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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
MikeG Offline
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Arrow Overall state of my mind - August 4th 2012, 02:52 PM

Hello, I just joined this forum and I really feel like letting go some of my steam about my life right now and was hoping that some of you guys could comment on it maybe!

First things first, my name is Miguel and I'm from Portugal. I'm 18 years old and I just finised high school and am leaving in 3 weeks to Germany to study there for a minimum of 5 years. I'm a very rational person, but with an open mind and that has a lot of influence on my view of life in general. I think myself as a weak-minded person, but I don't know if what I feel is the standard for everyone or I'm really inferior. My social circle consists of almost all male friends and it has about 10 people. My interests are music, gaming, studying human behaviour and nature's and developing ideas.

With this overview of my life, you'll understand what I'm talking about. Here goes:

I never thought that I would be discussing my life with another person (exception: wife, girlfriend) because I always thought of opening up to others would just show my weaknesses and make the other person feel superior. I hate it when other people have the upper hand on me, I hate being the victim. But the circumstances make me have to do this.

I'm a hypocrit and lazy person in essence. I want attention, but I don't want to give attention. I want to receive without giving. I hate myself for it. I have pain for being like this and I have pain when I give. It's a lose-lose situation for me. I've tried changing my mentality, but it wasn't worth it. Let's take Christmas for example. I have given out presents to my family how many times? About 2 times. And in those 2 times, I didn't feel good. In fact, I felt worse, because firstly I lost time and effort getting the gifts, secondly I felt that my family kept underlining the idea that only now I've started giving gifts and that just made me feel bad and I don't want it to happen again.

Sometimes I think that certain things just aren't worth it. I play guitar and I've stuck with the same music style for 4 years and over these years I got fed up with only playing it. I want to change, but I think that changing is just not worth it. I'm going to suspend the fun I'm currently having and basically have to practice, endure pain, until I can have fun with another thing that I'm eventually going to get fed up with. The same goes for my idea of friends, I can't be asked to find new friends, because it's just too much work for the small reward it gives out. If people actually open themselves to me and participate in the conversation in a way that I feel as if he's really interested in me then normally I don't have any problem showing interest back, I even feel good in that situation, but people like those don't come often, because normally I'm the one searching for friends, not them.

I want friends, I really do, but I don't want to be left in a position of weakness when I'm with them. I need to feel superior to have a weak friendship and I need to feel equal to have a happy friendship/relationship, because when I feel like I'm receiving, I automatically give and feel happy with it. That's why I think that even though I'm a hypocrit, I can still be a good person, but only in this specific case.

I also want love. Love is the thing that I never really felt and was always denied when I was younger. With love I mean a relationship with a girl, not love in the family, because I never felt that way toward my family as I did with my crushes. I was too anxious to even go talk to them when I was younger and I got sad. Then I decided to let those feelings go and talk to them, but then my self-esteem issues came and I was too scared of their opinion of me and when I finally got over that self-esteem issue, I got turned down. This happend twice and to be honest after a year I still have feelings for one of them, but I know that she's not what I want. Nevertheless, I'm just too scared to ever do it again. The same thing also happend with male friends that I wanted to befriend, but they also turned me down. This one happend multiple times. Even my own cousin (even though he's an ass) "rejected" me. The only time I've ever achieved making a girl be interested in me was when I felt superior and I can't feel love if I'm in this superior position.

That's why I don't like talking to new people. By getting out of my comfort zone, I automatically begin either feeling too superior or too inferior. I never feel equal to other people unless it's with friends I've known for a long time. And even sometimes I feel like they're superior / inferior to me. I hate this. I can't meet new people without feeling terribly bad with myself. The last friend I made was 3 days ago (first new friendship in a year basically) and he was really interested in me, but in a friendly matter and I didn't feel superior or inferior. Too bad he's going to stay in Portugal.

I've been trying to find a life goal, but I can't seem to find any. I spend most of my time doing things I enjoy, like playing music, researching, playing, but I don't feel like those things are going to bring me anywhere in life. I don't have any dream so to say. When I think of the perfect life, I can only think of 2 aspects. A group of friends with whom I made a band and basically hang out as mates and a relationship with a perfect girl. Thing is I don't want to make something professional out of music. Music is just a hobby and I've made it clear to myself that music should STAY a hobby. Only rarely can I get inspired and play with no restraints when there are people around. I often thought that the perfect life for me was to study the rest of my life, but I'm afraid of knowing everything. If I really carry out studies, I'll feel helpless in my life, because I know that everything I do will cause more pain than actual pleasure. (Like giving and receiving)

I hate the community as it is now. The way people feel superior vs. others. I was rejected so many times and now I hate people who feel superior when with others (me included). Why can't everybody just be interested in everybody? Why is there this difference between people? This lead me to investigating people's behaviour and during my research I wanted to scream. Not even "professionals" escape this state. Thousands of books are out there saying the same thing. Books used to be unique pieces of valuable information. Now they are just about pleasing the audience saying that they can accomplish anything they want. They do this for the money, not for the actual people. There are of course exceptions and I respect these authors, because they managed to break free of this money-hungry world that we live in.

