I am insecure.
Like so many young adults, I find myself more and more unsure if I even know what I’m doing with my life.
I’m a 21-year-old still living with parents. I try my best to stick to a certain routine. I don’t go out much aside from work and class, and my idea of a good time consists of sitting on my couch with a grouchy cat, drinking tea from my Good Mythical Morning mug, and watching reruns of The Office.
Suffice to say that my life is pretty ordinary.
The few close friends I have always encourage me to go out with them to bars and clubs—sometimes I do—but I always try to find a way to bail out of fear.
My insecurities of not being able to truly fit in and be an active member of a group is something that tends to keep me a million miles away from living a productive social life.
I’m afraid that my inability to converse my thoughts verbally in an articulate manner will make me look apathetic or just plain stupid. I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing, like that time a friend of mine got dumped and all I could muster was “That sucks.” She didn’t talk to me for a whole week.
My curt response to her relationship pain wasn’t because I didn’t care, it was because I was uncertain of the right words to say to her. In the moment, it felt like my knowledge of words were minimized to two minuscule syllables. Shouldn’t people who call themselves writers be more creative with their words, no matter the situation?
But I suppose that most of all, I’m afraid of not being liked because I don’t fit in.
Yes. Just like a John Hughes movie, I’m a girl with the world at her feet but unable to take that step out into the unknown because she’s scared.
Mr. Hughes doesn’t direct my life—although if he did, I’d have a significant other by now and an insanely catchy theme song, probably something by The Pixies—and I am left to figure this out on my own.
According to this post, a girl learns about how to be in a relationship based off of her relationship with her father. If her father is a positive influence, she gains confidence and trust. If her father is a negative influence, such as abusive or neglectful, she becomes skeptical and insecure.
My view of my father isn’t necessarily black and white. He isn’t perfect. He’s always leaned more on the verbally aggressive side of the spectrum, but overall he’s been present in my life. He’s helped me financially. He can be pleasant at times, so it’s difficult for me to completely say my distrust stems from him solely. However, I can say that my father’s past indiscretions have definitely influenced my insecurity of where I stand in the eyes of others.
To me, I process that period in my childhood as the what-if-I’m-not-good-enough phase.
I lack trust in other people because I instinctively assume they think negatively of me. In my head, the first thing that comes up is that they think I’m awkward and entirely too quiet. Usually the next concept that pops into my head is that I’m not good enough to be acquainted with them, and that in the end, they’ll end up not wanting to be friends.
But the strangest notion of all is that their validation about who I am as a person means nothing to me because, in the end, I’m the only one who can one hundred percent establish my worth in the world. I can’t rely only on what others think of me. In my insecurity, I need to find confidence to establish who I am and what I can do with myself—career wise or socially.
Authors have this saying that a piece of prose only needs to please one person, and that is the writer. I’d like to think that this same philosophy applies to a person’s fear of not being good enough.
If someone isn’t at a point in their life where they have an understanding of identity and worth, how can they expect others to?
Self-acceptance is a step toward confidence, and confidence can be liberating.
At least for this introvert it is.