I know there are times when you feel like you’re not doing as well as some other people. Maybe it looks like they have it all together: good job, good relationship, money in the bank. And where are you, right? Maybe you’re in a job you don’t like, or you can’t seem to make a relationship stick, or maybe you just manage to pay your bills. Whatever it is, we all go through times when we feel like we’re just not good enough.
A reader recently wrote to me saying that she had put a lot of energy into a project, and a colleague had criticised her work in a very harsh way. She wanted not to care, but it kept playing over and over in her head and it made her feel really angry. The feedback hurt her. She liked her project, she thought it was a good idea. She also felt she didn’t deserve to be spoken to like that. Her question for me was, “I’m often affected by negative comments from people – whether it’s my husband or a stranger. How do I let it go?“
Whether we’re aware of it or not we all feel shame about some aspect of ourselves. Shame is an emotion that makes us want to hide/run away/cover up. This affects our interactions with others. Some of us feel painstakingly shy, others compensate by being the life of the party. There’s a reason why alcohol is so popular at social events.
At parties you can’t relax… You feel the need to be aware of your partner’s whereabouts and whom they’re talking to… Do they look interested in the person they’re with? You find it difficult to concentrate on the conversation you’re meant to be having because it makes you so nervous that they might cross a line. Your eyes quickly dart back and forth, checking whether there is a hint of intimacy between them.