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Old 10-21-2006, 05:09 PM   #1
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Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Well, we all have our issues, I know! So, here's mine:

I am turning 30 on Oct 31st and it is freaking me out. I never thought I'd feel this way - not because I'm turning 30 - but because I'm turning 30 and I'm still single!! Never thought it could be me, right...I know. This feeling has overwhelmed me beyond belief, and it started earlier this year, in January. I had the biggest fight with my mother (still not on speaking terms much.) It was about her not really accepting my minor disability (it's a bit of a neurolgical condition - slow speech (somewhat), and tightening of my muscles when I get nervous...anyway, not very obviolus at alll. But, she is an old fashioned woman, and plainly feels that I have not married yet b/c of this reason...that no man will want me as a result...oh well, that's her thinking.

So, you can image what this has done to my self image, conscious, etc...It has destroyed it! So that's a little background. Not to boast, but I am very pretty, have turned a couple heads in my time, but lacked any esteem to believe that i could...hmm, I don't drive b/c I'm too scared - haven't been pushed to believe i could. All the friends I have, and I mean ALL, live so far away - appx half-hour by car. Most are married...you get the idea, I don't see them often.

So, as a result, I tried online dating. Not how I thought it to be. I guess I'm very cautious, AND scared. Though I never would put myself in a dangerous senario, I think I might have given any potential mate the idea that I'm scared & insecure. I expressed, too, my anxiety about turning thirty, not for any reason, but I'm an open book & I'd like to be honest with feelings. Maybe I turned them away? I'll never know for sure.

So, came to the following conclusion; I need to become self-relient. I need to help myself. But how is the question....

This is what I've come up with....I'm really close to manhattan. So, I'd like to gain the courage and get out more by myself. I'm thinking to start small, like going to cafes by myself. I don't mean Starbucks. I mean little cafe/lounges.

But I feel very uncomfortable!! Who does that, right???!! I kept passing Rockefeller Cafe in the city, but never once did I go in. I felt embarassed to go in alone!!

Do people do this? I'm looking to find more places to go. Respectable, classy ones. But I feel too embarrassed to walk in alone. Anyone, should this be my first step? And should I care to walk in alone? How should I choose to go about doing this, make new friends, and possibly meet a nice guy? I know it can happen for me!! Anyone?

 
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Old 10-21-2006, 05:45 PM   #2
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Hi, Steph ~ I think that you are giving yourself the greatest birthday gift ever by coming to the realization that the best thing you can do is work on your self image and esteem. Not many people realize how important this is. Being able to walk into a place alone is a great builder of self confidence. In fact, if you are able to sit alone in a restaurant and be perfectly okay with the fact that you are out with yourself and that it is okay and enjoyable, then you truly are a confident person with a great self image.

Taking a risk often leads to the biggest rewards in one's life. If you walk into a cafe with no real expectations other than perhaps striking up a conversations with somebody along the way, you will be one step ahead of just sitting home not taking that chance.

They say that it is good to put your self in uncomfortable situations in order to become more comfortable in them. Facing your fears is a good way of overcoming them too.

Shame on your mom for commenting on something that is out of your control and playing with your self-confidence/esteem. There is no excuse for her behavior other than her own insecurities.

I hope that you have a wonderful 30th birthday. And keep us posted with how things go....kudos to you for wanting to give yourself such a gift!!

