I was browsing through Facebook the other night and happened upon an ex. We have all done this I’m sure. This is not a recent ex or one for whom there is (and really never was) any profound emotional attachment. As one might imagine, I got to thinking about this “relationship” and its effects and have come to an enlightening discovery on my persistent quest for humanity.
Recently I’ve be struggling to overcome my discomfort with focused attention and positive feedback. The goal is not to become a needy attention whore but to be able to accept and internalize compliments, which I am currently unable to do well. I have natural tendencies toward this for sure – my mom is totally like this. However, I have recently figured out that this “relationship” is what cause my absolute aversion. This person used attention, compliments and positive feedback to manipulate me into an extremely damaging situation and now all those things do for me is raise red flags and make me want to run away. I had not previously realized the direct relationship there. Now that I know that’s where it comes from, I feel comfortable letting it go for several reasons:
1. I am in a way better place emotionally and psychologically
2. I am 15 years older
3. I have people in my life whom I can trust and who genuinely care for me.
I also never want to become the person I was then, but I feel like I have a good safety net in place for me and it would take the decimation of a number of my emotional “firewalls” to get back there, which could still happen, but is much less likely. All that to say, feel free to compliment. I can take it.