ARE YOU TURNING YOUR PARTNER/FRIEND/SOCIAL MEDIA INTO A COMFORT BLANKET?
It would seem to me that nowadays the message being put out on the Media (Social Media in particular) is that women are striving to appear big, strong and independent or to actually be that. Haven’t you heard messages along the lines of –
I am an Independent Woman
I am not a Child
I don’t rely on anyone else
I can do it all by myself
See world, I can cope on my own
or words to that effect?
It is becoming seen as a sign of weakness to ask for help and support for one reason or another and some may be peculiar to yourself – here are some that I’ve heard –
I can’t show any weakness
I can’t trust anybody
I mustn’t appear vulnerable
I can’t let my guard down
I have to be seen as coping or else!
I wonder what your own reason might be?
Loneliness and Alienation
Yet, if we are all so independent, why is it that we are hearing that more and more people are also admitting to loneliness and feeling alienated from others? I don’t understand what’s going on, do you?
Does it make you appear dependent and helpless when you own that you need others in countless ways and that they also may need you?
In my opinion, your Partner or Friend or Social Media is not your Parent or your Comfort Blanket.
Although even if our neediness is a form of dependency (hence our search for a comfort blanket) it is not in itself such a bad thing – in fact, it is totally normal as is part of the human development. It affects us all as we all have fears of abandonment as we were not meant to be totally isolated and on our own – we wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
Nobody is an island. It’s our fear of intimacy, being vulnerable and not being included that’s the issue. And sometimes we choose the wrong partners or friends or wrong groups!
Who doesn’t need a hug or a comfort blanket from time to time? Even on Social media, we can get that when we get ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ – as a life without hugs is bereft of meaning and joy! (see my previous post on hugs).
It is only when it turns into clinginess that there’s an issue. It is when we are over-needy that it’s our issue as it comes from damage in our past which has affected our self-esteem. We all lack something and think the other (whether partner/friend/social media) will make us whole.
Do you know that feeling on social media when nobody ‘likes’ or ‘comments’ on your blog or whatever you have put out? I know it myself and can go through a gamut of emotions watching and waiting for it to be acknowledged (of course, I’m actually talking about me being acknowledged!). Then I know I am becoming dependent on your responses. My neediness has come to the fore! Although you will have noticed that it doesn’t stop me putting things out regardless!
We all are needy – have neediness – however much we say we are not or have not!
Here’s something to think about. You depend on others to provide heat, light, transportation, clothing, education, healthcare, IT support… and love and friendship.
I know some of you may be saying, ‘but I do most of the above myself’. Well, I want to say ‘well done to you’ as you are in a minority but the majority of us do depend on others for a lot.
Remember that you, in your way on a personal and perhaps on a professional level, serve others too.
It is time to remember that you are connected to all others, and to all aspects of nature, both inanimate and animate. Yes, be an individual and also acknowledge that it is the human condition to be part of something that is why we can acknowledge we are independent and also interdependent.
Also to be able to own that your friendships and relationships can sustain and nourish you and, in fact, research has shown that it is of crucial importance to our well-being.
Then, if your well-being – and the well-being of others – depends on your ability to create and maintain relationships that are supportive of you and them, it can also be a relief when you let go and lean on someone else – even for a short time. It is good to do this – so allow yourself to do it!
Let me know how you get on.
If you’d like to explore and have conversations on subjects like this, join my new Facebook Group? It’s called SIFITY (Stop It, Fuck It, Thank You) and it’s for those women who are on the road to facing their denial and owning ‘I Am Enough’ x