Saturday, March 15, 2008

Confidence and Self Respect

One thing I have learned on my 'relationship journey' is the importance of having confidence and self respect. Self respect might mean different things to you and I, based on your moral upbringing and standards etc. but the key is to know where you would draw the line when someone treats you badly. If somebody does this, you should know how to affectively deal with them and the situation if you have a good grasp of self-respect.
I learned that I was once too dependent on validation and lacked self-esteem to understand this concept of 'teaching people how to treat you'. In the past I have allowed boyfriends to take advantage of my good nature or been forced into feeling responsible for them and their happiness. Or single-handedly responsible for keeping the entire relationship functioning. A one-sided relationship is selfish and very draining for the co-dependent. I do not recommend that sort of arrangement for anyone.
Whatever the circumstance, each relationship, good or bad, relies upon each individual's sense of self-worth and self-respect. I had to learn the hard way, but what it all comes down to is learning to search inside yourself, being honest and asking questions such as:

-Is this the kind of relationship I imagined for myself?
-Do we get along the way I hoped?
-Am I too concerned with being validated by this person?
-Do I really value myself enough to make changes?
-I am using this relationship to answer deeper questions I have about myself?

Those questions might seem a little obscure but they're precisely what I asked myself. I had to search deep within for reasons why I acted and reacted to things the way I did, why I felt so dependent on the other person and why I needed to hear sweet things to make me feel complete. Romance is wonderful, but when a relationship causes you to forget what you deserve and you give up your mental independence, that's when a relationship can be toxic.
After such a draining relationship I had to get back to the source to find out who I am, what I am meant to do with my life and why I didn't feel 'good enough'. For me, that meant rediscovering my relationship with God, finding out who He created me to be and gain that sort of peace knowing that things were just so because He made them that way.
All it takes is just one step forward, admitting this [situation] wasn't what you planned for and you want to make changes. Being strong is hard, but having the right friends and support is the best place to start when getting re-aquainted with your self-respect and confidence.

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