Are you selling yourself short in relationships – personal, professional, friendships, etc.? Do you try to squeeze yourself into other people’s way of thinking and living? Are you clear enough on your values and are you assertive enough in perusing those values? Or do you let people walk all over you or talk you into something that puts you out of alignment with yourself?
Make no mistake! We always “date” the right people (I am talking about all relationships, not just the personal ones). And these people are always trying to tell us something. However, we don’t always hear what they have to say to us because we date them for all the wrong reasons. I elaborate on that in the article below.
How to play the dating game and win it too
In what follows, I will try to make my point using an example of a “romantic” date. However, the same principles apply to all of our relationships and friendships.
So imagine going out on a first date. The person in front of you is very charming, self-confident and you are desperate for them to see you as cool as you perceive them to be. You may be even thinking: “How could someone like them go out with someone like me?”
Now, you already know that eating healthily and drinking carefully is the way to go. But you find yourself listening to what your date is about and nodding in agreement to their statements that healthy eating is so old fashion and that heavy drinking is the current trend. They tell you that they are precisely into that and you, yet again, find yourself nodding and thinking to yourself “Oh my God, how not cool am I? I must consider that the world is changing and may need to swap eating for drinking!”
Then you go home, you sober up some, and you start to question the whole thing. But the questioning stops as soon you get a text from the “cool” person. Wow, they pay attention to you! Your strategy to act like you totally get them must have worked! So you’d better continue the same way for them to continue to like you. You are probably getting the idea now that if someone as “cool” as them is interested in someone like yourself, it’s because you lied about who you are. But hey, the game is on! Let’s try to make this work. Let’s continue to fake it in exchange for validation. Let’s give up eating and start drinking. No, can’t go that far! Then let’s at least pretend you are ok with their drinking while you stand by watching.
At first you may be watching somewhat patiently (and keep waiting for the validations to come in exchange for your patience). This process may be accompanied by secret hopes that once your beloved discovers the real you they might stop drinking for you (as if!). Then you start to notice resentment and rage arising as the only change you see is from drinking moderately to doing it all the time –not what you secretly hoped for. Meanwhile, the other person remains clueless about you and your real feelings, either because you continue to fool them, or because all of a sudden you spring your “new you” onto to them and leave them totally confused.
Granted, you may not relate to the concrete example above. But what other values of yours are you being quiet about? Take a look at the people you hang out with. Who do you go along with that takes you out of alignment? Recognized anyone and now thinking they are the wrong person to “date”? Actually, they are perfect for you (otherwise you wouldn’t have attracted them). They invite you to speak up, defend your values and stay in alignment. But what do you do instead? Clam up to avoid conflict and get validation. Importantly, you don’t need to cut off such people. You just need to speak up. When you find your voice, those people will go of their own volition provided they don’t want to hear what you have to say. They may even stop liking you. But you will like yourself a whole lot better because you will stay in alignment. Now, who’s the cool guy? It’s you!