About two years ago I wrote a blog post about how we perceive others, and how others perceive us (for anyone interested you can check it out here). This still fascinates me, but recently been thinking more about how we perceive ourselves, and how that always match up to how others perceive us. Recently met, and made friends with, a lot of new people, and honestly it still surprises me when other people like me.
I’ve always had pretty shitty self–confidence, or at least for a long as I can remember, in fact for the first few weeks of secondary school I didn’t talk to anyone at all because I was so shy. It’s gotten a lot better in recent years, though it’s still not perfect and usually it comes and goes in waves, usually directly linked to my current emotional state. There’s a popular expression “fake it ‘til you make it” and that’s pretty much my attitude to my confidence. This is pretty effective most of the time, and I have certain tricks that do make me feel more confident, like wearing clothes I feel good in.
My only problem is when that “faking it” is a little too effective. I have a thing that I do that I call my false ego, or slightly more affectionately “my cocky little shit routine.” It usually consists of me saying things like “Have you met me? I’m awesome!” and “Do you see me? Why wouldn’t anyone want this?!” The only problem with this is that I don’t believe any of it, in fact I usually think it’s laughable when people actually believe that I believe that.
The truth is that in a good day I think I’m okay, kind of funny, and a passably nice person. Most of the time I just think I’m kind of a twat, to be quite honest. It still amazes me when people actually like me, when people want to be my friend, when people want to spend time with me. Most of the time I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for whoever it is to realise I’m not that interesting, that I’m not that special, and that I’m actually just a bit of a Di I’m waiting for that moment where I do or say something to fuck everything up, to break down that illusion of who I am, and to see me the same ugly way that I do. In a way I just end up creating my own self-fulfilling prophecies and repeating the same series of destructive behaviours again and again.
There are ways to help it, therapy has helped me get better in the past, however the only problem with that so far is that the longest treatment program I’ve managed to get has only been 12 weeks, so it just ends up being a temporary fix. Like cleaning the surface of a wound and putting a fresh plaster over the top, but not actually treating the wound itself, so it just remains there festering underneath the surface. However, at least by knowing there’s a problem, I can start to deal with it, get the help I need, and start to heal. Maybe I’ll never be perfect, but I might just get better.