I have been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember. The sacrifice has been to always make others happy at the cost of my mental and physical health, my own respect, and my own happiness. What I thought was my worth was based on what I gave to others.
Unfortunately most people took advantage of that, leaving me feeling sad, hurt, and angry at myself. Some unconsciously took advantage of it. At the end of the day I was always feeling empty, and not worth much.
It took a very bad situation I got myself into, in order for me to realize that I needed to get help and change. My family and friends rallied around me. The common advice was I needed to see my self worth because I deserve so much better than my poor choices.
I felt so badly at the time it was almost painful to hear how amazing they all think that I am. How worthy I am. I would shake my head and say yes, then cry by myself because I just wished that I could see myself through their eyes.
So I started reading up on how to change my perception of myself and how to change my behavior. It wasn’t easy. It was really hard to hear some of the things that I had to come to terms with. I had to hear them or I could never change my self destructive behavior though.
One of the hardest things I had to acknowledge was that I would sexualize myself to get attention. Over the top makeup, lower cut shirts, tight bottoms, anything for attention. If I wasn’t getting looks and/or attention I felt terrible. Of course this is extremely embarrassing, especially because all I ever wanted was for one person to love me. My intention was never to be promiscuous, but I would feel validated with sexual attention.
Friendships is another area that this destructive behavior was prevalent. Time and time again I have been absolutely heartbroken by so called friends. My family and friends have a running joke about me taking in strays. From the time I was in high school, I would take in friends who didn’t have a place to go. Making my family an involuntary part of my behavior. These “friends” that I took in stole from my family, myself, lied to me, and took advantage every way they could. If I could get back all of the money I have lent out and never received back I would probably be able to pay off all of my debt.
So, I took a couple of days to myself and did some soul searching. I pinpointed a lot of my destructive behaviors. Then I decided to get to work. I began doing exercises like writing a list of what I love, respect, and admire about myself. I downloaded an amazing app named Sanity and Self. https://www.sanityandself.com/ I began working on it every day. I know affirmations can make you feel stupid, but I tried it. Believe it or not they work! It’s about changing what you say to yourself and how you make yourself feel.
Basing your self worth on others perpetuates an endless cycle of self hate. We all need to start somewhere. I have barely begun my journey and it is nowhere near over. It is something I need to work on every day.