The Awkward Duckling
I’ve been left to my own thoughts for most of the day pretty much. My back went out early this morning, and I have been left in a lot of pain all day, including now. It’s probably time for me to make an appointment with the doctor and get referred to a chiropractor. None of this is the point of this post though, so let’s move on.
As I said, I have had a lot of time to think today. Most of my thoughts have not been the most pleasant. I refused to let them get me down though, and strove to remain positive. Insecurity is a bitch, and when it decides to make itself feel at home, it can be a pain in the ass to make leave. Like any unwanted guest, it’s oblivious to any and every hint that it’s not wanted. Most of my insecurities (and I’m willing to bet most of everyone’s), stem from perceptions and events in my childhood and adolescence.
I almost hate to write this, because I know some of my family follow this blog and they will disagree with my perceptions, or feel like they need to let me know otherwise. However, I know I’m not the only one to feel this way, and I’ve always believed in being honest. So here goes nothing. Growing up, I always felt I was ugly. I had my first boyfriend in high school, though he didn’t last long. Turns out, I hate clingers. After him, I dated a total of… drum roll please- one other guy. I just never got asked out. Seriously. I assumed this was because I was simply not attractive, however, I know guys I went to high school with who were attracted to me back then. They just never bothered telling me or doing anything about it. While the common sense part of my brain says that I should then not be affected by it, being told after you spent four years believing you were ugly that you were not, doesn’t help much.
That belief that I wasn’t very pretty carried on past high school, and still exists to an extent today. Even when I was in the military and actually had a pretty active love life, I believed that they were with me because I made them laugh and there wasn’t a prettier woman around. I do have a pretty good sense of humor, it’s been my saving grace many a time. After I got out of the military, I had men that I had served with who finally felt like it would be appropriate to tell me I was beautiful. I was shocked. I’m always shocked when a man tells me he thinks I’m beautiful, because I do not see it myself. So, apparently I am not as ugly as I seem to think I am. Which brings me to my next question.
Why do we wait so long to tell someone they’re beautiful? Or sometimes not tell them at all? One guy told me after he found out I was shocked that he had just assumed I knew. Is that what it is? We assume someone knows how they’re perceived? Oh friends, family, and strangers, listen and listen well: do not assume. None of us are mind readers, and perceptions can be colored in so many different ways. I’ve talked about this with a very few other women I know, and I am not alone. Many of these women who I think are beautiful, have no idea they’re beautiful. No one has ever told them.
In a world where we are told to strive for perfection, but perfection is airbrushed, is it really so surprising that so many women have no idea how beautiful they are? After years and years of men assuming I knew the way they perceived me, but me never knowing, is it really so surprising that I get so insecure when I’m interested in a man? Since they assume I know the way they perceive me, I always assume that means they see me as not attractive. I’m not asking for anyone to decide to come up to me and tell me, “You’re beautiful”. It’s ok. One of these days I’ll figure it out for myself. I think. What I’m asking is for you to stop assuming things about people in general. Don’t assume they know anything you think or feel. Like I already mentioned, NO ONE is a mind reader. You have to let people know how you feel. I think if we all just spoke our minds more, and assumed less, our relationships would be so much stronger and easier.
Just a thought.