Share the wins, spread the positivity, celebrate your success in the company of friends and family. WRONG! — Okay, well not totally wrong but definitely don’t do this at the expense of your self-esteem.
Have you ever had a friend, best friend or even sister (they can be the worst with this) who knows just how to push your buttons, get under your skin and know just how to undermine your confidence with slight disparaging comments? Because I have, and what makes this type of behaviour sometimes so difficult to identify is that since it’s coming from someone close to you, it likely isn’t an explicit display of malice. It is usually hiding behind the guise of advice or merely a friendly catchup.
My experience with this has usually been when a friend and I are sharing news and catching up on the good stuff that’s been going on and slowly I find myself more and more anxious as the conversations go on rather than feeling uplifted and glad I shared my good news. Critiques, nitpicky inquiries and obvious tips all start to chip away at my confidence and pride in my accomplishment, whatever it may be.
I have never considered myself someone to struggle with serious self-esteem issues or to have fragile self-confidence generally speaking. I don’t feel as though I am easily rattled by other people, their disparaging comments or their own success. Though lately, I have been struggling to separate myself from this outside negativity. When trying to understand what about my self-esteem has changed to make me more susceptible to this type of harsh input and what I realized is nothing. Nothing changed, it isn’t something faulty in me that is allowing these subtle negative comments belittling interactions to hurt me, after all, I am human and no one’s self-esteem is bulletproof.
Though it is my responsibility to filter through what information or news I choose to tell people and unfortunately sometimes that means not always sharing the wins.
I can’t control how others will react to good news coming from my end but if I know there’s a chance it will result in negative conversations rooted in their own jealousy and self-esteem issues then the best thing to do, though it might be lonely at times is to choose not to share the wins. We’re often told to be careful about who we share the bad news with the dark stuff but I think we should be just as selective about who we share the good stuff with, you can never be 100% sure if someone is truly happy for you and your success or whether they resent you for it and ultimately will let their jealousy manifest in a subtle attack on your self-confidence.
Now, I’m not suggesting you become a locked box when it comes to sharing your life with your friends and peers, I’m simply saying that sometimes the 15 minutes catch up, or that really quick text you send for some advice is not worth the avalanche of doubt hat insecure person can send barreling your way. Sometimes you have to put your mental wellbeing at the forefront and put yourself first.