This comment was by Lucy Montrose in reference to the post – How Good Guys CanBecome Chronically Unhappy Husbands
I have also felt the need for external validation, but for my social skills rather than my happiness.
When I was young, I was thought of as socially awkward. I never fully believed that, but I also knew I had no evidence to prove otherwise… because outside of my family, I was just not good at getting what I wanted from other people.
And so, I became highly dependent on others’ validation for both confirmation and development of my people skills. Every rejection and “no” felt like more than just an ordinary setback. I came to see other people as, through their “no’s”, actively stunting my growth as a person, and denying me valuable life experiences. You can imagine my resentment.
Since then I have worked hard to separate others’ boundaries and free choices from any statement they might make about me as a person. But I still have this inner voice that tells me whenever I fail to get what I want from others: “See? Your personality must still suck, your self-presentation must still be a turnoff, because otherwise they would have said yes to you. Socially adept people very rarely get turned down.”
I don’t have to have people angry at me, or dislike me … just failing to do what I want is enough to make me worried that I really haven’t matured and gotten better with people.
Essentially, it feels like social skills are a different animal… the one great exception to common self-help advice. The complete opposite to what would be normal and healthy for us as individuals. You *should* worry about others not giving you what you want. You *should* worry if you’re asking too much instead of, you know, just attracting goodies from others. Because another mark of social deftness is, apparently, being able to get it with a minimum of effort. (Or, in some cases, without even asking.)
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