If like me you’re an approval seeker or a recovering people pleaser, let me ask you this question:

Do you really want everybody to like you?

Why? What does it mean if they don’t?

More importantly, do you like you?

Are you okay with who you are? That’s what matters most.

Hold on, let me ask you another question:

Are you waiting to be chosen?

Longing is not love. I have been mistaking longing for love and I’ve only just realised it. It primarily comes from my attachment style but being the Scorpio moon that I am, I wanted to dig a little deeper. This longing feels like grief somehow. Perhaps it’s a deep sadness around what I could have had or should have had and didn’t. Perhaps it is not longing then, but more of a yearning. 

“Yearning is to have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.”

Isn’t it exhausting trying to be seen, waiting for somebody to notice you? I mean it’s definitely not a passive thing. It takes a lot of conscious energy. You actually feel like you have to convince them that you’re worth seeing. You know, that you’re a good person. There’s a lot of manipulation in there too if we’re honest isn’t there? I mean if you really need them to like you, then you’re going to have to work out what they are like and then be that. If you’re being that, then you’re not being you. I bet you’re also second guessing their every waking thought, emotion and desire. Yeah, I know, I do that too sometimes. As I said, it’s hard work.

I get it though.

If you could just get them to notice you, like you and choose you, then you exist.

You could avoid those icky feelings of rejection and you live to see another day. Not as you though. As this person they need you to be. Do you want to live your life being you or what others want you to be?

I like to see rejection as validation that person is not meant for you and I’m learning to trust that 🙂

“Rejection is God’s redirection.” or “What is meant for you in this lifetime will not pass you by.”

As if rejection wasn’t painful enough, then what about the need for validation?

If you could just get them to notice you, like you and then choose you, then you are worthy.

You mean something. You’re important and you matter. All those things are true by the way.

You are worthy.

You mean so much to the RIGHT people.

You are important.

You matter….so much…

… to the people who love and care about you. 

So why are you focusing so much on the other ones? The sh1tty ones who fault find and criticise. The passive aggressive snarky ones who let you know that you don’t quite make the cut. The mean girls of the popular groups who laughed in your face and made you feel about 2 foot tall. Why are you wasting time on them?

Why, when they don’t notice you or they don’t choose you, do you make it mean that there is something wrong with you or something that you have to change? There are two people in this situation-ship – don’t make it mean that! Make it mean something else. Make it mean something positive about you. Do you remember that scene from Friends where Rachel is leaving to go to Paris and she has long goodbyes with everybody in the gang, except Ross.

She tells him, “You really think I didn’t say goodbye to you because I don’t care? It’s too damn hard Ross. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I’m gonna miss you. When I think about not seeing you everyday it makes me not want to go, okay. So, if  you think I didn’t say goodbye to you because you don’t mean as much to me as everybody else, you’re wrong. It’s because you mean more to me. So there, alright, there’s your goodbye.”

It’s a THEM problem not a YOU problem.

Often when people don’t like us, it’s not personal. After all, we don’t like everybody we meet, do we? Deeper than that, we are showing up as unhealed parts of them that they find it hard to accept. We are a mirror.

So please, don’t chase after these people or think that you have to try harder to get them to like you. You’re doing them a massive favour by showing them where they have work to do! Seriously though, the real problem here is that you keep on choosing people who can’t / won’t / don’t see you. You want to change the ending to this very old and excruciatingly tragic story but you can’t because that is how that story always ends. Some people are blind to the magic of you, and it has NOTHING to do with your appearance, your intelligence, your personality or your temperament.

Where is the origin story?

What if you had one parent who was very traumatised and projected all their unhealed trauma onto you. You were unfairly blamed. Whenever you tried to tell the truth, you were gaslit and made to fill responsible for that parent’s feelings. You spent your days over explaining yourself and justifying your choices. You felt so misunderstood. Your other parent was kind, but passive in that they enabled this abusive treatment. You believed the enabling parent loved you, but you were often left confused as to how and why they bought into all the terrible lies about you. Eventually, you grew up thinking you were the problem, there was something wrong with you, and that you had to try harder to win love. So to keep yourself safe and to feel love, (and to keep that abusive parent happy), you dutifully took on the role of the problem and made yourself wrong.

A child is never responsible for healing a parent’s unresolved trauma

I want to focus on the enabling parent today because abuse cannot continue without an enabler. This enabler is often seen as the better parent. The lesser of the two evils if you will, but really they painfully abandon you just as cruelly.  As do other members of the family or close friends who turn a blind eye to the abuse, or who choose to buy into the lie that you were responsible for all the family’s problems. You were the welcomed distraction amongst the chaos that protected others from their pain.

