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Old 02-20-2011, 03:56 AM   #1
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Low self esteem for the first time

I finally met a guy that I like a lot and I can think myself being with him. He really likes me a lot and we have being dating for two months, it's turning serious now, we make plans for the future and everything seems great...except one thing...

I have always had a high and healthy self esteem of what I can do, how good I am at some stuff and I have always received the best compliments about my abilities in whatever I do from friends, family and people that I hardly know. I'm an engineer that has now decided to study classical music at the university. I'm 29 and it's normal that it's difficult to compete with all the prodigy musicians out there. But I was confident in myself and how good I am, really happy and driven, until I met him...He is an extremely talented cellist and he has this habit of praising the "worlds-classed" musicians and pianists, he has as a reference point the ultimate perfection. And as a result of this, I have still NEVER played piano for him, even though my happiness and passion IS piano and playing for others. Because I simply don't dare doing it, because I feel that he will think that I'm crap.

This whole thing has turned in such a way within me that I start being sceptical about my abilities, and about me as a person, wheather I deseve him and also whether he finds a more talented woman in the future that will amaze him with her musical abilities and talent. I feel that in what I LOVE doing he's extremely good and I just can't express my passion enough for him which in turn cuts off lots of my "delightness" in my personality. I feel that people will in the future refer to us as Thomas and his girlfriend. And not as Thomas and Melinda. I feel that I just can't amaze him as I am used to do with other people. What I love doing is music. And everyone associated me with music, the engineer that became a musican. Now all this is crap and suddenly I'm nothing but a poor music student that has very little chances to go through to the uni.

I don't know how to overcome this feeling and what to do in order to come up to his level (or feel that I come up to his level). I'm afraid that sometimes the thought of ending it all can feel a bit like the end of something stressful. I was so used to being with friends that saw my talent the whole time, and now this is completely new to me and I feel lots of stress and that I'm not worth much as an individual compared to him. That he will lose interest in me at some point just because he's so far much better than me in the same thing which is our passion for both of us.

Anyone that has any advice on how to deal with these feelings?

 
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:28 AM   #2
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

Majika,

Hello, I hope we can offer you some help with your situation...I will definitely try. First, I am sorry that you are having these feelings around this man.

Remember, everyone in your life up until now cannot all be wrong. What the people in your life (from family to complete strangers) have always found wonderful and amazing is simply you! It is everything about you.

To think this new man in your life has taken all of your confidence away with his choice of words and mention of such perfection is very troublesome. I find it very odd that he has never asked you to play for him, knowing your passion for, and love of music. Something which you have always used to express your true self has been taken away from you without ever attempting it.

This is no way to start a relationship. It sounds as if he is living his life on a self built pedestal, whether he realizes it or not. He has pushed you away already. As much as I hate to say, I do not think this is the man for you.

To be with a person that robs you of your own joy and simple pleasure for any reason is not a man for me.

He sounds quite self absorbed and a bit snooty, but of course I have only this little bit of information about him. I feel that the early stages of a relationship should be the time for both parties to really listen and focus on the others interests and lifestyle, to find the area of compatibility. I may be wrong but it sounds like he has been doing more talking than listening. No one wants to feel inferior, or have fears of not measuring up.

What has always been right for you is suddenly wrong? No, I believe that he is wrong, and your lifelong passion is right for you, and anyone close to you should be the proudest of your talent and confidence.

Has he ever asked to hear you play?

In my opinion, you should go right back to your dreams, go to music school and pursue your interests. There will be nothing lost from trying, and you always have your degree in engineering to fall back on.

It would be such a shame for this man to come along at a turning point in your life and end up leading you away from your plans. You may never have this chance again.

Your sudden loss of self esteem is situational, and is not forever. All you need to do is remove the doubt that has entered your mind and go back to doing what you love the most.

 
Old 02-20-2011, 04:54 AM   #3
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

Not an easy one...

Is there a considerable age gap between you guys? I mean, is he much older than you?

I feel like you are putting him too high on a pedestal. But I am also wondering if he somehow makes you do so, by having and displaying a bloated ego.

Think in these terms: you have started learning music much later than him. You can't by any measure be on the same level as him. Unless you were an inborn music genius, which I don't think you are.

Give yourself plenty of time. Be generous with yourself. Don't compare your achievements with his, but only with your previous ones.

Any relationship that dwells on permanent comparisons or subtle competition can't go very far. You know that, don't you? Do you want to be loved for who and what you are, or do you want to be someone who will meet his high criteria?

It's good that you both share a deep interest for music but also that you play different instruments.

