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Your self-effacement is not interesting.

(151 Posts)
GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:00:55

I'm housebound today so have been reading a lot of threads. This is a ThreadAboutThemAll. I'm up to here <gestures at forehead> with "little old me" type comments. If people think you're beautiful, own it. If you're too self-conscious to wear a bikini, do something about your lack of self-love. If someone's taking the piss, come on here for hints on what to say - and then say it.

Putting yourself down is, like shyness, quite selfish. You're prioritising your feelings about yourself over everybody else. I'm all for answering pleas for attention by giving attention, but it gets a bit wearing.

I'm not saying I've never been shy or down on myself. I often still am: I empathise. But, please, for crying out loud, make an effort to act positive about yourself! Or AIBU?

tectonicplates Sun 07-Aug-16 17:04:31

YABU. You have no idea what people have been through or what their background story is. Also the media are highly responsible for low self-esteem when it comes to body image.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sun 07-Aug-16 17:05:44

Yes, you are.

As women it's our job to life each other up and help each other out.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sun 07-Aug-16 17:06:15

Lift. Not life...

justinelibertine Sun 07-Aug-16 17:07:49


fuckyoucanceryoucuntingknob Sun 07-Aug-16 17:09:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsfuzzy Sun 07-Aug-16 17:09:26

every one is different, we all have a back ground good/bad/average it's hard to be positive sometimes and more so when you don't know the back story of someone's life, that's why posters come on here for a rant, to feel sad and share, have a laugh or just get a bit of empathy and cake .

AristotlesTrousers Sun 07-Aug-16 17:11:13

I empathise

Clearly not!

brambly Sun 07-Aug-16 17:13:40


I see where you're coming from, but overcoming an amalgam of cultural mores, potentially mediocre self esteem and awareness of the unattractiveness of arrogance is awfully easily said and not so easily done.

The line between charmingly self-effacing and whinging Eeyore is not that enormous - neither is the line between sunshiney "fabulosity" and being an arrogant twat. We are almost all predisposed to look more kindly upon people we feel "deserve" it, and instinctively most tend to feel that nobody deserves it less than the terminally arrogant.

Most people are keenly aware of this bias and play to it almost subconsciously.

Most people who've been given a whopping compliment about, for example, how gorgeous they are, and batted it off in a good-natured fashion, would be mortified to suddenly be lambasted about how their faux self-effacement was "boring" and how they should "just own it".

And really, anyone who says that someone responding to a huge compliment with "I know, right?" is viscerally more appealing than someone who chuckles something along the lines of "don't know about that" is almost certainly lying.

QueenLaBeefah Sun 07-Aug-16 17:13:52

Do we really want the whole world to turn into some kind of unbearable Kim Kardashian type person? Fuck that.

Lweji Sun 07-Aug-16 17:14:35

So, your prioritising your feelings about these threads and coming here to moan?
Instead of acting on it and read other threads or saying it directly to the OPs?
Will you do what you're told on this thread? grin

Lweji Sun 07-Aug-16 17:16:08

You're, obviously.

CrotchetQuaverMinim Sun 07-Aug-16 17:17:30

why should people have to pretend to be/feel/say something that they don't believe in, just to satisfy you? Yes, it might be irritating or depressing, but you can avoid reading it or listening to them if you want.

If someone chooses to be positive, more power to them; it probably helps them tremendously. But forcing someone to act like it, when they don't feel it, doesn't have the same effect - it just makes them deny their feelings further, or feel badly that they aren't positive, or feel that there is yet one more thing wrong with them. They have to wait until they can come to the conclusion themselves that they want to say/be positive about themselves for it to work. They might realise then that they feel better that way, but it has to come from them.

They might learn that they don't have to talk about it, or that you don't want to listen to them if they do, but that's a separate issue I think.

GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:18:51

Oh dear, IABU blush

I do have PTSD, depression and assorted other shit. I have to 'work on myself' every day. I'm more than willing to encourage other people, it just gets tiring when people seem fixated on what they can't do and their self-identified failings.

I was hopelessly shy when younger. An older woman gave me a stiff telling-off about being self-absorbed. As she said, everyone's got their own stuff to think about so why not focus on them instead of you?

