13 thoughts on “Believing in Yourself When No One Else Does

  • October 31, 2017 at 6:13 am

    How sad a world we live in where we cannot find anyone to trust or rely on in our lives. If I didn’t live through h@ll, I wouldn’t know what you are talking about, but I am living through it right now. So the author here is telling us all not to expect support from anyone because, well, you’re not going to get it! How cruel a life this is. Unfortunately, this article seems to reflect the selfish, narcissistic, qualities of a younger generation than myself. Perhaps when there is a total breakdown of support in all of society there will be a resurgence of kindness to others. It may take a hundred years but who cares?

    • October 31, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Hi Razzed,

      First, I’m sorry to hear that you are going through rough times.

      Second, I am not saying not to expect support from anybody. I’m merely describing that there are many people who, tragically, don’t have anybody in a time of need. Those moments can be extremely difficult. And you’re right, there is so much narcissism in the world. But there are also a lot kind, helpful, caring people.

      I hope you’ll be able to overcome your current struggles sooner rather than later. All the best!

    • November 9, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      I tend to agree with this point of view. I’ve been surviving for years but have no wish to live in a world where no one cares about me. The thing is, though, there was a lot of narcissism in the 1950’s when I was a child — it was just more disguised. In my family everything was always wonderful. In the 1960’s they called it “denial”. Behind the denial was a lot of pollyannaism, perfectionism, enmeshment, and codependence.

      So after therapy on and off my whole adult life maybe I can see things without “denial” but the extended family has fallen apart. The love and belonging were always conditional, even if I (and the others, I suppose) didn’t exactly realize it and had learned how to abide by the unwritten conditions. Still, I do not want to live in a world without love and belonging, where I cannot count on anybody to care. It is now horrifying to me to realize that the professionals I looked to all these years for help have been among the worst “pretenders”.

      I wonder how much of our society’s current individual focus is worsened by the focus of our society’s designated professional “helpers”. At any rate, it certainly doesn’t seem to me like they are helping to improve an atmosphere of genuine caring and community.

      I also agree that eventually people may realize that life without support is not really “living” and put more conscious effort and focus into community and kindness and not just self-improvement. I probably won’t live to see that resurgence but things do tend to go in cycles sometimes. I certainly hope so.

      • November 9, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        Hi Melanie. I really wanted to reply to your comment because I worked in the mental health profession for 5 years and I personally don’t believe I was among one of the worst “pretenders” out there. I was interested in working in mental health because I am bipolar and had been hospitalized twice as an adolescent. I know what it feels like to be treated like an inferior and “crazy” because you have a mental health diagnosis. I personIy became very jaded with the whole therapist/client relationship dynamic and decided to try to make a difference by becoming one myself. I adored my clients and the time I got to spend with them was probably the most influential and positive experience of my life. I have no regrets, but sadly had to leave due to horrific burnout. It turns out I cared too much and hadn’t yet developed strong enough boundaries to avoid taking my work home with me. it made me very sick (mentally) and it prevented me from continuing to do what I feel like I was born to do (help people). So please don’t judge all therapists so harshly, they are human too and can experience the same pitfall I did if they are not at least somewhat detached at times…. I’m sorry you feel so alone in life and I sincerely hope things get better for you very soon…

      • November 10, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        Sounds like I touched a nerve, Calin? I’m sorry about that, but I do not think that I was “judging” therapists by stating my experience that they are among the worst “pretenders”. Sometimes they may well not know, and can’t hear it either. But I do not think that my opinion should be withheld from public discourse — “shamed”, in effect — because you and others may take such things personally. Or, even if I was judging, am I responsible for protecting everybody from the effect on them of my opinion? I lived for years like that — it doesn’t make logical sense to me any more.

        I personally think that what I need, and perhaps others may need, is ways and experience, even perhaps “therapy”, to strengthen our authentic egos. But for me my authentic ego includes a sense of myself IN A COMMUNITY.

        Very little discussion about that kind of thing these days. I’ve been in and out of therapy for 55 and remember when the literature talked about egos as “containers” and not just individuals having “boundaries”. Maybe that will come around again.

        Best of luck to you!! Sounds like you have a good heart and the system hasn’t worked so well for you, either. I believe that rational analysis and critical thinking and consideration of lots of different points of view would help to make it better.

