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How do you have a relationship with yourself?(21 Posts)
I keep coming across this. Had my own break ups, turmoils, counselling, but this is the point I get back to. I'm interested to see others perspectives and if anyone else (perhaps who has also had low self esteem and high self expectations) has managed to really get to grips with this, and how?
Hard to explain, I think. After many years on the planet, and ditching 2 abusive marriages, lots of therapy, I am starting to quite like myself.
I think it's about actions, and getting a buzz from things you do, as opposed to things a partner does. You know how when you're really into someone you feel yourself light up when you're with them and the world seems full of possibilities, so as a result you spend quite a lot of time looking forward to seeing them? I think if you can get into that frame of mind about things you're going to do FOR YOU, with no necessary involvement from someone else, that is the equivalent having a relationship with yourself.
Madbuslady ...that sounds great. As a single mum who works full time, I look forward to time on my own but then feel empty so fill it with shopping or wine or trailing through the mumsnet pages...would love to have that self glow though!
Oh I fill my spare time with those things too. It only works if you plan future things you're going to do for yourself and actually do them, unfortunately.
Can you give some examples, MadBusLady? That really does sound great.
Well, it's only a silly example, but this past couple of months I have got it into my head that I want to get really, really fit and strong. Like considerably fitter than I ever have been in my whole life. I have some potential opportunities in the summer for some reasonably hard work. So I'm going to try and get fit for it. I am someone who hated PE and has only ever slobbed down the gym for the barest minimum weight loss purposes. But I'm going to do it this time! And I keep thinking about how much I am going to totally rock once I am a fit, bronzed, stridey outdoors person who bores on about how many kg they can benchpress, the kind of person I've never, ever been. I might meet new people, but I'll definitely have different things to talk about to the people I already know. Stuff I've always skimmed over on notice boards, like hiking holidays and marathons, might suddenly start to look interesting to me. It's really fun anticipating it.
And, er, yes, not actually done anything about it yet. But I will! I have some deadlines, but then I will get down to it.
Have started going to the gym, feel good during and after, but still feels quite a far cry from feeling self love iyswim (wondering if a cheeky Chinese could demo a bit of love...;)
For me it means not being so hard on myself when I do something wrong. Making time for myself whether its a bath or attending a counselling session. Giving voice to my hurts and disappointments acknowledging my feelings. Giving myself a pat on the back when I achieve something. Trying to eat well and exercise, sleep enough. Looking after my physical, spiritual, emotional and mental needs. Trusting my judgement. Its really treating yourself the way you treat others and the way you would like others to treat you.
Cross posted with you, madbuslady. I have different aspirations all the time, then order the books/kit/outfit for it and then get distracted. I admire those really focused hikey types!
I thought that I was going for it at he gym until a gym bunny sprung up one side and a maniac, presumably on stimulants, started wearing out the cross trainer!
I guess I kind of say well done to myself, but want the ready brek glow now!!
Currently trying to work this one out myself dippy.
I think it's a bit more difficult if, like me, your parents didn't view you as loveable and worthwhile just for being you, like you weren't worth the bother of being held in mind.
But it's not impossible and in my case is still a work in progress (at 53).
But firstly it was about taking responsibility for my decisions, good and not so good. Not seeing those who'd let me down as wholly bad and me a victim, nor me as wholly good either. I'm capable of both good and bad behaviour but I strive to do the best I can always. That makes me feel good about myself. the better I feel about what I do, the more secure I feel about my relationship with me, and I look after myself more.
I've grown up a lot in the last couple of years as a newly single woman. I've done things alone that I'd never have done without a lot of
control support from my then DH (got a much better job, sold a house, bought a house, booked a holiday abroad ON MY OWN, kicked a loser out of my life, turned down dates with yet more losers
My relationship with responsibility still need work. I've always been attuned to people who need rescuing in some way and if I don't I feel guilt for not responding. But, like I said, it's a work in progress and a shit load of excellent therapy has helped enormously. Nowadays rather than beating myself up for whatever reason I hear my therapists voice reminding me that the person everyone else sees as the strong and capable woman really is that woman on the inside too. She helped me to nurture the 'young Wisey' that didn't get that when she needed it.
So that's where I'm at OP. I hope it makes sense to you, and I hope you don't give up trying to form that very important bond with you.
Thanks wisey, I especially relate to your penultimate paragraph ...I work with drug and alcohol addictions and am well versed in rescuing boyfriends that never should have been such! Lost most of myself along the way, but think am gradually learning what I don't want in a relationship. I still struggle at work, every client wants so much now ( benefit system changes, the hard side of life) but my best for all of them leaves me with no resources. Maybe the best I can do for me is to promise myself a career change when my situation allows!
It's only in recent years that I've developed enough self awareness to have a relationship with myself.
I spent many years pleasing other people, seeking their approval and defining myself through them. I just didn't know who 'I' was.
Now I live by my own moral code which has helped so much in developing my self respect. And I really enjoy my achievements and discoveries, no matter how small.
Hi jidget. I have spent many years doing just as you did. How do you make the shift from a to b though? (Anticipating its not a swift manoeuvre, ...)
If I just start saying what I think, stop pussyfooting around the really negative people around work, think fuck it to my controlling and punitive misogynist xh, and just let myself plod a bit instead of breaking my neck at work when not many others do, is that a start?
The temptation to rescue people has been very strong for me too.
But recognising where this stems from has helped strengthen my personal boundaries which were previously almost non-existent.
dippy I don't suppose you've come across a book called something like "Loving Him without Losing Yourself'? Can't remember who it's by. It translates into all kinds of relationships because it's about YOU rather than the people you're involved with.
It's worth a look, even if not all of it applies.
Dippy, being aware of people's negativity is a step forward because it's so easy to get sucked into their way of thinking and acting.
The fact that your controlling h is an x is definitely another step in the right direction .
Counselling and classes in personal development and assertiveness really helped me to trust my own judgement.
It's taken me years of baby steps and because of my upbringing and relationships I'll always be vulnerable, but it's so worth the effort.
Thank you, I have ordered a copy on amazon! It also gave me a link to the'how to spot a dangerous man' book that I meant to get before. I guess another positive s that I want to sharply polish my Walter Mitty radar, and trust my gut. My last relationship has deprogrammed my infantile belief in fairy tales, and as soon as someone talks about me being a princess, I now want to vomit!!
I know I have to be fairly perceptive in my job as get fed all kinds of crap by clients, it's just reminding myself that my radars work, but some messed up ex/ colleagues don't want me to know they are working
I think it's about getting to know yourself, what are your likes and dislikes, what hobbies do you like? Try lots of different activities, if you are able to. Not needing someone else to do these things with, but if someone else comes along, then great! Of course there are many other factors, but I hope this helps. What do you like and what irks you, in all aspects of your life?
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