When I was younger, I wasn’t as confident and self-assured as I am today. Quite the contrary, I was insecure and kept coming up with reasons to bring myself down. These thoughts came to light in my actions, and as a result, affected others as well as myself. Meaning these were not thoughts living in my head, but also actions and behaviors that affected other people around me. All of this takes me back to one of my first ever relationships.
When I was in high school, age 17, I dated one of my classmates. He was maybe my second ever boyfriend and maybe my first ever serious relationship. We dated for about nine months overall, but my issues appeared even before that. Throughout most of our relationship, I would desperately seek his attention and validation. I asked him non-stop whether or not he loved me. I needed his approval on any minor thing. I needed him to build me up since I couldn’t do that for myself. I didn’t know myself well enough back then. I counted on him to solve all my issues instead of doing it myself. Looking back, I understand how selfish I was being. These were my problems to fix, no one else’s.
Eventually, as you’d expect, he left. He got rid of having to assure me all the time, of telling me that he loves me – not because he wanted to but because I cornered him. His leaving may have been one of the best things that happened to me. When he explained to me the reasoning for his behavior, I took it to heart. I made a promise to myself to work on my confidence, to build my self-esteem and sense of worth. It was a long, difficult process, but it has been worth it and helped me establish better relationships afterward. I learned so much from this experience, and I am grateful for everything that it brought me. Now, I don’t others to reassure me or approve of me – I do it for myself.