Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Somewhere, I think.
Language: English, Japanese
How to be yourself if you don't know who you really are?
I've suffered from social anxiety for most of my life, which has undeniably had an effect on my relationships with others--and, most importantly, my relationship with myself. For several years of my life (particularly my teenage years), I tried hard to fit in and be the version of myself that people expected. I was always quiet and tried my best to keep people happy so they would like me.
Now I'm an adult who can't help looking at herself with disgust. Lately, though, I've been trying to change that and accept myself for who I am. But the problem is that I don't really know who that is. For as long as I can remember, I've always pretended to be something that I'm not. I've pretended to agree with people on things that completely went against my actual opinions, just so I wouldn't upset the other person. And, more often than not, I spend my time pretending to be someone else and ask myself what they would do in the situations I encounter. Whether it's a character from a book or a show, or even someone in real life that I admire, I'm always trying to be someone else because it's much more interesting than being myself.
The problem is, my desire to be accepted by others and to feel fulfilled has led me to lose any sense of who I am. Believe me, I've TRIED to get to know myself. I've thrown myself into hobbies, meditated, and really contemplated on who I am. I've tried to think about what I like, what makes me happy, what I can't stand, what ignites my passion--not to mention, the whole gamut of generic self-help advice that tells you ways to find yourself without actually telling you how to do it. But the problem is that I change my mind so often... I can never keep interested in one aspect because I'm always adapting to make myself fit a certain mold. My brain cannot stop thinking about how amazing someone else is--real or fictional--and how incredible it would be to be like them. I've found myself doing so many things because others do it, to the point that I'm not even sure what I actually like and what I just think I should like.
I have such a bland and boring personality 90% of the time, to the point that people just forget I exist. I've tried reaching out to others in the hopes of forming a connection with someone, but it never amounts to anything. I even tried practicing forming friendships/acquaintanceships online in things like Discord. That just ended with me basically agreeing with what everyone else said and contributing very little to the conversation, to the point that others just ignored me completely.
Honestly, I'm at the point where I'm so tired of feeling miserable about who I am. I want to love myself first, but I can't love someone who is barely there. And I know I can't expect others to love me when I can't even do that for myself. I want to be confident in who I am, but I don't know how to discover who that is. Sorry to ramble on for so long; I've kept this pent up and it all came flooding out. If anyone is willing to share their thoughts/offer advice, I would really appreciate it. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read all or at least most of this.