The enabling parent put their needs first and expected you to play your role in order to distract from the truth and to absolve the abusive parent from taking responsibility for their hurtful actions.

The unwritten contract is: you do as I say, I’ll love you. I’ll love you when you are a ‘good‘ girl.

The thing is, in order to be ‘good‘ in this context, you fail because no matter what you do, the abusive parent will never be satisfied. (Read my book, they will NEVER be happy). Like a bottomless pit of misery, they will keep you trying harder and harder. I believe this is how the ‘good’ girl becomes the perfectionist and is riddled with anxiety as she makes this desperate, impossible and exhausting attempt at being loved. There is a total abandonment of self in order for this to happen. A loss of feelings, thoughts, desires and wishes. 

Were you really unlovable?

No, but a parent with unresolved trauma, self-loathing and buckets of calcified shame will make you feel like you’re hard to love. The truth? They have no love inside of them to give you. In an ideal world, if the enabling parent had believed you when you attempted to tell them what you were subjected to in their absence, then the abuse would stop. Kids don’t lie about this stuff by the way.

A responsible, loving parent would challenge the abusive parent and seek help or set boundaries. In an ideal world, they would take positive action to protect their child from abuse. The thing is abusers don’t choose healthy partners. They choose people who are equally as traumatised, so they can control, manipulate and exploit.

I have some more questions for you:

  • Who did you have to convince or feel like you had to try harder with to get them to love you?
  • Who had to be right all the time and would blame you for things that as a child you could not be responsible for?
  • Who made you feel like you were difficult to love or didn’t believe you?
  • Who punished you for telling the truth? 
  • Who shamed you for feeling angry while this heinous and disgusting treatment of you occurred repeatedly for days on end? (anger and rage were appropriate responses to this cruelty)
  • Who loved you conditionally? (there was only something in it for them or you felt like you owed them?)

Other people’s perception of you is NOTHING to do with you!

“What you think of me is none of my business.”

It’s all about how they see themselves or in the case of a dysfunctional relationship where there is a follie a deux  – the enabler has entered the crazy reality of the abuser and must stay there (in denial)  to keep themselves safe. People with unhealed trauma will project their stuff onto you and look to blame you in order to free themselves from pain. Shame is usually at the centre of this. It’s so unbearable that they have to offload it. It’s much easier that way.

How can you set yourself free?

You can’t give it back to them when you’re a child. You have to make yourself wrong in order to survive but now as an adult you can. It’s not your stuff to carry.

Your job is to KNOW WHO YOU TRULY ARE (minus all their introjects, projections, judgements and lies). So get to really know yourself and feel proudly resolute in your new-found freedom. Be content with your own company. Nobody can tell you who you are anyway. Only you know that.

Your job is to CHOOSE YOURSELF. Show up every day and keep promises to yourself. Do little things that scare you. Do little things that nurture you and make you happy. Say no when you don’t want to and give yourself permission to be happy. You’re allowed, it’s okay.

Your job is to TELL THE TRUTH TO YOURSELF. Even when it means pushing against the tide or standing alone. Catch yourself when you start thinking the lies they said about you are true. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let that in. It’s a them problem – hand it back to them. It actually will give you some insight into how they feel about themselves. Everything they accuse you of that you know not to be true, is how they feel about themselves. 

Your job is to STOP CARRYING OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF. You’re really good at carrying other people’s pain for them. Put that down now, you’ve got enough of your own to carry. Take the focus off them and bring it back to you. This is where your power is. Learn how to set healthy boundaries – in particular emotional ones where you don’t feel responsible for everybody and their happiness.

Your job is to LEARN THE ART OF DISCERNMENT. Hang out with people who love you for you. You’ll very likely have to redefine what love is. Love is not mixed with pain. Love is not head f*ckery or psychological warfare. You need to find ‘safe’ people. There is no bargaining or convincing them to be your friend. They want to be there. In fact, they love your company and they tell you as much. You feel safe with them. You can trust them. Their actions match their words and you know they are there for you. Don’t hang around waiting for breadcrumbs from these half-@rsed so called friends that make you work hard for it. You deserve so much more. You really do.

Work with Me

If you’re a sensitive soul and you’d like to work with me to strengthen your sense of self and your boundaries, please see if we are a good fit and book a free chat to find out more. You don’t have to be at the mercy of other people’s negative opinions and unkind judgements. It’s time to flip the script and take back your power. I’m right here and ready to help you with that.

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