Though I’m the first to tell you “I’m a ray of fucking sunshine,” there are some aspects of my personality that I hate, or at the very least am annoyed by, but I can’t seem to change.
I talk to fill the silence with almost everyone. Family, friends, coworkers. I don’t like when people aren’t talking, so I talk and talk and talk to fill the silence. I ask questions, or tell stories, or talk about common people, places, or things. I know I do it, but I can’t fucking stop it.
Also, I’m moody as fuck. It’s not intentional, some of it is hormonal, but honestly, I think I’ve always been like this. I have a short fuse, am way too much in my own head, and that can affect my reaction to people.
Being in my own head also makes me seem like a snob. I’m actually kind of shy, well awkward moreso, and struggle around new people. I think people think I’m aloof, but I’m really not, just insecure.
Which brings me to my big frustration about myself. Like the one that really makes me wish I was different. I can get over the talking: some people might think it’s endearing, or are at least grateful for less awkward silences. Likewise the mood swings and shyness, people are used to those character traits, right?
BUT. The one I hate the most that I see in myself is the fact that I search for validation on every front: work, personal, social, motherhood. Motherhood.
I feel like when I was younger, I probably was kind of attention seeking: I’d put myself in positions to be the center of attention, often in the worst way. My classmates made fun of me, as did my friends/coworkers when we were older and it was a boys’ attention I was fighting for. But in a very real sense what I was looking for was validation, words of praise, those kinds of things.
I crave validation the way some people crave attention.
Tell me I’m a good mom. Tell me I’m your best friend. Tell me I’m a good teacher who makes an impact on the lives of my students. Tell me I’m the only girl you want to be with. Or the only girl you want to have sex with because I’m that good. Tell me I’m the best, or at least good at what I do.
When I don’t feel validated, I fish for it. I know it’s unbecoming, I know it’s annoying as fuck, but I just can’t quit.
This is where I’m sure my therapist, and trauma TikTok, and people with intimate knowledge of childhoods will tell me that at some point I didn’t get what I was craving and it became a cornerstone of who I am to look for it.
I’ve been in therapy for five years. I know. BUT. I can’t stop even when I realize that I’m doing it.
Is it something I’m working on? Yes, much like the constant talking, the shyness, and even the moodiness. I’m working on being a better person and living without outside validation.
But it’s fucking hard.
It’s like an addiction or something.
I know I’m a good teacher: fuck, I’m a great teacher. I know that I’m doing the best I can by my children, and that they’re good kids. I know that my husband, for some reason, loves me beyond any kind of love I thought I would have in my life and isn’t going anywhere. And…I’m a great lay. But. I still look for validation.
I fish for compliments, I say things like “If you love me…” or “How much do you love me.” Hell, with Nate I straight-up ask. “Are you going to love me forever?” “Do you still find me attractive even though I’ve gained seventy pounds since we got together?”
Again. I know it’s fucking annoying, okay? I just can’t help it. It slips out.
Realistically, I think that this insecurity is the cause for the end of a lot of previous relationships: both friendship and romantic. Thank God Nate accepts me and all of my “quirks.”
It’s a never ending battle for me. The self-awareness, along with the compulsion to continue the behavior.
The hilarity of it all is…I’m super fucking self-aware. Which means that yes, I often realize when I’m fishing for validation, but it also means I know my strengths. Which is why I can say with some amount of confidence that I am a good teacher and mom. Why I know Nate isn’t going anywhere. Why I know what I bring to a friendship.
I just need that validation, until I fix whatever “trauma” caused it. I’m working on it, friends and family, just work with me.
Or tell me I’m awesome…feed my addiction? It never hurts to have it confirmed.