I'm tired of people bragging about their assets and status like it actually means something.
J.Says answers another advice question she received. "From your personal & psychological perspective, what do you think will happen to my niece as she gets older? Her parents nit-pick & criticize her every move and she is only 8. What do you think the end result will be?"-Marchelle (recorded prior week)
To submit questions for J.Says, click the "Contact/Info" tab and fill out the form. J.Says is NOT a licensed therapist. Follow advice at your own discretion. *Note: This video was moved from a another section.
One's self concept is sometimes aligned with how others perceive you; sometimes it's not.
Assuming you believe in God.
A friend of mine said something to the effect of “I have things I don’t like about myself and sometimes I don’t feel like I’m good enough.” In an effort to remind her that she is indeed ‘enough,’ I sent her a message with a verse from the bible. Ephesians 2:10 in the King James Version says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” That verse is powerful to me because it’s a reminder of something easily forgotten. We are the creation, evidence and artwork of an omnipotent being. That’s sounds pretty darn awesome to me. That being said, we may have things about our internal and/or external that we want to improve or deem to be flaws, but because of how we were created and who were created by, we have the potential for greatness- even in a small form.
Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey
“I talked to 30,000 people on this show (The Oprah Winfrey Show) and they all had one thing in common. They all wanted validation. Everyone you meet wants to know “Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?”-Oprah Winfrey
Oprah said many quotable things during the final episode of her talk-show series, but out of all of them, I feel this one applies to everyone. We all may seek validation in different ways from different people, but the fact remains that we seek it…crave it. No one wants to feel invisible, invalidated, taken for granted or worthless. We want to feel like we make some type of impact. If we don’t feel or receive validation, it can affect our self-esteem or create emotional voids that we might spend a lifetime trying to fill. Feelings of invisibility can worsen particularly in times of strife, as one might feel isolated in their pain or stress. I’ve seen in my own life how invalidation has affected me.
For those of you who are wondering if you are seen, heard and valued and don’t feel like you receive the love and support that you should…There are many who share your sentiments, including myself. It sucks, I know. My only advice is that if you’re able to, address your feelings with those around you. Tell them you feel ignored or belittled. Tell them you want them to listen more intently or be more involved with you. Of course phrase it in your own words, but make sure the heart of the issue is clearly stated. If you’re dealing with people who really don’t give a Dereon` (Beyonce` fan joke), I honestly hate it for you because that makes the situation even worse.
I found that when all else fails, seeing, hearing and valuing myself FOR myself has made all the difference. I’ve bought myself flowers. I’ve dolled myself up and gone to movies and concerts no one wanted to see with me (it wasn’t bad at all. It was actually kind of fun). I’ve taken just my iPod and a couple of dollars and wandered around downtown to think and get some fresh air. One of the best days I’ve ever had was when I went shopping solo and then stopped in the park for a while to swing. It awesome being on my own time-table, having to entertain and amuse just myself and relive a childhood joy without being asked why I was doing it. The whole idea is to spend time with, cherish and reward yourself. When you have no else, you have you. Remind yourself of your talents and strengths. Look as far deep within as you can and find something you value about yourself. And if you think there’s nothing there, here’s another Oprah finale quote: “You are worthy because you are born and because you are here. Your being here and you being alive makes worthiness your birth right. You alone are enough.” I’m saying all this at the risk of sounding preachy and cliché. Sometimes we spend so much time pouring all of our energy, hope and love into others, that we forget who our true 1st-love is: ourselves. Some of us never get around to learning what self-love even is. YOU were/are your 1st love. You know you better than anyone else. You know all the absolute truths and secrets about yourself. You’ve spent the most time with yourself. If your reflection could talk would it say “Hey, what about me? You forgot about me. I need some attention too”? Pouring into yourself results in self-confidence, strength and sometimes inner-peace.
And for you folks who don’t necessarily feel like an apparition, be sure to take time to validate your loved ones. We all have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. Internalize and absorb what’s being said to you, even if it’s a casual story. You’d be surprised how flattered people feel when you remember small details. Share in your loved ones interests and have them share in yours. Compliment and encourage randomly. Check on those you know that might be going through a difficult time. When you don’t understand or can’t relate to how someone feels or an experience they’ve had, ask more questions and let it be known you want to know more. Learn how to respectfully disagree. Don’t tell people how they should feel. Cater to and dote on every now and then. Go the extra mile. Yeah…that’s what I got for today.
Male or female, people who have a negative self-image tend to subconsciously project their paranoias and insecurities on other people. For example, I don’t have a wash-board, flat stomach. I have a little bit of a pooch, but I’m perfectly fine with it. I don’t think it looks bad and I don’t intend on trying to fix it until I’m uncomfortable with it. While with a friend one day, my stomach started to cramp after a meal. I began to try to soothe my pain by rubbing it in a circle. Apparently appalled by my little bump, my friend said “stop rubbing your stomach; you’re bringing attention to it.” I responded, “So? My stomach hurts.” After a long pause, she said “You need to do something about that.” I said “I don’t think so” and she gave a snarky look. This particular friend constantly referred to themselves as fat and was especially concerned with their stomach area. After giving a look, the friend proceeded to lecture me about my pooch and it seemed like the more nonchalant I was, the more passionate in her argument she became. It was almost as if she wouldn’t back down unless I said I was going to work on my stomach or seemed discontent with it. Another friend of mine has similar experiences on a regular basis with her body-conscious mother, who points out every imperfection from pimples to cellulite. The characteristics she does compliment are those her mother no longer has, such as perky breasts or a full head of hair. One of my more vain relatives constantly criticizes the weight of others under the guise of “it’s unhealthy,” even though all of his comments are related to attractiveness.
Why can’t people keep their self-consciousness body issues to themselves? They know how awful it feels to look in the mirror and despise what they see, so why on earth would they want someone else to feel like that? Why try to force someone into paranoia? Is it simply the “misery loves company” principle? As for people like my relative who like to measure the attractiveness and critique the weight of others, what business of it is yours? Why care? How does it affect your life? I love how when it comes to external social issues that don’t directly affect us, we take on a dismissive “it’s not my problem” attitude, but it’s a national crisis when it comes to vanity. Someone must tell that girl she’s fat, if anyone cares about her at all. Many people would probably be more content with who they are if it wasn’t for the judgments of others.
My dump area for all my random thoughts, observations and advice that don't fit into the other categories.