posted by dave on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 1:06 PM in category general

I had an interesting conversation with OddlyFamiliarGirl a couple of weeks ago. I think it's worthy of a blog entry, it's just that I don't feel particularly worthy to write the entry. But, you've got to work with what you have, and I've got me.

Speaking of worthy, that's kinda what we were talking about. Self-worth, specifically. Everyone has a sense of self-worth. Sometimes it's right, and sometimes it's wrong, but everyone has one. And most of us get clues or validation for that self-worth from other people.

I say most because there are certainly some people who neither need nor want nor consider any external sources when they think about their self-worth. Those people are a minority, I think. Mostly Buddhists and/or assholes. Most people don't live in a vacuum. Mostpeople live in a society.

First, I'll briefly write about the normal people. The stable ones. The ones who are perfectly reasonable about their sources. These people look to their significant others, maybe to their immediate family, maybe to a few very close friends.

If one of these people has a falling-out with someone close to them, they feel bad. But they don't start questioning their worth as a person. They've got others who still think they're great.

If those normal people occupy the middle ground, there have to be people on both sides. The second group of people I want to write about is the group of which I'm a member.

One person. That's it. One person, whether he or she wants it or not, or whether he or she is deserving or not, gets the honor/privilege of determining the entirety of the sense of self-worth for you. If that one person likes you, then you're golden. But if that one person has a problem with you, well, it's pretty much devastating.

It's like I was telling OddlyFamiliarGirl, if she and I had a falling out and she started hating me, I'd feel sad about losing a friend, but I wouldn't suddenly start to think I was a horrible person. I'd get over it. Because she's not the one person for me. She's not my mirror.

The trick is choosing the right person. I, myself, have chosen poorly over the years. No wonder I'm such a mess.

At the other extreme, there are people who get their clues from literally everyone they've ever met. These people have a desperate need to be liked by everyone, no matter what. They try to stay friends with people who they should loathe, lest that person dislike them otherwise. A girl could be Miss America, but let her go home and hear from her boyfriend that she looks fat, well then she's fat as far as she's concerned. Any disparaging remark from anyone, and these people crumble. Their self-worth becomes their worst enemy.

This last group, I can't help but pity them. They' have the toughest time of all. Because it's a no-win situation. Nobody is loved by everyone. Nobody. And so these people are doomed to hate themselves simply because they're not universally loved.

I wish I knew some solutions. I really do. Both for my group and for this third group. But, I don't have any solutions. I'm just muddling through like I always do. And, right now, I seem to be looking for someone new to tell me what my self-worth should be. I sure as shit can't figure it out on my own.

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