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comment by galen
galen  ·  390 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 24, 2018

I'm struggling with separating what I actually want to do (on any timescale: today, this year, with my life) from what I think other people want me to do. My thinking is so saturated with the need for people to like me that I internalize other people's expectations as my own desires.

Intellectually, I understand that it's more important that I like myself than that other people like me, and that if I continue the way I've been going I'll end up dissatisfied with my life and resenting everyone else for reasons that I won't be able to explain. But on some level I remain unable to detach myself from other people's expectations.

I'm writing a list of everything that other people expects of me, who expects it of me, and why I even care. It's very long, and most of column 3 is "i want [them] to like me" or "i don't want to disappoint [them]." Which was expected, but still kind of sobering.

It's kind of amazing how detached I feel from my own fucking desires. Why is it so difficult to figure out what I want? (Because for 18 years I've allowed what I want to be suppressed or altered by what other people want.)

In other news, I think I've survived another depressive episode. Feeling better today than I have in 2 weeks. Hoping to find therapy here next week, although all indications are that it'll take forever to get an appointment, and I'm only here until the end of Feb. We'll see.

mk  ·  388 days ago  ·  link  ·  

People think far less about you than you do. Far less. Like almost not at all.

Their judgments are quick, shallow, and uninformed, through no fault of their own. Your judgements of them are no different.

In short, galen is most qualified to make those decisions. Also, you'll find that living to their expectations isn't why the good ones liked you.

Finally, when some one you admire for what they have done has a critique to share, listen.

FirebrandRoaring  ·  389 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The first four paragraphs is what I've been going through, myself.

Whatever you're feeling is okay. That's the first step: accepting how you feel. No justifications, no second-guessing: just "that's how it is".

My biggest reason to fall back and let the whims of others take me was because I was afraid of failing at whatever I planned. I've never acted on my own: it was always someone else's idea that took me forward. As a teenager, I even sought out others' suggestions to work on because that's the only thing I could work on: my own ideas I was always pushing away from.

Breaking into my own life was a big shock, because now I had to figure out what to fill my days with, and in the end, binge-watching your favorite show can only get you so far before you're sick of lying in bed with the laptop on your belly. It took a while, with experimentations, mistakes and coming back to the safe space of doing nothing productive for hours and filling my sadness away with food.

Now, I think I'm starting to figure it out, "starting" being the operative word. For one, I'm mostly a rebel, so plans and strict frameworks are not for me. My activities are spontaneous, and I dwindle in confinement. So they should remain, otherwise I'm left feeling vaguely (or sharply, when the pressure is high to proceed) dissatisfied with what I'm doing, with no particular reason to ascribe it to.

Maybe you're different, and maybe the way you do things will be different from mine, but I found it important to understand that it's okay to be me, and I think you would, too. It took a while to get to that conclusion, with a lot of research fueled by a vague momentum towards it — roughly seven years — so don't feel unsuccessful if you don't crack it right here and now.

At one point, I got disappointed with my desire to not disappoint people: it always felt empty, whatever I did to achieve that; superficial, with no essence or real ground behind it. After one too many times, I stopped worrying about it and let go, finding something else in its stead.

My advice to you would be to go about life the way you see best. If it's the desire to not disappoint others, so be it. But also, don't stop thinking about what you want your life to be. I think that eventually, the shallow distaste of the reward you thought you were looking for and the desire to have something better shall prevail, and you'll find a better way to go about your life. There's no need to force it: even non-rebels don't go against what they believe easily. Take your time, and take care of yourself while you're at it: there's only one person after all the worries are done that's going to be there for you.

Innat3vacillat3  ·  389 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My perception of my own identity was almost non-existent until about a year ago. As I've been growing my awareness of my likes, dislikes and feelings I've realized I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe what I want.

I think what simplifies my desires the most is that I want to feel a sense of peace and importance (as well as to be appreciated). I also have a vague desire to try and actually make change in this world, but I've come to the conclusion that all I can effect over the next few years is the small social community directly around me, and/or myself. Change is a difficult challenge. Trying to turn new actions into habits takes will and dedication which I still need to grow. But ultimately some sort of change is what I want, I'm working on trying to define exactly what that is still. What I have done is started a regular yoga practice as well as improved my diet.Which I still struggle to maintain sometimes, it's actually been a few days since I've done yoga haha. That's life though, and it takes time to fully establish habits.

I expect the details of my wants to change in my future, but I know that no matter what life path I take I will appreciate staying in good health longer.

Anyhow, that's my plan for the present and I'm still working on figuring this whole life thing out. I'm glad you're feeling better though :) I hope that the positive vibes stay with you this week :)

oyster  ·  389 days ago  ·  link  ·  

saaaaame Well, I'm getting better at it at least. I think my dad realized that I just kept picking programs in school because I thought I had too and that it was getting to be expensive so they don't ask as much now. They still push a little I guess that's fair when your daughter seems to be aimlessly living in the mountains. Thing is, we are all so bound up in other peoples expectations. I remember going to a baby shower when I got home from living out west/east for a bit and realizing everybody felt the same way. I was feeling bummed that I could have finished an undergrad by then and some people who did finish an undergrad felt no closer to knowing what they actually want and damn maybe they could have been travelling during that time.

I guess it was almost 2 years ago I made lists of things I liked/disliked and why. I even asked KB for movie suggestions because I assumed they wouldn't be tainted by opinions of anybody I actually knew in person, I was right. I don't know if it was that process that actually helped or if it just kickstarted my consciously questioning these things. The same thing happened this year when a therapist recommended I start a journal of my emotions through out the day, I did the journal thing but mainly I just did it in my head ( as I assume normal people already do ). I think those exercises just gave me permission and it's a lot easier to figure out what you want in life when your focus has been shifted from "how will this make others feels" to "how does this make me feel".