~ Goody

 
Old 10-21-2006, 06:11 PM   #3
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Hi I have followed a few of your threads on here, and reading your post now made me think a few things. 1- you are incredibly intelligent. People that have insights like yours and are able to express them so well (whether it be via computer as in this case or through talking, etc.) have the skills to really help themselves out in a healthy way. Which is what you seem to be doing. 2- I think that you are incredibly resilient and self-reliant in a sense already. To have an impediment, whether it be minor or more severe, is not easy to deal with. It takes a lot of strength to confront life situations when you have a disability. That alone should make you feel proud! 3- These days, people are getting married much later in life. Im 24, and when I was in a relationship I envisioned getting married at 26, having kids at 28, the whole deal. Now that Im out of that reltsp, I really realized that I want to take the time to really get to know myself, what I want in life and out of another person. So, instead of looking at your age and reltsp status as an embarassment or disgrace, instead you can see it as an opportunity for growth...which is what you're doing Good for you.
I live in Manhattan, and there are so many people all over the place here that do things alone. It almost goes unnoticed- no one stops to think, aw why is that person alone? Or, something must be wrong with that person b/c they are alone. Its a pretty normal occurence. People DO do that- you almost have to here. I sit in cafes by myself quite often actually, sometimes people-watching, or doing work, etc.
But, I understand that it can feel scary, no matter what other people may think. You could always start off reading a book, or bringing a laptop so that you dont feel idle and awkward. I personally find myself enjoying alone time a lot, b/c this city is so crazy and Im always so busy that free time by myself is welcomed in my book
Also, when you're alone, you're free to have a conversation with whoever you want, there are no obligations over what place to go to, when, for how long, etc. For instance, last night I met a guy who I actually think is amazing and he was having a glass of wine alone at a restaurant chatting to the bartender...so my group of girlfriends and I invited him to eat with us, and now I think we could potentially start something up romantically. Seriously, possibliities are endless- it does in no way mean that you are a sad case if you're alone in public, especially in NYC.
(Plus, I dont care what anyone says. New Yorkers are FRIENDLY. I have met so many people since Ive lived here just b/c we've struck up a conversation, or theyve made a friendly gesture. Yes we're stressed and busy, hehe, but b/c theres so many people, we are pretty sociable )
So, I think hanging out at places in Manhattan is a great idea. There are so many unique cafes and tea lounges around, and a lot of people hang out there for hours, reading, doing work, surfing the internet, whatever.
Also, it may be helpful to start picking up some hobbies that would really give you some increased self-confidence. Something active that could whip you into shape, or something that is difficult and requires skill to do (a beginner art class, picking up a foreign lanuage, etc.). The more people that could be involved in these hobbies, the better- that way you can meet more people with common interests.
Sometimes just putting yourself out there, even when you feel awkward, can break all types of insecurities...and the fact that you do it makes you realize that you are stronger than you think! So I agree with the attempt to get yourself 'out there'. Let us know how it goes!

Last edited by lady346; 10-21-2006 at 06:19 PM.

 
Old 10-21-2006, 06:27 PM   #4
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

I think you are doing a really great thing here. My best advice to you is to forget about what anyone else thinks about what you're doing. Lots of people go out alone in Manhattan. All you need to worry about is what you're doing and whether it makes you happy or not.

Do you have a job? Do you meet people through work? Maybe it's time to look into a second, fun, part-time job, or some volunteer work, or a class, so you can meet new people.

Thirty years old is not old by any means. You have quite a bit of life ahead of you. Don't think about what you've missed or not missed but look forward to a really incredible future.

As far as the online dating goes- while it's great to be honest and upfront, it may be a little off-putting if you seem anxious about turning thirty, simply because it might send a signal to guys that you want to move quickly in a relationship. Just try to put together as positive profile you can, not deceptive, but just focusing on the positive, and you may see better results.

 
Old 10-22-2006, 12:58 AM   #5
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

are we allowed to reccomend books on here? Well there is a famous book i think you should read and the title is Why Men Love (bad word that rhymes with witches).

I think it would help you out, and help you realize that maybe you shouldn't be so much of an open book at the get go.

I gotta say, I am impressed by you. In fact, motivated. I am not saying these things to simply flatter you because I think you are down on yourself, I am saying this because I am impressed. I've been down on myself and wow, you really seem to be getting it together and I want to do the same thing!

I think you have great ideas, about starting small and doing things by yourself. I think that during this process, you and Mr. Right will get togeter, I really do. You won't be trying, but rather focusing your attentions on being the best you possible, and then lo and behold, Mr. Right!

It'll happen! You just gotta get a life of your own first!

 
Old 10-22-2006, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Hi

I'm afraid you aren't going to like me. Or rather, most of the things I am going to say in due course, although I mean no evil. For I will be taking a rather different slant from the other members. And I may sound too tough (rude?) on your ears.

Honestly, yours has so far been one of the most intriguing posts I have ever read on this board. When I finished reading it, I had to ask myself: "What is going on here? What is HER problem? Apparently she is already taking the first step forwards, so what is the big deal?" I was baffled. I couldn't figure out why you came out here in the first place. Asking for advice or validation? Of course it IS your right to be here and talk about yourself, but I couldn't see any difficulty with you. That is, at first sight.