It gave me a jolt. I talked it over with friends, concluded she was right, and apologised for my stroppy response (I can't actually remember how I responded, but it's fair guess I cried and told her she was wrong.)

GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:20:09

Heh, Lweji, I've done my best on some of the threads grin

I ended up flouncing around the kitchen, muttering, so thought I may as well post.

GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:25:00

The line between charmingly self-effacing and whinging Eeyore is not that enormous - neither is the line between sunshiney "fabulosity" and being an arrogant twat.

Yep. Very true.

I think there's a strong argument for 'faking it' in social situations. In a group, that might simply mean showing more interest in other people and what makes them tick. On a beach, it means accepting that nobody cares a tenth as much as you do about what you look like. And the correct response to "You look fabulous!" isn't this old thing, little old me - it's "Thank you! So do you, what a lovely [something]"

KittensWithWeapons Sun 07-Aug-16 17:25:19

You are being so, so unreasonable.

Fuck, I'm sorry that people like you find my shyness selfish. Believe me, it's not much fun for me either. I'm sorry if you also find my lack of self confidence to be selfish. It's pretty bloody difficult to live with, too.

There are about a million reasons for my shyness and lack of confidence. I'm sure you don't want to hear them though. Explaining them would probably come across as attention seeking and a bit wearing.

GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:25:34

blush And possibly not spamming one's own thread ...

alltouchedout Sun 07-Aug-16 17:26:34

I'm probably really badly misunderstanding you OP (and please do set me straight if I am!) but I'm really confused by what you're saying about shyness. I'm very shy naturally but I fake it til I make it (and usually I just fake it and never make it- I still feel ridiculously awkward and stupid and unlikable and mockable but it just doesn't show, apparently). I don't think I can do much to change how I feel, just how people perceive me. I get told I'm confident and friendly and so on but inside I am so not.
I've done the 'how awfully self absorbed to be so concerned with what others think of you and how crap you are' work over and over again but all that ever does is make me feel worse! I don't think I get what you mean. Help!

GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:27:32

I'm sorry you suffer debilitating shyness, Kittens. Glad it doesn't stop you speaking your mind on a forum. What steps have you been taking to feel more at ease socially?

APlaceOnTheCouch Sun 07-Aug-16 17:30:06

Ah, maybe you're having a bad day. I read one of those threads and it made be all happy inside because Mners were making a real effort to lift up the spirits of the OP.

You are right though about learning to graciously accept compliments rather than self-depreciating deflecting them. I think that's something as a culture we need to learn.

PurpleDaisies Sun 07-Aug-16 17:30:23

I was hopelessly shy when younger. An older woman gave me a stiff telling-off about being self-absorbed. As she said, everyone's got their own stuff to think about so why not focus on them instead of you?

You are incredibly lucky that that was all it took to get you over your shyness. For some people it is much much harder.

I can't understand how someone who has ptsd and depression seems totally oblivious to the fact you can't just snap yourself out of shyness or low self esteem. How would you feel if someone had started a thread entitled "your depression and ptsd are uninteresting", effectively telling people not to post annoy them on here any more?

PurpleDaisies Sun 07-Aug-16 17:30:35

About not annoy^

GarlicMistake Sun 07-Aug-16 17:31:43

Argh, touched, I know what you mean. Congrats on doing it flowers It means you're not inflicting your inner turmoil on innocent bystanders which, believe me, is wonderfully generous of you and something to add to your private list of "What's Great About Me".

The only thing that works for me is affirmations. I know, you feel like a total dickhead doing them at first! But it works. Even down to keeping a little notebook in your bag (or a file on your phone) of all the positive feedback you've had from other people.

marblestatue Sun 07-Aug-16 17:32:31

I don't agree that shyness or self-consciousness are about being self-absorbed. Not everyone can just snap out of it after a telling-off, although I'm glad it worked for you. If someone had done that to me it would have made me feel even worse, and wouldn't have helped to solve the problem at all. Likewise for being told to "choose to think positive", which of course usually people would if they could.

Sometimes it can take a very long time to find a strategy that works for you, which might not be the same as other people's.

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