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Learning to Love Yourself
with Habiba Jessica Zaman, NCC, LPC

It’s Not You, It’s Me

relationship photoOne of the most common arguments revolve around our needs not being met by those we love. Whether those needs are emotional, physical, verbal or in how we help. These needs come from our values that are formed in the early stages of development. As we continue to grow as people, we add to our list of values with each new experience.

Who you are, what you hold dear, what upsets you, and what underlies your decisions, are all connected to your personal values.

Your values reflect what is important to you.

They are a shorthand way of describing your motivations. Together with your beliefs, they are the causal factors that drive your decision-making.

The whole point of discovering your values is to improve the results you get in those areas that are truly most important to you.

Values act as our compass to put us back on course every single day, so that day after day, we’re moving in the direction that takes us closer and closer to our definition of the best life we could possibly live.

In relationships, we connect through these values and that connection grows based on the experiences we have with these shared values that make us feel seen and heard.

When the initial excitement and novelty of getting to know one another wanes and the simplicity of daily existing takes place, this is where we start to see either the strengthening of this bond as the fluidity of coexisting based on these values fortify… Or this is where the rifts and cracks in the relationship start to make themselves known.

It all comes back to the core beliefs of what makes us who we are. There are things that I hold as pertinent and crucial in life, while the same value may not be seen as so in another.

I have learned over time that in relationships, it is important to be heard, but it is crucial to be understood.

Without comprehension of the values behind my world view, my needs cannot be met in the degree I would need them to be.

Say that there is the same conversation or argument that occurs more often than not in any given relationship, whether platonic or romantic. It has been discussed, the values behind the need expressed, consequences explored and even steps taken to alleviate the hurt.

If all these steps have taken place, and the issue still resides, what then?

When do I stop? When do I stop ruminating and with the analyzing? How do I stop comparing the things that are going well or okay as a way to negate the needs that are not being met?

How would you define the difference between dwelling and processing?

Processing is to understand the root of feelings in relation to me, my values and experiences.

Dwelling is thinking about the good times, only or the negatives only without looking at the full range of what is happening and what has happened.

A simple way to check is to ask yourself what’s the point?

Having nostalgia over the good times and not looking at the full picture of when it was not perfect is the scenario, what purpose does that serve?

One possibility is to affirm that the relationship meant something to the partner, and I was not as easily discarded.

The root of this issue is seeking validation of your self-worth.

By focusing only on the positives to make up for the negatives, you are hoping to shut out the side that speaks out against your worth. If they cared for you, these comments wouldn’t happen, these actions wouldn’t repeat, the rift wouldn’t be staggering.

Acknowledging these fears, holds a mirror to the wounds you carry within. Being faced with these feels daunting and uncomfortable which is why it is easier to put the focus on the other instead of looking within.

There are so many manifestations of the lack of worth. For example, it could be that you value this person so much, and in return they see you as a joke, or that their behaviors make you feel as though there is something missing in you and you do not feel good enough or… any other variations of negative beliefs you hold about yourself.

This is not necessarily because they do not care about you or that you do not matter enough. It is sometimes just that they cannot. It is not about you. It is who they are based on where they’ve been and where they are now. Their thoughts or actions or lack thereof are always from the experiences that have colored their lens.

It is not a blame game.

If they are showing you who they are, and you are choosing to stay, you are choosing this life with them as they are.

That doesn’t make their behaviors okay, it just means they are being true to who they are.

Often times we fall for the hope of their potential instead of accepting them as they are presenting themselves.

Just as we ask for our needs to be met and for us to be seen and accepted for who we are, we must also be willing to accept them for who they are, not who we are hoping for them to be.

Many times, we get transfixed by the moments of wonderment and deny the rest of the story.

When we have set a boundary and expressed the value behind them and the consequence that occurs once these values are violated, it is left to the person to respect them.

And if they don’t? What would you do?

The intent doesn’t matter. Well intentions do not take away from the consequence of the behavior. The cut was already made, the damage done. Setting these boundaries will help teach them how not to continue hurting you.

IF the boundary is met with a comment making you feel guilty, then it is gaslighting. How can you be the villain for being upset by something this person had done to you, even after setting a boundary for it not to be done to you?

If these situations continue and the cycle begins again after a period of time, it is up to you to say this is not working for me any more based on who I am.

It is not that they are a bad person or that they NEVER met your needs. It is simply that the needs met do not outweigh the ones that are not.

Be confident in what you need and what you value. If it is not met here, it just means that this person is not part of your tribe. Allow yourself the love and acceptance you seek to make its way to you in all your relationships.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Habiba Jessica Zaman, NCC, LPC

Habiba Jessica Zaman LPC, has a master’s degree in professional counseling specializing in trauma, and is the therapist and owner of North Star of Georgia Counseling. With fifteen years of work experience in the counseling field including counseling, advocacy, guidance, and education, she believes that as awareness of one’s fears, perception, desires, and strengths increase, one can make successful life changes. Self-awareness by becoming more honest with oneself, can initiate the authenticity that often results in healing, transformation, and living a fuller life. Habiba has created the I.D ME Quiz (which is designed to evaluate your general level of identity and determine whether you need to work on your self-image. Self-Awareness is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling relationships and achievement. Take this quiz to find out your true sense of self. She has thirteen publications that started with a children’s book titled, But I am Just Playing published in 2012, followed by Beautifully Bare, Undeniably You, award-winning Dear Time, Amazon best-seller Dear Love and You’ve Got This, Mama series released in 2018. Habiba is of Bangladeshi and American descent. She has two children and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family.

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APA Reference
Zaman, H. (2020). It’s Not You, It’s Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Jul 2020
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