Hi. How are you? How you doin’? I hope you’re well. I really do. I hope you’re incandescently happy right now, and if you’re not, then I hope one day you will be. You will.
Usually, I would have written this on my new blog reserved exclusively for INFPS, but very few people have read it and found it engaging, and if I’m honest with myself, even I find it a little boring, probably because it’s much more serious and wilted than the oftentimes playful posts on this blog.
So I decided to write about it on here. It’s okay. We all have failures. Maybe I should start writing a funny blog for INFPs. It’s better to use humor and delight as a way of self-growth rather than prissy little posts full of puckered lips and frowns, don’t you think? Would any of you be interested in that? It’s so much fun laughing at our weird, awkward, wacky selves isn’t it?
Much better than weeping and moping and…self-hatred.
I can’t be the only one who’s struggled with this, right? No. Of course not. What am I saying? If there was, on the off chance, an emotional Olympic Games, we would get gold-medal for Most Critical Type. And ENTJs would get the gold medal for Most Blunt Type. Remind me again why I like ENTJs so much? Ahem. I digress.
For a good portion of my life, I’ve loathed myself. Loathed everything about myself. Loathed my hair. My face. My entire being. Everything was wrong, off, inadequate. Not good enough. It was enough to skyrocket my social anxiety levels, and just generally make me a horrible person to be around, because I was so insecure and flat and fishing for compliments and reassurances all the time like a wet, limp rag of a human being.
Everyone else seemed so sure and confident and secure in themselves. No-one else seem to have trouble talking to people. I shrank in social conversations, erasing my thoughts and opinions and beliefs in an effort to align myself and agree with others, so they wouldn’t hate me. I didn’t want to be disliked. Really, deep down, when you hate yourself, and you act in a self-deprecating manner, it’s your subconscious desperately trying to obtain love.
One of the reasons I repelled the love of my life for two freaking years, suddenly avoiding and ignoring him like he’d sprouted horns and maggots wriggled in his hair (poor guy, I’M SO SORRY, I’ll make it up to you) was because I thought I was inferior to him. I had no self-confidence, and no self-respect for myself. And that drove him far, far away. Why?
Because no-one loves people who don’t love themselves.
Oh. My. God. I mean, it’s so obvious, and it’s bandied around a lot in self-help articles and whatnot, but I never truly realised the truth of it. I never truly absorbed it. Have you? One of the many reasons I like the person I do right now is because of his confidence, and his acceptance and love of himself. As human beings, we’re attracted to independently happy people. And here I was, poisoning my insides with bad thoughts until I was a mushy clump of bitter dregs to swallow in social situations.
And now, finally, after years and years of mental flagellation and self-torture, sprouting from a bad incident with bullies and my innate self-critical nature, I can finally say….
….I love myself.
I love my flaws. I love my weirdness. I love the way my eyes roll and flit about like a wacky, crazy person when I’m having fun. I love my creativity, and my imagination, and I won’t put myself down for having both of those in abundance, even if people think I’m mad. There is a method to my madness, my dear. I love my writing, even though it’s often far from good, because every word I write is a learning experience. And I’ve touched some of you guys, so, I’m happy! I even love my awkward laugh, a cross between a grunt and a snort and a sweet, little girly trill. Ah, my lovely, little hybrid laugh.
Of course, this lightning strike of an epiphany only happened today. It was one of those things, you know, when you understand something in principle, but never truly apply it. And today was the day I finally realised how important it was to love and treasure who am, because if I don’t, then how will anyone else?
Like I said, really obvious, but I never actually internalized it.
Oh! And here are some tips I used to overcome my self-hatred. I hope you might be able to extract some usefulness from them. Right now, I feel like I’m in a good place, and even ready to speak to my crush for the second time in a row, even though the thought sends me into a giddy, nail-biting frenzy. Go me! Gosh. Even those two little words of encouragement are so alien to me.
I never supported myself, even though the most important supporter you can have is not your mother, or your boyfriend, or the world: it’s you. Just you. Put yourself first, okay? You are a wonderful, lovely human being. Hey, I love you. I really do. You’re awesome. If you’re struggling with the same thing, you’ve just got to change your mindset a little. It’s wonderful when you love yourself, because you hurt less. And you’re happier, and you can talk to people and make them happy with your I-Love-Me presence. Of course, everything in moderation – an overblown ego is just as strong of a repellant as a non-existent one.
Okay. Let’s get started.
- Record a video of yourself speaking to the camera and then watch it again and again and again.You will cringe the first time round. And the second. Watch it until it almost feels like the person speaking to the screen isn’t you anymore. This is easier if you don’t really pay much attention to your reflection in the mirror, and so sometimes forget details of your own face like I do.As the face on the screen grows more and more foreign, actually imagine it’s someone else, and judge them as you would another being. Or use your imagination and pretend you’re someone else, and judge the person on the screen while you’re in the mind and skin of that other person (preferably a neutral one – don’t put on the skin of your enemy for this exercise). You’re probably going to be much kinder to yourself, and realise you don’t look half-bad – maybe your awkwardness and weird laugh is even kind of cute.
- Reattach yourself to reality. When I hated myself, I viewed everyone as a threat to my already rocky self-esteem. This did not lead to a good social vibe. I became so distanced from people I began to view them as psychological studies rather than creatures I could have fun with. Most normal people actually socialize because it’s fun and enjoyable, and I don’t care how introverted you are, you’re still human and can find delight in interacting with other beings.So try and laugh and have fun with some people, even if you’re awkward.It’ll reconnect you with your inner playfulness and that of others, and make you happier. It’ll also make you realise that most people aren’t out to get you – they’re quite nice, and they’d really like it if you were nicer and less stony-faced and serious, and could have a good laugh with them.
- It’s all about your personality. Hey. I get it. Looks matter. Beauty is important in our society – there’s no denying that. But your appearance takes a back seat once you open your mouth, and start expressing your own unique personality. People pay attention. People like you. People will smile and laugh with you, because you’re a happy and nice human being who is confident with him or herself.Ever notice how beauty doesn’t only fade with age, but time, as in, the time you spend with someone? It’s as if you can get accustomed to beauty, so that it recedes into the background and all you see is who they are. Same thing goes for unattractive, or even ugly people – if they have a good personality, once you’ve been around them for long enough, they’re looks stop mattering.
This stuff doesn’t happen overnight. Well, the realization happened overnight for me, but it’s going to take lots of ACTION and DOING and moving out of my comfort zone to truly, truly put it into practice. A lot of self-affirmation, and realizing that I am a beautiful, lovely human being, and that I deserve people to like me for that.
Oh, and there’s the fact that I’m head over heels for someone at the moment, which is extra motivation to get working on myself. Maybe the universe didn’t allow our relationship to start until I had my shit together and grown as a person a little more, and was ready to learn the greatest life lesson of all: thou must love thyself. To thine own self be true. Okay?