Admittedly, this sounds arrogant. So let me explain.
Today, as I flipped through the radio stations I heard some guy saying he just goes up to girls in bars and briefly chats them up and ask if he can give them a night they never will forget. This apparently works well for him. I, of course, make smart ass comments in my head about STDs causing the lasting memory. However, as I continued to listen, guys call in making comments about how all those girls must be “trolls.” It started me thinking. I thought about all my fabulous friends and myself, if we would go home with this guy. How many times have we said yes to a date or have given our number out to people (this goes for men, women, straight, gay, and bi) that were just not in our highest interest. Many amazing humans have dated the worst humans, the meanest girls, the bad boy, or the dead beat leach, etc. It may not even be that drastic, we just date people that were are not a good fit for us. Why? We need to feel connection, love, or something other than hurt.
Life can be hard. When someone comes up to you and is interested in you (or even just interested in getting into your pants) it can be just the ego boost you need. I admit it, I had months of meeting guys that every time I said I was a doctor, they physically took a step back! To go from open body posture, leaning in to a step back and arms folding…sucked. My med school friends and I joked about our degrees being the ultimate “cock block.” Yes, we do realize that we don’t want to date guys that were too insecure to date a doctor, but it still hurt. After a while the bar drops, the self esteem drops, you think things like “Hey, at least he bathes somewhat regularly!” This can happen to anyone, any profession, and any age group. It does not take much. It could be a bad relationship where a partner repeatedly criticizes you. That slow tearing down can drastically lower your self esteem to the point where one nice comment can get you to hop into a another not so great relationship. At one point in my life, my desire to be wanted grew, it did cloud my judgement. As a naturopathic doctor, I am into health, yet I somehow dated an alcoholic, overweight, fracking supporting narcissist, (yep, not a bright spot in my life) but he seemed like a nice guy at first. Yep, he asked me out and made a genuine effort, that is it.
How can we stop this crazy behavior? We need to learn healthy self love (I am not talking masterbation but that too is healthy) and to raise your own & each others self esteems. As a society we tear each other down easily and seem to forget how to build each other up. Practice positive self talk, say nice things to your self rather than critical. Practice giving complement out, sadly, at first it is a little awkward. Fears about giving complements include: fear of people thinking you are being fake (like a used car salesman), weird or you are hitting on them. I soon learned how easy it is to give genuine complements without it feeling odd or fear that people would think it is a come on. Learn to accept complements. Yes, just soak them in and say thank you! If you brush them off like you are not worthy of them you are denying the giver and missing out on an amazing gift. Just imaging handing someone a gift and they say “keep it, I am not worthy.” Kinda sucks for both of you.
Building people up. “Bless that which you want” is a Huna Philosophy. Many times that we tear others down it is because we are jealous in a way or that we see an aspect of ourselves in that person that we don’t like. When we see that guy with the sports car and think “midlife crisis car” or “compensation,” what are we doing? We may not want that car but we may just want the extra cash to do something that we value. So why not just think “good for him!” Any time you find yourself thinking or saying something negative things, try blessing it. It can be as easy as saying to your friends “I wish I had the ovaries to wear that!” or telling someone they look amazing to their face.
Next time that person you know is not good for your wellbeing is chatting you up, smile, thank them for the flattering remarks and walk away knowing you love yourself and that is perfect. Maybe the right person will come along, maybe not but you will never know if you don’t raise the bar for yourself.
Self-esteem song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMf8xa__d9o
Health & Joy,
Dr. Susan Lundgren
image from http://www.lastkisscomics.com/comic/the-adventures-of-low-self-esteem-girl/