Then it occurred to me that the real issue is probably somewhere between the lines or under the varnish: the real issue could be about what you have not talked about or what you have dismissed as not very important or what you have tried to divert (y)our attention from. A blind spot? It is not that you have done it on purpose, but maybe you were simply sugarcoating the bitter pill.

These are typical passages from your post [you first state something more or less negative and then, maybe in an effort to compensate, something brighter or more positive]. I am not saying this is a defect, but maybe it is a pattern for you. See for yourself: "it is a bit of a condition... but not very obvious at all"; "that no man will want me as a result... (but) that's her thinking"; "what this has done to my self-image... but I am very pretty"; "my anxiety about turning thirty ... but I am an open book"; etc. You also do it the other way round [positive - negative], but the first model seems to be more usual. Anyway, the thing is you seem to have contradictions, which is something quite natural for anyone growing into maturity, mind you, but I guess that you don't realize that this could be the real problem, if any, for you: denying them or taking them lightly so as to minimize them and look good.

Are you sure you are an open book? It makes me wonder. On the one hand, it seems to me that you are afraid of going deep into things, which sort of makes you look superficial (defensive in fact). On the other hand, you seem to have difficulty listening, especially when you think someone is criticizing you. Indeed, you are possibly very afraid of being criticized, because criticism in your mind equals rejection. You could be described as a perfectionist. That is maybe why you don't want to listen to your mother. In a way, she forces you to realize that you are less than perfect. You don't want that mirror. Strange that you'd rather listen to strangers like us rather than to someone who has known you for such a long time. If you live together with her, it must be hard for you not to be on talking terms?

Well, I am not defending your mother. Maybe she was indeed rather blunt with the way she told you what she thought was your problem. Mothers are usually like that. They think they are entitled to say whatever crosses their minds without bothering to choose the right words. They are repetitive. That is their role. But maybe she was actually saying something else. I am trying to figure it out. Maybe she was telling you that your "minor disability" can become bigger if you don't pay attention to it, if you don't seek to treat it right now. After all, it is a neurological condition. Maybe she is warning you that you are somehow being negligent with yourself. Maybe she wants to say that you could be playing with fire while being unaware of it.

I also see you as a romantic person. This fits very well with living close to Manhattan. I am a foreigner, but I was once there. I love NYC, but I know it is much of a façade. Perhaps your main idea about going out alone to "respectable, classy" places is finding not your perfect match, a real man in flesh and blood, but a guy that is perfect, like a prince on a white stallion, so perfect a gentleman that he won't even perceive your "minor disability" or simply overlook it: a façade. But I am afraid that in the next moment, just after you have possibly met this perfect guy, you could be busy looking to detect a minor blemish or disability on the marble, so that you can have a reasonable motivation for discarding or rejecting him before he rejects you!

Surface instead of essence.

"How can you be so mean and make up these things about me? How dare you?"

If such thoughts ever cross your mind, I can justify and take them, but then it's maybe the proof that there is again a pattern here: the same thing you said about your mother you'll now feel like saying to me: "That is your thinking." And I will have to stand corrected. For you certainly know yourself much better than I do know you, and I can't pretend I am able to dissect you. I am not your therapist, after all.

But why not take this as yet another insight into the story (a window) of your life? Possibly not correct throughout, but still food for thought.

Your "problem" may be one of lack of self-confidence, as you put it, although I usually find you to be a woman with a lot of self-respect: intelligent, worldly, cosmopolitan, sophisticated, a brighter and entertaining talker.

The "problem" may actually be your refusal to be seen as you really are, not only a bright side. There is not necessarily anything wrong you - mark this - but I don't think you deserve to treat yourself with self-deceit.

Inadvertently or not, you strive to be seen in an over-idealized shape. You are impervious to criticism, although easily devastated by the slightest innuendo that there is a blotch around your pretty face. Do you really want to be seen, or just fake it?

If you can take advice from me, you'd be better to start to listen up to criticism with open ears, because not all criticism aims to destroy you. Let it sink in before dismissing it as interference, the mind-your-own-business thing, the I-don't-care-what-you-say rebuke, you-don't-know-what-you're-talking-about rationalization.

