Today I realised I’ve been living under a delusion. After delving into a blog called Dr. Nerdlove (specifically his how to be a high status man article) I’ve come to the realisation that part of my life has been a lie, a lie that I personally perpetrated. Hopefully by venting (writing) this then maybe I can make the solemn steps to move on.
A lot of this won’t make chronological sense if you haven’t read my articles on my depression, but it’s definitely not required.
I’ve been under the impression that I have no insecurities and I’m super happy about everything about myself, I’m confident, assertive and capable of producing boundaries. After writing that sentence, I realise how arrogant and wrong I sound.
Everybody has insecurities, if they say they don’t there plain lying. Insecurities actually may even be a good thing; they inspire us to change, to better ourselves. Lying to myself that I had no insecurities was a bad idea. It pushed me into a fallacy of self-appeasement, and a bad sort of comfort. The self-appeasement consisted of being a cocky loud-mouth in class and subtlety reaffirming myself through devious means. For example: pretending to not know that people see me as confident and being surprised, or asking “was I confident enough in …” If you think about it I was reaffirming myself right in that sentence, but that’s not important. The bad comfort was a comfort that was not real, an illusion of sorts that I had crafted for myself, it impeded my growth as a person.
(For those of you who have watched Memento the rest of this paragraph will make sense but if it doesn’t just bear with me please). I liken how I lied to myself to the main character in Memento. In the end we find out that he tricked himself to make himself feel better. He hid behind the lie of the story he told about his job. He lied to himself so he did not have to face the truth about his wife. It worked for him because his memory was messed up. But for me it didn’t and boy am I glad. If I had to keep reaffirming myself over and over again, day by day, I would go mad. I would become depressed again.
This “reaffirmation” only occurred because I was insecure. The insecurities about my appearance lingered as well as the insecurities about my inherent worth. I was insecure that I hadn’t actually changed. I was insecure of my insecurities. My past has taught me that insecurities are bad, but now I realise there not, if used positively they can be harnessed for positive change.
There were two things that helped me realise this:
Firstly the article by Dr Nerdlove. He talked about what true “value” was. Values such as wealth or “Alpha”-ism cannot compare to authenticity. The ability to let go of societal values of male dominance and perceived conceptions of worth, and be comfortable with one’s self. I realised that all I was striving for was to be that Alpha. So thank you Dr. Nerdlove for sharing your belief. Thank you for stopping me from being side-tracked and showing me through your words that true value comes from the comforts of one’s self and therefore authenticity; that true value is not wealth or being an Alpha male but the beautiful traits outlined in this paragraph:
“Someone who helps other people feel good, who is interesting to talk to and who can bring the fun has value and status; people will want to spend time with him. Can you inspire respect in other people, not through your material goods or being famous but through what you have to offer as a person? That’s status. Can you connect with people on an emotional level and make them feel as though you understand them better than anyone else does? Then you have higher social value than someone who is only able to meet someone on the surface, who is all glitz with no depth or substance.” – Dr Nerdlove
Dr Nerdlove’s article also helped me realise the toxic friend I had been keeping company. Our friendship consisted of his subtle disregard for what I was saying, and a constant belittlement of me. I pushed him to go to the gym a term back and now? When I ask him to go to the gym with me, he says no and belittles me saying he’d be depressed because he’d be doing 30kg’s while his “weak” friend would be doing just 10kg’s. He’d be depressed because everybody would see the company he was keeping. Fuck him I think, but I don’t say anything.
He constantly and consistently felt the need to show the world, and in essence himself how great he was. This was the blinding paradox that I was living in. In some ways I’m alike my friend who recently I reminded that humility is a beautiful trait. Though I wasn’t as obnoxious in my reaffirmations, I was more the subtle deceptive type. I realise that this may be tall poppy syndrome but I’m still clinging onto the hope that I’m not as bad as him, maybe I am I guess, I just really hope not. I believe that everybody can change, but I guess it’s very interesting to realise how we perceive our actions and how others perceive them can vary to such huge degrees. He seemed oblivious to what he was doing, I was too. In a way I want to help him change too but he has to be willing, and I don’t think I can take being his friend any longer. I have to respect myself first.
This friend sparked a re-examination of my year so far: IF I truly valued myself how could I let myself fall into the company of his toxicity? And; IF I truly had no insecurities why did I need to constantly reaffirm and scheme to appease my ego? So there’s one positive thing I can take from this “friendship” he’s helped me through his actions see how my actions may be perceived, and through my opinions of him I’ve been able to realise that I may not be as perfect as I tell myself.
In spite of how painful it is to realise that I’ve been lying to myself again, I feel a huge respite to accept my insecurities fully. Finally I won’t be hiding behind the facade that somehow insecurities are wrong.
Photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures / Foter / CC BY