These books that repeat themselves over and over again and are written for money are mostly the "self-help" books which sometimes really do help, if you're willing to commit yourselves to partial-sciences. I myself a year ago was fanatic about the law of attraction (new science about the universe) and I stopped following it's ideals. It's the best way to live life, but I stopped. Why? I can't devote myself to something that might be a failure. I can't devote myself to something that's going to fail (friendship, relationship). I still see events that are extremely hard to understand, but that make sense on the eyes of the law of attraction, but I just can't go back. It's against my beliefs.

At the moment, I'm lost. I don't know what to do and that's why I'm playing it safe and going to the university. To have more roads to choose from, to learn more, to meet new people. Maybe it's different in an atmosphere where no one knows each other. I have hopes that it's different.

Thank you for reading all this and if you have any ideas to share, feel free to do so! This really got a load off my chest, but I need to find solutions to these problems or else I'm going to suffer a lot in the future.
   
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Re: Overall state of my mind - August 10th 2012, 04:51 PM

Hello, Miguel. Welcome to TeenHelp!

This is a very, very complex issue you're facing, but it's promising that you show so much insight when examining your overall thought process. Most people can't really describe why they don't have friends or relationships - in their minds, they just "fail" at them.

I would be interested in knowing a little bit more about your childhood. For example, what were your parents like? Authoritative and emotionally cold/distant, or loving mentors who disciplined you when appropriate? Who served as models for what a healthy friendship or relationship should look like? This is just guesswork on my part, but it seems to me you might not have had anyone to really model these things for you, hence why you're feeling so much conflict and aren't satisfied with either outcome (being "superior" or "inferior").

It also seems you're terribly afraid of appearing weak, being rejected, or failing at anything. I've seen you describe two ways to cope with those fears: avoid the situation altogether, or develop a bit of narcissism in order to hide the perceived "weakness."

If you avoid practicing your guitar, you can't mess up the songs you're practicing... but you can't succeed at playing the guitar, either. In a sense, you DO "fail" when you give up on something simply because it's too much effort, so I urge you to think about all the opportunities you'll miss out on if you don't endure some discomfort. You're going to a university in another country, one where your primary language will be different. THAT will be much harder than practicing a guitar. You seem to think university for five years will be the answer to your problems (for now), but I see it as another risk: you could become intimidated by how difficult it is and decide to drop out. If university is really what you want to do at this point in your life, then you need to start changing your mindset when it comes to tackling difficult situations. You can't always avoid them.

Think of narcissism as "false superiority." You may see someone who is prideful and call them "narcissistic," but that person could be prideful because they're actually good at what they do! That's not narcissistic. Someone demonstrates narcissism when they don't want other people to pick up on their perceived (or actual) "weakness." You keep talking about how you're either "superior" or "inferior" with every potential friend. I would argue that you are neither. You may be "superior" on an intellectual level and "inferior" on an emotional level, but as a whole person, you are neither. Any perceived superiority, on the whole, comes from your narcissism, and any perceived inferiority, on the whole, comes from your insecurities.

People, on the whole, are not "better" OR "worse" than you. You already ARE equals, as you all have the same basic human rights and desires. You may have different areas of strength and weakness, but that doesn't make anyone "better" or "worse" as an entire person. No one is "perfect." You will never be perfect, your friends will never be perfect, and your future girlfriend/wife/children will never be perfect... so stop expecting perfectionism, and stop beating yourself or other people up when they don't achieve perfectionism!

This is easier said than done, and it may be very difficult to do on your own, which is why I would like you to consider seeing a psychological professional once you're setting in to your new university. Student services may offer free therapy sessions, and if they don't, you may be covered under your medical/government plan. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about Germany's mental health system. Anyway, therapy would allow you to gain an outsider's point-of-view, seeing someone who has studied the human mind extensively, can help you develop relevant social skills, and obtain further insight into why you think/behave in the way that you do.

I wish you all the best, Miguel! It sounds like you have a very bright future ahead of you, and I hope you can make it even brighter by making relevant changes to your life now. =)





   
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