      • November 11, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        Hi Melanie. Wanted to respond to your opinion about the ‘mental health professionals’. I have to say I’ve seen a downward shift over the years in the quality of care, and when I moved to New Mexico a year and a half ago, I found incompetence to be the norm, and a system that was more profundly broken that I ever imagined possible. Unfortunately, it couldn’t have been at a worse point in my life, and has had devestating effects on my ability to heal from previously shattered illusions of hope and trust when I reached out for professional help for my depression and PTSD.
        So, I agree that that are, for the most part, pretenders. I think, too, that probably makes it harder for Calin and other GOOD therapists to do their work and survive in the sea of sharks, whose bites have only infected their victims wounds.

  • October 31, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I just appreciate this page.

  • November 1, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Hello Darius and thank you for your informative and enlightening article…

    Having come from a seriously dysfunctional and toxic family, I found at the young age of 15 that I was very much alone. Neither of my parents fulfilled their job as responisible parents ie., parenting me, and so, I was left to ‘get on with it,’ as my mother said. Most of my relatives, though hard working, were a bunch of drunks and so was my dad.

    Throughout my life I’ve had to be my own parent and best freind. With no family to turn to, and having been emotionally ‘abandoned’ at a young age, it’s been a painful and lonely experience not having a loving, supportive, encouraging and understanding family to turn to. It’s been a real struggle trying to parent myself. However, over the decades I’ve gained a lot of understanding regarding human behaviors. Also, I’ve become adept at reading body language and facial expressions and fully listening to others, which has made it so much easier for me, because it’s far more accurate than just ‘hearing’ what is said.

    It’s so sad that there are many people who have no one at all to turn to because, the truth is everbody needs somebody to turn to in our hour of need and that’s why I’m grateful to you and others who post about issues that many are faced with. You are giving insight and hopefully help and encouragement to those who need it. Bless you Darius.

  • November 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    I came to this article because it’s something I believe in very strongly, and is something I learned to do early on as an adult, which has become my best asset over the years.
    I had a great upbringing, but lacked a sense of joy in life (that remains to this day). I kept trying to find joy in what the majority of people do, and at some point in journaling (very helpful), came to realize I didn’t represent the majority of people inside. I think that gave me permission to simply start listening to what was inside of me, regardless of whether anyone else enjoyed it, believed it, agreed with it, etc. It allowed me to fully explore myself, and I developed a very strong sense of identity from that.
    I am much older now, and unfortunately have found myself without any support in my life, quite the opposite of what I expected. I thought I would have deepened and expanded ties, but I must agree that the world has become extremely narcissistic. The last few years have been extremely difficult, and I have been very alone until the last few months, and I’m happy to say I’m beginning to build some connections.
    The point is, like you say, it’s important to be able to be there for yourself when no one else is. Without really appreciating my value and my judgment of the really bad things that OTHERS were doing, I would not have survived the last few years with my healthy self-esteem intact, and I would have probably allowed myself to be used and abused by people I held onto for support and validation – that would never have come.
    Be fortunate enough to explore yourself, and maybe, like me, you will find you enjoy your own company more than that of others who just happened to be around. I choose, rather than settle, because I always have myself, who I value.
    And lastly, I want to be clear that I am very honest with myself, and try to be as objective as possible, when I assess things. I’m not simply looking for a way to make myself look good. Its important to be able to see my part in problems, too, because if I didnt, I would simply be deluding myself, instead of being able to take positive steps to change things.
    Your best advice was to be aware of your thoughts, feelings, perceptions, etc. That is your best truth.

  • November 9, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    I have a friend who always says that when you laugh the world laughs with you, but when your sad you cry alone. For the most part I agree with this observation and therefore try to be hyper aware of the pain of others and be a source of comfort whenever possible. The problem with this is simply a matter of burnout. Most people (myself included) can only take so much pain and misery and bad news before we start to become despondent ourselves, so It’s not so much about narcissism as it is self-preservation. I consider myself to be a very empathetic person, but I do not have an endless supply of empathy and I am prone to bouts of depression caused by constant negativity. I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer with how much support each person requires, and like the author said, some people can more effectively parent themselves through the dark times in life. I wish there were more genuine connections out there in the world, but I guess sites like this one can be helpful…

    • November 11, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Calin, I agree. We only have so much to give, and I always think of “strength” like a “well”. When my well is full, I have plenty, But, when it’s low, I need it all for myself. I like to be there for people when I can but sometimes it takes too much out of me.
      And I also agree we need to have more sources of support out there. No one wants to be the only source. I’m always conscious of the importance of having a healthy support system, but i, too, find its getting more difficult to create that in today’s world.

  • April 3, 2019 at 11:37 am

    feel one must learn to rely on others more than on self. This is overestimated. One should also learn interdependenc. ESPECIALLY open up to others and let yourself be cared for when you are all alone. Adopt a leaning attitude instead of seemingly independent one.


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