Do you believe we send out vibes to others around us? I do. I believe our moods and how we see ourselves affects how others interact with us. If I believe there is something wrong with me, I may be afraid of other people rejecting me. It may make me afraid of dating or getting close to someone. If I’m shooting off this vibe of “Please don’t look at me, I’m gross”, do you think that is going to attract the opposite sex? No, they most likely will be put off by my nonverbal cues of insecurity.
I work with people who are depressed about being single. I find their depression sucks up their energy to even take a shower. So it is no surprise that it is also hard for them to put on a smile, act friendly and send out a positive vibe to all those potential single people out there to date. It is one of those crazy cycles. Like how can I get experience unless I have a job, and I can’t get a job because I don’t have any experience. The same is true for single people who may feel depressed. It is hard for others be attracted to them because of their mood and because people aren’t attracted to them, their mood becomes worse.
The longer this cycle goes on the more depressed people feel and the more fear they have that no one will ever want them. The fear comes from not feeling good enough. The fear may have started in the past from hearing people tell you that you are stupid, or fat, or ugly. It is hard to believe someone would see something different in you if this is what you have been told in your past. Or if you have been sexually abused, you may be afraid that if anyone found out they would never want to be with you. Many people have demons inside of their heads telling them they don’t deserve to be loved. It only reinforces the fear of being in a relationship with someone. I also have people who use food for comfort to ease the depression the feel. Then because of weight gain they feel less attractive. This may cause them to actually be more reclusive and shy away from people because of their weight. It confirms yet again the belief that they aren’t good enough.
So which comes first? The chicken or the egg? Do you think you need to get into a relationship first to feel good about yourself? Or you do you need to feel good about yourself to find a good relationship? It is a hard question to answer. It does happen that people meet someone who sees through all their negativity and loves them in spite of it. This can be a huge confidence booster to find someone who sees how beautiful you are even with all your flaws. That person may encourage you to love yourself.
However, I do believe you have more control over learning to love yourself. You can get away from anyone else, but you can’t escape yourself. Others may not always be there for you, so learn to be there for yourself. You can start by deciding whether you want to work on accepting yourself for who you are, or if there are things you want to work on changing to feel more confident. It takes time, but you can learn to diminish those negative voices. I encourage students look over a list of positive characteristics and mark which ones sometimes describe them. Most students are amazed at how many great qualities they already have, but don’t give themselves credit for. I then ask students to focus on those characteristics several times a day. You have to put positive in, to get positive out. It’s easier said than done. Changing your thought process is hard, but over time it can have a big impact on how you see yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You may need someone to encourage you to not give up or keep you accountable to your goals. Tell someone you trust about your fears so they can help you fight them. The only way to defeat fear is to face it head on. It takes work to be a more positive you, but it may be worth it to chase the FEAR of dating away.