"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

Why Am I Being So Selfish?

by Megan

I am not very successful in relationships, and I know why: I want a lot, and give a little. Relationships terrify me, actually. Please help...

QUESTION: I only live for relationships with a guy, yet when I am in such a relationship I act and treat them bad because I seem to not care that I am with them. Why?...


I really am selfish when it comes to relationships. I usually want and expect a lot, but don't give or want to give anything in return.

I'm scared to even try to have relationships because I always use them, and then just push them away.

Many times the guys I was with told me I need to be responsible and also be independent. I just seem to have a lot of trouble because I don't really know how to act, and am usually immature, mean, and manipulative in the relationship which makes it a very 'unfun' and unpleasurable experience for me and the other person involved...





Megan, as I usually tell people that contribute to my low self esteem signs page, the first act of getting help is acknowledging the problem, as you have done so here. So well done to you for that...

"However good or bad you feel about your relationship, the person you are with at this moment is the "right" person, because he or she is the mirror of who you are inside."
-- Deepak Chopra

Okay, let me say this: relationships can be scary places to be - their is so much to gain, AND so, so, so much to lose. And on the face of it, playing it safe, as you're trying to do, seems the smart way to go. But it ISN'T.

The *ONLY* way to play relationships is to give it your all, as often as you can, whilst also trusting your instincts and making sure you love yourself just as much throughout. (Not all relationships are right for us, or meant to last forever. But our job is to give our all regardless, and to trust our wisdom that we'll know when and if to end a relationship if that time comes.)

So I say make yourself more available in your next relationship. Start to do the things you're not doing now. Open yourself to another. Risk.

So, yes, relationships are scary, Megan, but if you start to take some risks, you might find someone who actually likes/loves the person they discover in you.

Of course, anyone who lets low self esteem issues dictate how they behave towards someone is going to find it hard to build a good relationship with them. A good relationship with another requires a good relationship with self, first. Here endeth the sermon... to you and me both, Megan!



Comments for Why Am I Being So Selfish?

Be Patient With Yourself...
by: Vikki

I empathise with how hard it can be, when your own behaviour seems to be self sabotaging and very confusing. One small step at a time and being patient with yourself is needed to gradually unravel some of these perplexing and complex reactions and behaviours.

I too have felt like you described at times, especially when I was younger. People can make all kinds of analyses of who you are and what you should do, but what do they really know? That is why we need to build a strong relationship with ourselves first.

So by at least having some sense of who we are, if someone says something, then hopefully we can have some clarity to take or leave their perhaps "well- meaning" advice or comments.

I keep a diary handy and have done for many years - it's a good way to unload and is often an interesting self observation when you read back over it. But like Paula Renaye said, recognising the situation is one thing to understand WHY is another. And her questions are very relevant ones to ask. I will use them also!

Two things that have helped me lately are, 1. MEDITATION - a very simple Buddhist type that just focuses on your breath going in and out, and observing your thoughts but not giving them any importance. After a while you can feel more peaceful and a lot of things that were bothering you can seem less powerful. And some insight can be gained as to your own reactions to situations.

So, after we sit for 40 minutes and meditate he reads some insightful thoughts from some often modern-day Buddhist writers, which I find so helpful. Lately we have been listening to writings about anger and hatred. I found it absolutely spot on about how us humans often think and behave.

Yesterday a thought came to my mind, similar to many sayings but in my own words, the message was; "the first gift of love...must be to yourself".

Another activity that I find challenges me to learn about myself and learn a new skill is singing. Learning a song can be frustrating and difficult at first but after the effort, taking the risk to make mistakes trusting that eventually it will work, a sense of satisfaction can be felt when it all comes together.

I also feel that singing can be a sort of quick-fix feel good thing, all I have to do is make the effort to get there, and the results of feeling good come pretty soon. It can be a great way to bolster you up if other things in your life are seeming arduous and overwhelming - it brings you into the moment.

Finding things that you really like/love can go a long way to supporting your self esteem and sense of who you are and also to express and discover the unique and special person that you are.

What to do....
by: Paula Renaye


First of all, I want to congratulate you for recognizing your own pattern and being eager to get to the bottom of it. Yay!

Since you do recognize your behavior, the why of it is really the missing piece. Because once you know why you're doing what you're doing you won't need to do it anymore. And here's the deal, we really do all have our own answers; we just have to be willing to hear them.

So, the first thing I suggest you do is start paying attention to your thoughts, your words and your actions. Is what you think the same as what you say and do? What are your thoughts when you're saying and doing what you wish you weren't? Whose voice or what script is running in your head?

Do you feel you're not good enough and the guy won't hang around anyway so you sabotage the relationship to prove it? Are you afraid that by being kind you'll get trapped and lose your power? Are you afraid of being hurt? Do you really want a relationship? Why? What are you wanting to get from the relationship (the feeling)? What feelings do you actually get? Is this part of a family pattern? Are you afraid that if you showed him who you really are he wouldn't like you? Do you believe that no one will ever love you? Why?

Hopefully some of these questions gave you some things to think about and triggered some insights. Write back and let us know what you figured out!


PS: A great affirmation to repeat to yourself is: All my relationships are healthy, happy, mutually fulfilling and joyful.

How to have the best relationship?
by: Sandy

I agree with Steve that your acknowledgement of the problems is the beginning of the answer.

In my experience I was not able to have a good relationship with anyone until I first could see what you are seeing and then I formed a relationship with "myself".

Self Esteem is just that. You do not value yourself. If you don't then others won't.

It can be helpful for you to take some time off from dating. Spend some time getting to know yourself. You can do vision boards or collages of what you want in life. You can do journaling about your who you are and what you're feeling. Also, set a small goal for each aspect of your life: health, beauty, social, communication, work, spiritual...you may think of other goals.

For the next couple of months, do one thing(can be very small) towards those goals. And continue to journal or keep some type of visual record of how you are doing and more importantly how you feel about what you are doing. Reset goals, change strategies.

Over a period of time you may see that doing things for yourself is empowering. Hopefully,you will start to feel better about yourself.

Keep this process up.

After about three months, date casually. Just go out for events or fun things. Keep things light. Don't give gifts . Just focus on being yourself. Document what happens on these dates and your feelings and what you should have done better in communicating.

Eventually as you begin feeling better and more grounded then you can test how you do in relationships. Take your time. You have your whole life ahead of you.

Wishing you the best.

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