The answer to your questions is, “because you don’t love yourself, though you’re worthy.”
I used to wonder why it seemed like the people in my life weren’t really seeing me. They would seem interested for a moment, then disappear. They disregarded my desires and invalidated my needs. The reality is, people are dealing with their own trauma and might not have the capacity to see beyond themselves in the moment. You can explain to them over and over, you can pour your heart out a thousand times, but they still won’t get it.
The final decision about how you’re treated and show up in your life always comes down to you. You show people what you’re willing to accept—looking for validation outside of yourself is slowly killing you.
When you look for validation outside of yourself, you feel empty, especially if the other person doesn’t have an overflow of themselves to give to you. When you look to others for esteem before creating your own, you keep feeding a belly that goes to a bottomless pit.
Here’s what to focus on instead…
1. Encourage yourself.
Find out what makes you happy, the obscure moments and places that put a smile on your face. Develop intrinsic motivation by keeping your “why” close to your heart. What’s your reason for pushing through each day? If you don’t have a “why,” look at the world. Look beyond your life, look at the moments in the past that brought you the most joy. Consider how you can align your purpose with a cause you’re passionate about.
2. Recognize your skills, success, progress, and effort.
We often overlook our accomplishments. We discredit the little wins we can’t see. We assume that because a task is easy for us, anyone can do it. This isn’t true. Immerse yourself around people who know nothing about what you do. If you’re an English writer, join a group that speaks or writes minimal English. Just this act will bring to light the value you think you lack.
3. Notice and accept your feelings.
Having uncomfortable or unwanted feelings doesn’t make you unfit. Instead, prickly feelings give insight into what you care about—becoming angry when your friend is continually late lets you know that you value your time. It allows you to create boundaries around what you love.
4. Prioritize your needs.
Self-care creates healthy lifestyle changes that improve your health and make you feel good. It’s understanding the signals in your body, recognizing when you’re uncomfortable, and allowing yourself to voice your discomfort or leave. It’s about saying no when you’re at capacity. It’s about honoring what’s important to you even when no one understands.
5. Treat yourself kindly.
Self-compassion is not only about speaking to yourself with respect but watching your tone of voice. Refuse to accept when people talk to you all sorts of crazy, including yourself. Treating yourself kindly looks like considering your needs and desires. Treating yourself kindly is about dispelling shame and saying, “I’m not perfect. I’m still learning, yet still deserve respect.”
6. Accept your limitations, flaws, and life lessons.
Nobody walks through life without learning lessons, which we often call mistakes. You see, life is constantly challenging you to grow and evolve. You harbor anxiety and pressure yourself above what is needed. You aren’t going to get it right all the time. You aren’t going to know the answer every single time. You’re going to get triggered, and rightly so, because you were hurt, side slapped, and traumatized by life. Accept that. Accept that you are healing and growing and beautifully messy. Nobody walks through life with learning lessons.
Looking for validation outside of yourself is slowly killing you. It’s time to start filling your own cup. It’s time to give yourself all that you need and deserve. You cannot wait for anyone else to do this for you, though you are worth every effort.