How much of our self-image and self-worth comes from society?
Our society appears to reward certain types of people (with fame and fortune), and those of us who don’t meet those ideal standards feel less worthy.
It’s not just about being skinny to the point of anorexia, or handsome/pretty enough to die for. I wonder if it’s more about the focus in general of what makes a person respected and/or successful. It’s all about the money, the looks, the material goods – and recently – the “wow factor.” (think of recent politics as well as “reality” TV shows)
The problems come when we ourselves do not meet these criteria. If we’re not handsome enough, or we don’t have that sports car, or we are introverted or shy, we sometimes feel like we’re not “successful” or that we’re not a good person.
Sometimes it’s not that we think we’re all that bad, but that we feel that no one pays attention to us. That makes most of us super uncomfortable, to be “invisible.” Right there, though, is the most insideous of society’s bad messages: it matters more to us what other people think of us than it matters to ourselves.
Especially if we have certain weaknesses and “triggers” that upset us, if someone else points out one of these things to us, it suddenly matters. It matters so much that it drives us into a bottle or into bed or into a hospital. Even if, before their comment, we didn’t really think there was anything wrong there. We’re listening to other peoples’ comments and making them more important than our own – and trust me, no one is in a position to judge you but you. You’re the only one that knows why you do what you do, and feel what you feel. No one should tell you how to think of yourself but you.
What message from society do you feel trapped into following?
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