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Lotus Jester
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I was curious if anyone else can relate to this and how it relates to type:

I prefer my own company to interacting with others because when I am alone, my moods, self-esteem and sense of self stay the same - which is what I feel the most comfortable with.

However, since I am extremely thin skinned and have strong emotional reactions (which I keep hidden) to others' approval/disapproval of me: both my sense of self and self-esteem is strongly affected by this. The really weird part about it is that my reactions are pretty much the converse of what you might expect.

So, if people treat me well, compliment me, value my friendship, opinions etc.: Initially of course, I'm stoked but that doesn't last very long. Eventually I have this disconnect between their good opinion of me and what I feel inside and I start to experience feelings of massive self-loathing which goes away after I've had some time to myself.

If OTOH, people treat me badly, negatively criticize me and put me down: Initially of course, I feel awful because it obviously stings but again: those feeling don't last either. Eventually, conversely; my self image and feelings of superiority begin to inflate - almost to the point of grandiosity. And again, they also recede once I've had some time alone to ground myself and reflect.

I don't allow feelings to base my self-esteem on; so my thoughts always remain logical and realistic. Still, the intense feelings I experience are disconcerting, unnerving and frightening, to say the least. When I experience massive feelings of self-loathing after being treated well; it is extremely painful - even though it doesn't actually alter my opinion of myself. The same applies - albeit differently with the feelings of superiority as a result of being shamed. They feel somehow scary as if I were losing my mind.

The bottom line - even though I don't allow my emotions to influence how I see myself; I nevertheless can not ignore these intense feelings that I experience as being overwhelming at the time. It knocks me off balance and makes me feel unstable - even if no one else but me can see it.

Getting myself back on track once I am by myself takes an awful lot of energy as fluctuations in my feelings and self-image - even if only temporary are exhausting and emotionally draining for me. =(
 

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If OTOH, people treat me badly, negatively criticize me and put me down: Initially of course, I feel awful because it obviously stings but again: those feeling don't last either. Eventually, conversely; my self image and feelings of superiority begin to inflate - almost to the point of grandiosity. And again, they also recede once I've had some time alone to ground myself and reflect.
Can't say I relate, but any idea why you feel like that?
 

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Lotus Jester
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Discussion Starter #3
Can't say I relate, but any idea why you feel like that?
Well, I think it was because my mother never mirrored me and I never really experienced having a solid sense of self; so I am therefore extremely vulnerable to the perceptions of me through the eyes of others. The Narcissistic parent and romantic relationships

I also experience this disconnect between my thoughts and my feelings. My estimation of my self-esteem does not change and is not influenced by others but my emotions are a completely different story.
 

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I prefer my own company to interacting with others because when I am alone, my moods, self-esteem and sense of self stay the same - which is what I feel the most comfortable with.
I can definitely relate to this part of your post! I often choose to be alone because I'm worried about what will happen to my mood/sense of self when I am around other people. I don't like showing my real emotions to people, and I don't like feeling out of control of them. It takes a huge amount of mental effort to keep them in check sometimes!

I cannot relate completely to your comments on self-esteem, as my reactions are not usually so intense, but I do react negatively sometimes when people compliment me. It's not that I don't believe what they say, or think that they are lying. I get worried that if someone has complimented me on something, I have to keep up a certain standard, and knowing that they are 'keeping track' of achievements (or whatever they commented) on makes me worry unnecessarily. Being alone removes me from that, and it's easier to rationalise my thoughts, and gives me time to realise that the worry is actually unnecessary most of the time. It's difficult to let go of the emotions/mood/self-esteem issues around other people, but I've been challenging myself with it, and it does get a bit easier! :) (although it takes even more mental energy!)
 
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