Most of the time, I feel unlovable. I have some new friends, and I enjoy spending time with them, and I feel like they like me, but when I get home I convince myself that they don’t. Do you have any advice for me?
You need to tell that mean girl who lives inside your head to shut up.
Sometimes, I totally do what you do. I make a new mom friend, or my husband and I meet a nice couple at a party, and we have a nice time, and then I go home and think the following:
Maybe I shouldn’t have told that story about how I threw up once in an airport garbage can.
Maybe we shouldn’t have gotten into that long public fight about whose fault it is that we drive a maroon minivan instead of something awesome.
Maybe it was too early in our relationship to describe my placenta in such vivid detail.
Maybe I shouldn’t have fallen down the stairs.
Maybe I should have kept my opinions about people who don’t vaccinate to myself.
Maybe I shouldn’t wear Spanx to a party and then spend the whole party telling my new friends that I’m wearing Spanx and they’re making my crack sweat.
Maybe I should have saved my N Sync “Bye Bye Bye” dance routine for an outside venue, and then I wouldn’t have broken that lamp.
And then I get myself all worked up about what an asshole I am, and how I’m going to die alone, and then I think, Well, I did and said all those things. And I can’t undo them, and I can’t unsay them, and besides, that’s who I am. If people don’t find me interesting and fun and charming, they’re clearly sad little people with terrible, sad little lives.
If you can, for no reason whatsoever, talk yourself into feeling like everyone hates you, then you can also talk yourself into feeling like everyone loves you. Do that, instead. And maybe read some books about self-esteem, or anything by Martha Beck. Self-help books are really helpful sometimes, and if you read them on your Kindle, it’s not embarrassing.