We Don’t Need No Affirmation (Mmmm, Yeah, We Do.)

13 Jan


Last night the sitter was sick and my plans for the night fell through. I found myself at home doing nothing, again.

I had a few good ideas about stuff I wanted to get done:

1. Fold the enormous pile of clean laundry on my sofa

2. Catch up on my paperwork

3. Decide who to vote for

4. Download some new running music

But instead, I found myself refreshing my Facebook page every 30  seconds, with hopes that one of my male friends would show up online so that I could fish for complements and feel a little better about myself.

Now, since I’ve been in a relationship for 13 years, I have to admit I don’t really have that many male friends anymore. I used ot have quite a few of them when I was younger, but throughout the years my stock has dwindled. Some of them got married and it began to feel somehow inappropriate to be in touch, even though the relationship was platonic. Some stopped being “my friends” and became “our friends”, others, to begin with, I had met through BD, and now with the separation and the splitting of assets would be claimed as his.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Maybe I’ll strike up a conversation with this guy I knew back in the day, whom I have nothing in common with and want nothing of? Yes that sound like a great idea.

What’s the deal with women and affirmation? Why do we feel so worthless unless we’re given male attention? Most of my girlfriends will agree that the biggest mistakes they’ve made with men had to do with seeking affirmation: hooking up with someone you’re not really into, being toyed with and taking it (and asking for more), returning to an asshole ex. Why do we do these things to ourselves, and why can we not trust ourselves and the people who love us to give us all the affirmation that we need? Why does it not count when your best friend tells you you’re amazing and beautiful, but it does count when a stupid douche you met at a bar makes a pass at you?

Refresh. Refresh. Sigh.

I need an affirmation detox diet, I think. And I have a plan. Here it goes.

1. For one month I am going to write down one thing every day that is awesome about myself.

2. I am going to say nice things to myself out loud, like complementing myself on the way I look when I’m getting ready to go out, or on something I cooked when it came out nice, or on being a good mom when I feel that I’m doing well, or anything else. OUT LOUD.

3. I am afraid I am not going to abstain from interacting with boys, but I am going to refrain from interaction with people who do not actually interest me just because I am seeking attention and affirmation.

4. I am going to try in general to be a little less obsessed with FB/messaging/E mail/Whatsapp etc, which has become a bad addiction lately.

Will I make it? Can I take it? I’m not sure, but here goes nothing.


2 Responses to “We Don’t Need No Affirmation (Mmmm, Yeah, We Do.)”

  1. Jennifer Stuart January 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I like the things that you are going to do!
    One thing that I’ve done (it seems silly, just to warn ya) in the past when I feel icky about myself is to take a glass of water, or eye shadow, or anything I’m going to use, and say to it (out loud!) “I hereby declare that you have the power to make me feel amazing about myself!” and I say it in a rather funny voice, and usually it makes me laugh at myself and then I feel better.
    I used to do the same thing with boys. Probably, I still do at some points. There is just something about when someone new says something flattering that is not nearly the same feeling as when someone you know and trust says it. My hunch is that it has to do with our own self-beliefs. If we feel ugly, then someone that we think of as ‘out there’ and better than us has the power to (momentarily!) change how we feel. But that’s the thing, it’s always only for a moment. It’s not like any of us are walking around saying “Yeah, I had super low self esteem, but then in eighth grade cool kid told me I was hot, and ever since then it’s been a-ok!” because the effect is always temporary. So I think you are right on with trying to build your confidence from the inside, that way when they compliment you, you’re like, “darn straight!”.

    • yulim February 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      Thanks so much for your comment! For some reason I only saw it now. I have a friend who makes faces at the mirror while brushing his teeth and swears by it for improving his mood. I’m all for silliness! 🙂

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