My need to be admired is preventing me from participating in groups - how can I get rid of this need to be admired?
The questioner's philosophy
My understanding is that I was in conflict with groups because I had a strong need to be admired - I was lacking self-confidence because people don't admire me. This makes me very fragile; moreover, I feel that this need for admiration prevents me from engaging in true relationships.
In your life you have developed habits that are isolating. Such habits include:
- Comparing yourself to others.
- Needing confirmation that you are good enough by people other than yourself.
- Taking an overly serious attitude and finding it difficult to be lighthearted and have fun.
- Accepting yourself as you are.
- Valuing your own worth and deciding for yourself when what you have done is good enough.
- Inviting fun and games into your life.
You have problems knowing what you like because you are out of touch with your intuitive right brain nature. It is this more playful side your character that can sense your life path and connect you to other people and the world. In Further Help and Resources below I am suggesting ways for you to become much more connected to yourself and the world.
Further Help and Resources
I strongly suggest you find a group near where you live that engages in a non competitive, creative, group activity. My wife belongs to such a group locally - a drama class where participants improvise short dramatic incidents. In the class each person makes up their own lines in response to what others are saying. In her case it's a women only group and it meets once a week in the local library. She really enjoys it and finds the class a great way to connect with others, be creative and have lots of fun.
Choose a class that you feel will be a challenge but a challenge you can accept. If you are feeling very scared at this prospect, search for a creative group activity run by a trained therapist - someone who will consciously be creating a safe and supportive environment for participants.
I suggest you get very clear as to what the goals of the group are. Ask for clarification of the goals from the team leader if necessary. Then during your class I want you to watch your own mind, as well as consciously focusing outward on others and the contribution they are making. Notice how everyone's contribution is valuable and needed for the group to progress toward its goals. Catch your mind if it begins to compare yourself with others and, if comparisons come, say to yourself - I am comparing - and let it go.
Notice how some people make more contributions in certain areas than others, then notice how every contribution is needed for the class to progress toward its goals. Notice how even the smallest contribution is valuable. Use this awareness of how the group as a whole is performing to appreciate and value the members of the group and to help discern what you, in turn, can best contribute and the optimum time for you to make this contribution. By these means express yourself with sensitivity to other members of the group. Your own contribution is valuable but so is everyone else's - all contributions are needed. Let the warmth of this group experience penetrate to your heart and soul. You need never feel isolated again.
You may find the thoughts of joining such a class very threatening, but it's not you that's being threatened, it's your protective shell. At one time you needed this shell because it was the only way you could cope with the trauma you suffered. However today that trauma has long since passed and I feel you are ready to begin to let it dissolve. As your protective shell dissolves your need to be admired will dissolve with it and you will feel more connected to yourself and to other people. You will also be a lot more light hearted and be able to have more fun!
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