Even if you played the same thing, you'd in time find that each of you does better in some particular field.

I am wondering why he never asked you to play for him. Or did he ask you to do it and you refused to? If so, there is lack of intimacy and trust between you guys. Or is he somehow ignoring you? I am confused here.

My suggestion is that you try to join your talents and efforts in the future and create a band with others, besides pursuing a career as solists on the side. It is much healthier to complement each other than keeping comparing.

 
Old 02-20-2011, 11:46 AM   #4
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

I have to ask, does he do or say things that are making you feel inferior, or is it coming from within yourself? My reply to you will greatly depend on the answer to this, so I will go ahead and reply for both.

If he is doing or saying things that are make you feel inferior and making you question your abilities, I would suggest that maybe this isn't a healthy relationship for you. Significant others should lift you up and make you feel good about yourself. They should encourage your abilities and give you extra confidence, not take from it. A healthy relationship between you two would entail realizing one another's accomplishments and talents. If he is doing anything to make you question your talent, it's not likely he is going to change and it would seem he has an inflated sense of self. Regardless of how talented he really is, if he has no modesty or humbleness about it, you are never going to feel "good enough", which will never be good for you.

On the other hand, if you are making yourself feel inferior and it has nothing to do with him or his actions, then it's something that can be fixed more easily because you only have to deal with yourself. If this is the case, you really need to do some major "soul-searching". You need to recognize your own talent, but also realize that no one is ever the "best" at anything. Your boyfriend may have great talent, and that may be intimidating, but it in no way takes away from your own talent. You are uniquely talented, and no matter how it seems, your boyfriend is not perfect and has his own insecurities. If he pretends otherwise, he is lying.

It often helps people to write out the positive things about themselves. Sometimes seeing it in on paper helps you realize it more than just reminding yourself. Maybe you could try writing down all your strengths and the compliments you have received over the years. Read over them whenever you are feeling insecure. When you feel insecurities creeping in, just remind yourself that your insecurities don't define you or your talent.

Also, if I were you, I'd play for your boyfriend. It's likely he will be extremely impressed and proud of you. If his reaction is anything less than "nice", I would suggest re-evaluating your relationship. Constructive criticism is of course a possibility, but putting you down or making you feel inferior should never be an option. There may be a fine line between the two, but you'll know the difference.

Overall, your boyfriend should make you feel good about yourself, not bad.

 
Old 02-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #5
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

i think you should be yourself and not try so hard.

 
Old 02-20-2011, 05:42 PM   #6
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

No he is at the same age as me but he has been a prodigy child when it comes to cello, his whole family consists om musicians also so he is well in the music which intimidates me.

He's not mean, but I think that he lacks a bit of empathy sometimes and he sais stuff in a way that I think is too much for me not to react. He has asked me to play for him once over the telephone when he was away for some days, and I did. He did think that it was really nice hearing me playing. I'm not sure why he hasn't asked me to play for him other than that, but I guess he does it for me because he understans that I will feel stressed and I will not be comfortable playing for him when he's been so critical of professional pianists and is such a perfectionist.

I'm sure that I also generate these bad feelings because I feel intimidated, but he doesn't help the situation either with his way of critising even the best musicians out there, and praising some of the ultimate legends. I mean, how can I then sit down and play for him...the best he can say is "yes, sweet" so that he doesn't make me feel bad...or in the worst case (which is very probable also) he will send me the next day a version of the same piece played by a piano legend and he will comment on every single bit of the piece about how nice he's playing it. It's this sort of thing he's doing. He's not mean directly to me. It's these things that he doesn't realise that they make me feel worthless.

Of course I'd love him to listening to me playing because then he can see that I CAN play and not jsut play, I am pretty good at it, but of course nothing to do with his piano legends. But I just don't dare doing it, cause I will get nervous and play really badly. So I just hope that he comes to a schoolconcert so that he gets to hear me playing there. But until then...I just hope I don't lose my belief in myself more that I allready have...

 
Old 02-20-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

i think you just need to face your fears.....you need to play for him and get it over with.....the stress is killing you. i'm sure you're much more critical of yourself than anyone (including him) else would be.
It's the only way.
you're a talented musician, let it shine, don't hide it!

 
Old 02-20-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

And your entire self-esteem shouldn't hinge on one skill or talent, however central it is to your life.
It sounds like you will never be able to compete musically with this "prodigy"... so spend a little time focusing on the other great things you have to offer.

Good luck!

 
Old 02-21-2011, 12:25 AM   #9
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Re: Low self esteem for the first time

Okay, but are you sure this is a love relationship? Is this about being loved or being recognized?

 
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