharing – Rediscovering the REAL You