The need to prove myself has been something that has plagued many of the relationships throughout my life. Instead of coming as I am to foster relationships founded in authenticity, many times I have found myself pursuing relationships that don’t quite fit and in turn, I have found myself in an endless saga in which I continually seek the other’s approval. This has looked different in different relationships. In some it has meant overextending myself to make sure they know I’m dependable, or likable or that I am “good”. In others it has meant overexplaining myself and my actions to ensure that I fit in and I’m not judged.
For much of my life this felt like a normal relationship balance to me. Sure, there were times when it felt like some of the people I continued to seek relationships with didn’t quite understand me… and sure, maybe sometimes I felt myself overthinking before contributing anything in fear of how I would be viewed… and yeah, sure, there were the other times in which I’ve felt pressured to contribute or to explain myself, because maybe if I can make them understand, then they’ll like me … But was any of this really that big of an issue?
Did it matter if I felt misunderstood?
Did it matter if I felt out of place so often?
The answer is yes, but I didn’t realize how big of an issue it was until I encountered a situation in which I found myself hurt by the people I kept trying so hard to prove myself to.
I was angry. I was embarrassed. I was hurt. I felt both rejected and disrespected. But mostly, I felt annoyed with myself, for ending up there in those emotions despite everything, despite all of my efforts.
Here I was after having tried so hard to keep myself safe in these relationships. Here I was after trying so hard to say the right things and to be the person that I thought people needed and wanted. Here I was after having held so much back to be accepted.
Here I was after having tried so hard to prove that I am worthy and that I deserve love.