On Being Genuine and “Gosh, Darnit, People Like Me”

stiff golden rod b and w

Mental Health Quote of the Day: (me to my therapist) “Sometimes I actually think you really like me instead of just giving unconditional positive regard because I’m your client.”

Yes, this made him laugh. Yes, I was only about 20% kidding.

In truth, I’ve seen a fair number of psychologists and counselors, but my current trauma counselor is certainly unique. And he does seem to genuinely enjoy interacting with and listening to me–to the point that he almost fawns over me at times (in a sort of big-brotherly way). I find it a bit daunting to be genuinely liked by anyone, especially someone I pay for services.

I suppose that’s the true issue–I find it odd to be genuinely liked. I get nervous anytime I find myself at the grownup version of the cool kids’ table. I’m amazed when I learn that total strangers are reading and liking the things I write on this blog. I’m not used to being popular, and my inner introvert pulls away from public accolades at the same time as my inner performer craves the spotlight. (I’m not sure if this is just part of being born a Gemini or a symptom of DID. I do know I have struggled with this dilemma all my life. I’m the only person I know who hated being popular in high school.)

So although I try to live my life as though people are watching, I find it disconcerting to discover that not only are they watching but they also like what they see. Eeekkkk! My inner introvert goes running to hide under the covers in a dimly lit room. My inner artist craves constructive criticism. My observers are of no use if they don’t give me tips for improving. Screw this unconditional positive regard.

Then it dawns on me: Sometimes the very thing one needs the most, even the need one seeks most to fill can be the need most uncomfortable to satisfy.

Deep breath.

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2 thoughts on “On Being Genuine and “Gosh, Darnit, People Like Me”

  1. Dear E. L.

    People do like you…count me in for that. 😉 I’m willing to bet your therapist does, too.
    One of the sweetest things my therapist did for me was toward the end of our times together. I mean you have to wonder, after three, often tumultuous years, some spent behind psyche ward walls, if your therapist isn’t relieved to be shed of you. There were some sessions where he let me shut off the lights and sit on the floor–not a word said in an hour. Anyway…those last few times he told me that he was speaking to a colleague about his grief over losing me. He explained that he, too, had to let go and it wasn’t easy.
    Gosh-damit, he really liked me. 😉 Hugs, little sister.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

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