I started this list in one of my last posts and I will be adding to it as I notice more. It is a list of how my ego has me try and present myself in a favourite light in order to get others to like me, approve of me, to feel I belong to a group. Then I get to feel more likeable or lovable or at least less deficient.
I am trying to get some kind of self esteem by others liking me. And I want to unmask these actions which occur semi consciously or at least so automatically that I hardly notice. I’ve thought of a few more ‘worse’ ones since, but they mysteriously ‘disappeared’ from memory quickly so I couldn’t write them down. I will add as I uncover more, there’s plenty of them.
I do not regard these things as ‘sinful’ in any way incidentally. While I cringe a bit at exposing them, I’m more amused by them these days. I feel the exercise is worth doing as an act of kindness. It’s good for these things to be unmasked and loved and hugged up I think.
- I sometimes reflect back what some says in a more articulate way to try to impress them with my intelligence
- I have turned up the rock music as I approach site so the men hear it and they might then think what a cool as fuck boss I am
- I sometimes notice myself speaking too much in therapy sessions to impress the client with how much I know when asking questions at that time may be more helpful to them.
- I feel impressive in my expensive boots and hope that people notice them. Even though they are welly boots!
- I might adjust clothing before meeting someone to make sure I reveal a necklace or bracelet or ring I want someone to notice. It’s not very expensive jewellery so it’s probably to show what good taste I have, so they will admire me.
- I feel a little embarrassed sometimes with rich clients by my car now that it is 10 years old. It’s a nice car and I have no desire to change it at all but I wonder if it makes me look unsuccessful to these clients. Think my sales angle is that I’m pretending to be one of them, someone they can relate to. I miss my car being more impressive when it was less old too 😂 oh dear oh dear oh dear.
- I might name drop a famous person I know, a famous client I’ve worked with, or a piece of art to try and impress someone. So they admire me or if a client, trust me more. I was told about an exhibition of a famous artist at a local venue the other day and I automatically told them that my relative had just bought one. I think they thought I was a fantasist lunatic so that maybe backfired.
- I will sometimes appear blasé about money to show that I’m above caring about it to others or have more than I do. Or else minimise how much I have, depending on the audience. To fit in and be acceptable/loved again.
- I will choose only the best attractive photos of myself for social media so people think I look attractive
- I like to sound clever so others will think I’m clever and like or admire me
- I lean on my middle class cultural background when with some people and downplay it with working class people, to try and feel accepted/a sense of belonging/loved
- More a private one, but I like that I have all the Apple technology stuff, it makes me feel important ‘Because you’re worth it’. 😂
- I tell some what these expensive gardens cost sometimes to impress them so they will admire that I’m trusted by people with such amounts. With poorer people I’ll hide that in case they don’t see me as one of them and then I’d not feel a sense of belonging and acceptability with them.
- Im sometimes aware of my body posture so that I don’t look fat or something to others. Then they won’t find me attractive and maybe not like me as much.
- I touch up eye makeup on the way to meeting people so I look more attractive so hopefully more acceptable to others
- Oh yes the revelling in and enjoyment of likes and acknowledgement on social media, that’s a regular one. I might start a zen ego training Facebook page where people are invited to post their best achievements and generous admirable actions but ‘likes’ and complimentary comments are banned.
- I’ll often take more turns paying when eating out with people to show how ‘above’ money I am and how generous I am too
That will do for now, I’ll add more as they come up. What does all this mean I wonder. Do I have chronic low self esteem or what! I don’t feel that but maybe I’m in denial, or else it’s the remnant of old neural pathways still working through me. To be pondered.
Here’s my beautiful new necklace, I hope you are suitably impressed by my good taste
Addition to the list 16 March
- I almost left the brush out at the allotment in the hope that they would see that I’d been there and done some work, and get some brownie points for being a good allotment holder. Caught myself looking for that approval and laughed. And didn’t leave the brush out 😂
- At my friend’s during a conversation about funerals I found myself wondering how many people would come to mine and what nice things they might say about me. That’s not one to impress and other but same sort of theme of this list.
- Another one occurred by thought anyway in the car driving home – getting a new fridge delivered and thought I’d better remember to clean my old broken one they are removing so the men won’t think I’m disgusting – men I’ve never met and won’t ever again and I’m caring what they think of me!
Added 17th March
- I enjoying telling some people that I have a business with 7 employees and sometimes even say that I run 2 construction jobs at once in the hope they are impressed and think of me as a successful responsible member of society.
- I downplay that at other times if I want approval from someone who isn’t successful. I’ll maybe call myself a landscape architect or just a garden designer which doesn’t sound as impressive.
- I like to tell some people about my qualifications to impress them. And hide these from others I want approval from who don’t have any qualifications and might compare themselves negatively.
- I tell some people I’m a psychotherapist in the hope they will think that I’m a nice person and maybe also wise or particularly sane.
- I tell some I do both so they are impressed by how much I do, and alternatively I very much hide that I do both at times in case people wonder or doubt how I can be good at both. So I don’t tell garden clients I’m a psychotherapist and I don’t tell psychotherapy clients I’ve got another business going on.
Added 22nd March
- Looking at and checking repeatedly the likes I get on Facebook and see who is liking my posts
Added 12th April
- I say things that I think might shock people. It’s a way of getting attention, showing off by being blasé, being seen as remarkable/special or different. Noticed I did it on the Fife trip telling friends how I’d get music turned down in restaurants if I didn’t like it. A kind of boasting about a sense of entitlement, under the guise of looking back on how awful I was/how far I’ve come.