Advice by Clair Wainwright // Photograph by Sofia Higgins
Photograph by Sofia Higgins
Hi! I love to talk and share my life but also don’t want to annoy others, and be “needy.” It’s hard because I feel like I am always ready to be there for others, so I’m not sure if I have unrealistic expectations of others to always care about my life and be interested? Because I feel upset sometimes when people don’t respond to me how I want them to, and feel like they don’t care, even though deep inside I know that’s not the case. And I also understand that different people have different ways of showing they care and different ways of communicating. So is this just a case of low self-esteem? This is quite a broad question, but how do you come to become more confident, independent, and happy WITHIN yourself, while at the same time not isolating family and friends? Where is the line? How do you know when to reach out and when you should be working things out yourself? I hope my question makes sense!!
Thank you for reaching out to us here at Ramona!
As soon as I saw your advice forum question I formed a strong connection and urge to hopefully lift the weight off your shoulders and provide you with an insight that you are not alone; I myself deal with all these thoughts daily and so do others.
Life is one of the most mysterious things we will ever encounter but here we are being us and why not embrace ourselves and our achievements? I know some days I won’t say a word and then other days I ramble on about myself; I think most people are this way! There’s no wrong or right way to do be; I think the trick is to find a balance between talking and listening. At the end of the day your true friends and family should be happy to listen to whatever you have to say, but it’s important to be thoughtful and considerate of others as well and to not dominate conversations. As we get older and gain more experience, we learn what we want to keep to ourselves and what we want to express, but it’s so different for everyone. Perhaps try keeping a diary to help yourself process and feel a sense of expression/release.
Many people get consumed by workloads and what life throws at them, which can result in what seems like a lack of care and communication. I have even been one to do this, sort of hibernating and not reaching out to others (but it’s not a reflection of my not caring, because not a day goes by when I don’t think of those I love and care about and I’m sure this is the case with your relationships too). On the other hand, I often feel like I too am ready and waiting for others, listening attentively and giving the best advice that I can, but sometimes I don’t get much in return, not even a response. It never feels good to be ignored, even if it is unintentional. I highly recommend bringing up how you feel and opening a discussion with the important people in your life who seem to not respond with care. It’s healthy to let them know how you feel and perhaps can work on it together–there’s a good chance they don’t even realize what they’re doing, and sometimes we all need a little loving reminder to snap back into the world around us.
I wouldn’t assume low self-esteem based on the concerns you’re expressing–everyone wants to be heard, acknowledged, and to know that they matter (especially to the people who matter to them)! Try not to overthink about whether you “have low self esteem” or not; I’m a sucker for this myself and it never helps, just leaves you with a big headache and too many pointless questions! I spent many years with ups and downs going from happy days to some of the worst ever. I think teenage years in general can be hard with all the added expectations and pressures from society; it does get better, especially when you do everything in your power to take action for your happiness! Self-love and knowing your own worth is so important; don’t ever feel ashamed or embarrassed to love yourself. Do what makes you happy, take care of yourself with what you eat and drink, have baths, set goals, go to bed early, have lots of “you” time, go for walks, meditate, do whatever it is that brings you peace and joy; you honestly will feel so much healthier and happier and this will radiate out to others. If you do what you need to feel confident, independent, and happy within yourself, you’ll be a better friend to the people you care about automatically!
I honestly hope this helps!
Clair and the Ramona team xx