Some parents are shit. They are insecure, abused, and desire power and they use their children as vessels for their unhealed trauma. The parents project, they attack, and what is left is a child whose inner voice is vile and putrid. It leaves a mark on their children, and they walk around this earth empty, nervous, anxious, depressed, depersonalized, and rife with low self-worth. Eventually, those children become adults who see themselves as not good enough. They walk into rooms with their head held low, their voice indiscernible, and they don’t ask for nor reach out for anything. They believe they don't deserve it or had enough.
Both men and women have critical internal voices. The only difference is that the world often prepares men to make rejection impersonal, while women are taught to take rejection deeply personal. So, women go into dating experiences fragile with a critical inner voice (CIV) and a fear of rejection- a combination that makes you prime for exploitation and abuse.
Critical Inner Voice and Dating
A critical inner voice tells you in many ways you are unworthy. It says to others, please pick me, please say I am worthy, and all of your actions show it. You do things like change fundamental traits of your personality. You change your standards to justify your decision to date a person who does not meet them. You audition for a role to a man you barely even know and, now your power is gone.
Sienna met James randomly at a coffee shop. He thought she was cute. So, he began a conversation with her and eventually got her number. Over the next week, they had short but meaningful conversations. Finally, they went on a date. As the date progressed, Sienna became a different person. She projected what she thought she was, what she wanted him to see, or his likes.
In so many ways, Sienna subconsciously told herself that the true Sienna isn’t valuable, but the facade is. So, she keeps it up in hopes to become the girlfriend of a man she barely knows. Sienna's mask eventually breaks because she isn't getting what she wants, isn't being seen or appreciated. Her representative is, but Sienna, the true Sienna isn't.
Shame and Dating
If your parents ever labeled you as bad, stupid, thoughtless, an idiot, or any other demeaning words after you made a mistake, 9/10 you struggle with shame. Shame, according to Brené Brown is described as an, “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” Furthermore, she differentiates shame from guilt by stating shame is “I am bad” Guilt is “I’ve made a mistake.” The former labels the person, the latter labels the action and that distinction means a lot.
When you label yourself as bad, you are more likely to believe you deserve the worse, subpar, or are undeserving. So, you think I am bad why bother? Why want more? I know I can only get this. You never reach for the stars because shame screams at you and says how dare you?! Or you know damn well you can't get XYZ. It shows up on dates and in your career, for example:
After each date, Sienna reviews the date and she cringes. She made all of these scenarios up where she possibly turned this man off. She thought of all the things that he could’ve interpreted as annoying and thought to herself, next time I’ll play it down or next time I’ll play (characteristic) up. When he doesn’t reach out to Sienna a day after the date she instantly goes into “what did I do” “maybe it’s me” and all day she beats herself up.
The truth is Sienna needs to build her internal compass. Currently, she replaces her opinion of herself with any person she meets. If they say she is ugly, she's ugly because she has no voice inside of her telling her this person is a nasty liar. If anything, she has a voice that agrees. So, the insult becomes even more egregious. She also has no voice ready to take up for her. So, she accepts any opinion given as the truth.
Next, she knows nothing about this person’s thoughts. She’s only guessing. More than likely, she is making up meaning from a place of unworthiness. Meaning, his action is neutral, yet she read the action as she is not worthy. Finally, people dislike things for reasons outside of the person. This person may not like you because you remind him of his traumatic childhood, an old friend, or an old boss he did not like. It could be anything it doesn't matter. The opinion that you should hold close and dear to yourself is your opinion of yourself.
Dating isn’t Hard
Dates are opportunities to figure out if you are compatible with another person. When you define it as such and are very clear about who you are, you realize that the experience is not that difficult. The trickery isn't that hard to spot. The lies aren't that hard to catch. The analysis of how he sees you is irrelevant. The only thing you need to ask, s this person compatible with me? Use this time where you are cooped up in the house to rebuild your self-esteem and realize that dating is easy.