I think that this regard for other significant people rather than strangers, who usually only flatter, is, among other things, what it will take for you to become an independent and resolute person, even if you think just the opposite. And with time to stop being that fed-up someone for whom things just don't come out right. "Most of my friends married, and I am still single."

If I think twice, I won't be clicking the "submit reply" box down below this page, lest I will be misunderstood and labelled as a wet blanket. But now it is too late. All I can do is pray that you won't report this one as a bad post.

Regards.

JC

 
Old 10-23-2006, 09:47 AM   #7
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

I felt same way as you did when I've turned 30. My brother was the one who took me to celebrate my birthday. The very same year I met my husband and we got married when I was 32. One of my friends also married at 32, another married 30+ while already having a baby and she is legally blind.
I met my husband on a blind date, so does one of my friends. I am very shy person just going to cafe wouldn't do it for me.
You can try to find a guy with minor problem like yours, just join support group and I bet it will be somebody who will like to introduce you.
Just try to be optimistic about it.
Next month I am going to the wedding of one of my friends who is 40+ and couldn't keep his job. He found a woman who is willing to accept him the way he is.
My relationship with my mother are quite complicated as well.

Last edited by galinaqt; 10-23-2006 at 09:47 AM.

 
Old 10-23-2006, 10:25 AM   #8
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Hi Stef

One thing that may help is try and look the person you are talking to in the eye. Remember that other people you are talking to might be equally, if not more, self-aware.

 
Old 10-23-2006, 11:39 PM   #9
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Wow, your post is very inspiring. I too get very depressed about getting older and not having someone major in my life - i do date here and there but I am never usually very interested... i mean I give them a chance and all, I've just had much more intense long term relationships in the past and I want to have something like that again.

I am still only 22, but I always envisaged getting marreid at 26 maybe kids at 28, which is dangerous cos I don't think I will have it all panned out by then, and it will probably upset me.

I think your post is motivating and I hope I have that kind of attitude too...

 
Old 10-24-2006, 03:53 PM   #10
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Well, I'm deeply touched. I did not post this for praises! Just some advice on where to go. I just bought a book with various NYC lounges and I guess I'll start with "A" and work my way to "Z." lol.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. I think I chose the wrong "time" to start, as the only thing holding me back at the moment is the weather. When it gets cold here, it gets very cold, so I guess I will need a boost of motivation to just get out the door in this weather! But I'm tired of being alone, and I think this is motivation enough. I guess I'll start off in coffee shop with an order of hot lattes

I feel I should clarify one thing though, with regards to the guys I've spoken to online...the reason why I felt to open up to them was b/c of the manner they were responding to me. Upon expressing an anxiety, this last guy said to me, to just be myself, and to not let things get to me, and how things don't come together when & how we want them to. I felt that he seemed like a family member talking to me; not a complete stranger! The fact that he took the time to write in such a manner, impressed me & showed his maturity and serious nature at 31 years old. He seemed understanding. We couldn't agree on a time to meet that week, and left it as "we'll figure out something though." and that was Octomber 5, the last email. I emailed him once 10 days ago and that was it - no response. So I don't know if I chased him away or that he, himself, is nervous about meeting up. I did not express to him my minor disability, but it seemed I impressed him with my words. I would dred the idea of turning him off in any way b/c of my disability or whathave you, but I believe people have some standards left in this superficial society of ours. I don't know; I really took the whole thing seriously (privately), with the expectation of the both of us meeting & maybe having similar things in common, but it didn't manifest, and that is what bothered me.

How could an intelligent person lack confidence is what I want to know!! I don't know what I did wrong, but this new way of meeting people is not one for a person like me, who lacks confidence. I have to figure out a balance.

JC, I think you did not understand my post, and reason being, is that I did not want to elaborate on my "problem" or the one with my mother. She is a weak-minded person, who lacks the common sense of certain thing, oly because she was not given an oppoprtunity to view things in a different light...that "old fashioned"" mentality of stigmas and things like that, is what I was upset over. It is hard to explain, & I really dont feel like explaining it at the moment. Also, that issue was not the core of this post. But I appreciate you're input.

Thank you once again, and good luck to you all.

