I have been watching a lot of YouTube on the topic of high society and elegance. And I realized that even though I always considered myself to tend to be overdressed, I am very middle class. And I asked myself if I was willing to put in the effort to become high society. But at some point I realized, that that was not the goal.
When we look to the rich and famous, we realize a few things
- They respect themselves (and often times others)
- They don’t crave approval
- They care about one thing or another
- They act instead of talking
But these things are all not exclusive to upper classes and the rich. Those things are simply things, that make us happy. And I truly believe, that this is the key: If we manage to implement these things in our own mindsets, we have a better shot at success (whatever that may be to us), because these things make us happier, better people, no matter which social class we are in.
We do not need to strive for elegance and affluence. We need to strive for confidence, respect for ourselves and others and a proactive and positive mindset. Because that is how everything else will eventually fall into place. Think about it: if you see something in your life, that you do not like, your proactive mindset will make you change it.
We don’t need to have high society approve of us. We need to have ourselves approve of us. I know that for me, that mostly means I have to approve of my own mindset and the way this mindset is put into action. There is nothing wrong with striving for elegance. Just remember one thing: Elegance is not just about looking and acting sophisticated, it is even more about being appropriate. Overdressing is not elegant. When I dress for an occasion, I will always think about what is the average level of elegance that will be worn there and then wear something that is 1-3 levels more elegant than that. This way I will look elegant, yet not overdressed. And this applies to every day situations as well. If I care I can dress very well even for university or running errands. But that is just how I feel comfortable, this is by no means how everyone needs to operate. I just find, that it helps me a lot with self-respect. But that is a whole other topic.
Most humans who wander on this earth are guilty of putting other people down. I know I am. But why? Why is it that we instinctively feel that we need to be better than other people? Why are we competitive at all? Because truth be told, we do not feel better, if we are better than others. So why do we want other people to know that we are better than them?
The same question can be asked in context of social media. Why is it, that we only show pictures of us being happy? Why do we try to prove that we have a better life than everybody else.
I believe that this is a symptom of us not meeting our own standards. We want to be better than we are. And we are hurting, because we are not. So we convert that pain. Into the energy to showcase how great everything is. Hoping that someone else will approve our life. And if someone else approves maybe we can approve too. And maybe we can stop hating ourselves. But we cannot. Because as much as we cover up the truth of our lives, as much do we know that we are covering up. And as much do we know that something is not quite as it should be.
There are two sides of the coin: We do not like our lives/ourselves and we depend on other’s approval to feel good about ourselves. Both of which I think deserve their own blogpost. Some of the points I have touched upon in previous blog posts. Some I will cover in the future.
Love is complicated. No kidding. Therefore all I am trying to do is answer the following: Can a mental illness make us fall in love for the wrong reasons?
This answer seems to be a simple “yes”. Because with a mental issue like self-harm oftentimes comes self-hate and we end up relying on someone else to give us the approval and validation we cannot provide for ourselves. Here is the problem: while self-harm enhances that issue it is not the reason. In fact it is the other way around: self-harm and seeking validation from others both are a manifestation of our low self image.
Does this mean that we are not allowed to fall in love? Does it mean we have to get healthy and confident before we allow ourselves to fall in love? What would the natural consequence of that be? Say we never really recover, does that imply we never may give in to love because we could be doing it for the wrong reasons? If we have experienced falling in love and completely depending on that person, it may be understandable that the fear of falling for the wrong reasons might keep us from falling at all. But just because we made one mistake in the past does not mean we have to make another one in the present.
Depending on one’s loved one is natural to some degree. But I find it important to remember that we still are individuals. And as such it is crucial that we keep improving. That we keep working on our self-confidence. I think it is also vital that we talk to our significant other about these issues. A relationship is supposed to make us better as individuals. But the moment we stop improving we are getting worse. So if our relationship makes us dependent on the other person. If the relationship is the only reason we can love ourselves, it is not making us better. On the contrary. And that’s the point where it has to end.
How do we know if our relationship has turned into this? Because it may very well be that it started out as a healthy relationship. I think the best indicator is how much we are depending. And this however is individual. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to make a decision once and just go with whatever the loved one decides. But if the other one makes every single decision that is a clear indicator for dependence. Another one is when one is miserable without the other. And I am not talking about the normal missing someone. I am talking about that moment where you are constantly waiting for the other. The moment where your world is limited to the relationship we need to work on our independence. And this does not mean we need to break up. By no means. But it means that we should take action in some form. Most likely it is also a good idea to talk about it with out loved one. Because looking at it from the other angle putting this pressure onto someone is not fair just as much as it is unhealthy. No one is even remotely capable of being someone’s only reason to be happy. I am not saying that our relationships don’t make us very happy. But the point is that they add to our lives and are not the sole purpose of them.
One more sign would be that the relationship has become purely physical. And then we might just be holding on to it for the physical comfort. Which means we are not dependent on a person but on hugs or sex. Again: as long as we have a life outside our sex-life (my apologies for the explicity) that’s fine. And we have to decide whether or not that is a relationship worth having. Now, I am saying this because I never wanted a purely physical relationship, but I did not notice that I was in one until I got out of it. If we are in such a relationship we often do not see what is going on. And we cannot see because we are depending on it.
There is the possibility of being in a relationship for the wrong reasons. Or having a relationship conflict with us building self-confidence as an individual. But usually that is no reason to end our relationships or forbid ourselves to engage in one. As long as we don’t feel like our relationship is the only good thing in our lives. As long as we have other hobbies and passions, we are fine. In a good relationship we will always be safe and supported when we need it but at the same time we will be encouraged to have our own lives and we will be better as individuals just as much as we are better as a couple.