 
Old 10-24-2006, 05:19 PM   #11
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stef457
...

JC, I think you did not understand my post, and reason being, is that I did not want to elaborate on my "problem" or the one with my mother. She is a weak-minded person, who lacks the common sense of certain thing, oly because she was not given an oppoprtunity to view things in a different light...that "old fashioned"" mentality of stigmas and things like that, is what I was upset over. It is hard to explain, & I really dont feel like explaining it at the moment. Also, that issue was not the core of this post. But I appreciate you're input.

...
Ok Stef. And I do appreciate that you have appreciated my input, even though apparently it was of no use to you. I should not dispute that I did not understand your post, but let me remind you that, as I said in the beginning of my rambling post, I was taking a different slant from the other people.

I don't think that your mother was the core of your post, but I do think that your relationship with her (indeed our relationship with elders) is the root of all your later relationship in life.

That I am a little bit older than you possibly makes me look at older people (parents, above all) with more condescending eyes. They (the older people)are certainly not perfect, some are really dysfunctional, but they are usually more intense. If you can find a way to tune your ears to listen to them without prejudice and rejection, I am sure that you can make your own life increase in wealth and wisdom.

Unfortunately, most of us pick up that lesson a little too late.

Regards.

JC

 
Old 10-25-2006, 02:14 PM   #12
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by José Carlos
They (the older people)are certainly not perfect, some are really dysfunctional, but they are usually more intense. If you can find a way to tune your ears to listen to them without prejudice and rejection, I am sure that you can make your own life increase in wealth and wisdom.

Unfortunately, most of us pick up that lesson a little too late.

Regards.

JC
I had to deal a lot with elderly. I tried two councelors who were advanced age and it was pretty good reason why it didn't work out but was a disaster.
It is just not for everybody. One should have nerves made of steel and unlimited patience plus real good peple skill.
They are became like big kids, often cruel and sadistic, having lot of attitude, short temper.
If this poor lady can avoid her mother, limit relationship to business it's best she could do.

 
Old 10-25-2006, 05:32 PM   #13
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by galinaqt
I had to deal a lot with elderly. I tried two councelors who were advanced age and it was pretty good reason why it didn't work out but was a disaster.
It is just not for everybody. One should have nerves made of steel and unlimited patience plus real good peple skill.
They are became like big kids, often cruel and sadistic, having lot of attitude, short temper.
If this poor lady can avoid her mother, limit relationship to business it's best she could do.
Ok, galinaqt. This was your experience with the old. I never said it was easy to deal with the old, but again it is not easier to deal with the young, either. It is mostly a question of the person's actual temperament and maturity, which often have nothing to do with age.

However, if you come from Russia, I suppose you sense that the old are less respected in our Western countries. This is a shame, especially when they are your parents.

In this case, we aren't talking about any elders whomsoever, but about her mother. As a daughter, she would be better to try to have a good relationship with her mother, and not give up at the first confrontations. I am not saying that she should tolerate offenses and abuse from her mother, but I think she should do her best to rescue this relationship, for there is only one mother for her and she may need her mother as she grows older herself. If it is really impossible for her to establish a humane relationship with her mother, I suppose this will leave a gap in her life, a minor or a major gap, but anyway a gap, deny it as she may.

Moreover, I find it a bad idea to have only a business relationship with one's mother. It's better to have no relationship at all.

My two cents.

JC

 
Old 10-25-2006, 06:37 PM   #14
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Re: Fed Up With Lacking Self Confidence...Trying to Take Step One - Advice?

Actually I think retired people treated here much better than in Russia both in terms of respect and they aren't looking for food in the trush cans after working all life.
Also 'cause people have more freedom and generally can afford basic stuff and leave separately or at least have there own room relationships are better.
I went to a councelor about relationship with my mother and she told me that my mother is a poison and I should try to avoid her. I have a very smart friend, she said instead of avoiding her, try to talk just about my baby ask her advices, avoid topics were she opens my wounds.
Right now my mother is very sick and I do a lot in terms of paperwork and phone calls and buying things but avoiding other contacts or visiting her only with a baby so she doesn't have a chance to push my buttons.
I agree relationships with people at any age is tuff, but better not to start learning on the most difficult cases.

 
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