I’ll admit that I’m not always confident. Who is, really? Kourtney Kardashian. Dang, her. She really doesn’t need other people’s support or validation to be okay with herself but, most of us do. We shouldn’t, but we do.
There do exist people in our world who don’t care what people think about them. I would agree that a whole lotta these people are really insecure and putting on a facade but some people are really okay with themselves based on their own opinions and no one elses.
For women, when it comes to men, this is especially hard. Maybe you were the pretty girl who got older and realized that the attention stopped and you didn’t know you were dependent on it until it was gone. Maybe you are the girl who has had a lot of boys interested in her but no one has ever really taken the bait. Maybe you’ve been in several relationships but always get kicked to the curb at the end….always the curb-ee and never the curb kicker. Maybe very little men have ever been interested in you. Maybe you always land in the friend zone or no one has tried to date you in a long time. Either way, many of these women end up in the same place: having issues with rejection.
I’ve talked to several girls lately who are struggling with this issue. I think it’s more common in my age range (mid 20’s-30’s) and yes, since I’m thirty, I’m halfway between the two so I will claim mid twenties as my age range. I think many women find themselves in this category at this point in life because you are either dealing with the fact that you have been banged up by the dating experience or wondering what is “so wrong with you” that you’ve never even had one or been in love or been loved….. You’ve lived just enough life to have questions and sometimes, those questions are about yourself and who you are.
When I talk to the single ladies, I feel like I hear a main idea with the same overall under tone: “If all these other girls have found someone, my exes have moved on, etc., there must be something wrong with me if it’s working out for everyone else?” We/you are in a stage of life where engagements, babies, and marriage are every other Facebook status. When you want that for yourself and see nothing pending, no one waiting, or lots of failed attempts in nailing down “that one”, you start to turn the blame to yourself. You shouldn’t, but you do.
Now sure, sometimes people are single due to their own issues of finickiness, selfishness, unfaithfulness, dishonesty, etc. There are times to question yourself but a cause for question is not for the average girl who just hasn’t found a person to settle down with. Furthermore, someone not seeking you now or trying to settle down with you doesn’t signal a self-investigation of “What the heck is wrong with me?????”
Three things to keep in mind for the girl feeling rejected for whatever reason:
1- Don’t be discouraged. You don’t need to “get it right” 50 times. As a matter of fact, typically loving several people along the way leaves you much more damaged than it does healthy and available. We should be MUCH more cautious with our dating as women. You only need to get it right once with one man and whether or not you find 65 before him, doesn’t make you find the one and only faster. Therefore, who cares if you have dated 50 Mr. Wrongs, 3 Mr. Almost Rights, or 0 men at all. Your man is no less gonna be your man whether anyone has ever pursued you before. Whether or not there is someone interested in you now is not an indicator of the one God has for you being interested in you in the future.
2- For the girl that doesn’t feel beautiful. To the girl that feels overlooked by guys in the face of a more outgoing or more stylish, more “put together” friend. To the girl who hears she’s beautiful from 50 girls and never from a man…..this one is for you. Are you beautiful? What makes beauty? Is it based on how many votes you get from each sex? Is it based on how many looks you get on a night out? How can any women define that she is pretty? If you think that Jessica Alba is gorgeous but your friend doesn’t, is she beautiful? Who is the authority on beauty? The answer is in 2 parts. The first answer in who is the authority on beauty is….whoever you validate their opinion enough for them to be right. Your mom and 5 friends tell you are beautiful all the time but the guy you like says he’s just not attracted to you. Who do you believe? You believe who you most value and who you most desire to see you as beautiful. You will accept and base your confidence on your appearance with anyone who you think has a high enough opinion to matter. That’s why we as girls appreciate our girlfriends telling us we are pretty but we only believe men. It’s the men who are attracted to women and girls who find beauty in the love they have for you and they view you through that filter. That’s what women believe. We don’t “need” girls to think we are pretty. We need men to, unfortunately, although that shouldn’t be the case.
For that reason, at our own risk, we seek the approval of ourselves or looks through the opinions of men. 10 guys think you are pretty and ten guys thinks you are too fat. Ten guys think you are too skinny and ten guys think you are totally average in the face. Who is right? Just like with the Jessica Alba example, who is right? You or them? 25% of those guys or only 17% of them? 50% of them? 100% of them? The reason I’m spelling out numbers and situations is to prove a point. It is completely and entirely subjective and changing with the wind, the year, the style, the hair day, the weight gain or loss. It’s impossible to validate yourself based on each man or person because each one is different and if you seek for your beauty and reassurance outside on the sifting opinions of each man, you will be as confident as a roller coaster that rises and plummets….that changes with the wind. It’s unhealthy. It means nothing. It’s subjective. It’s based not only on what a million different people think but also on who you choose to value and empower within that number. It couldn’t be messier. It couldn’t be more dangerous. This leads me to the second and final part of the answer as to who has the authority to say you are beautiful. God.
I know, predictable. The pastor’s wife brings it home with a nice Sunday school answer: God. It can be predictable. I’m okay with that. Predictability can also be true. Just like you would expect a doctor to attribute authority to an anti-biotic over an infection, you would expect a christian to give authority to God. Both the doctor and a pastor’s wife were predictable in their answers and both…were right.
I believe just as I want my daughters to believe that they were made with intention. They were knitted together by God using the two DNA’s of two parents that He intended to use to make what you think is your crooked nose, your beady eyes, your easily wrinkling skin, and your gappy teeth. You bear the marks of a creator who placed those freckles and stumpy eyelashes, only He didn’t see it that way. You are fearfully and wonderfully made with PURPOSE. Purpose in those features. That face. Those legs. These typing hands of mine. Intention. You are beautiful and the fact that you feel less than that is because you bear the marks of your creator and you bear the marks of a world who takes into account celebrities, gym memberships, and what is viewed as the genetic lottery. You are bearing the marks of both and validating only one. The reason it hurts. The reason it’s so dysfunctional and creating so much baggage for you is because you are basing who you are by and in places and people that weren’t ever meant to give you confidence and stability. You are broken and feeling un-pretty and rejected because your process is. It is okay to hurt. It’s okay to want to feel beautiful. Husbands are meant to tell you that you are beautiful as are mothers, fathers, and friends. It’s natural to desire that and to be built up by them. It’s wonderful when its that way but it’s not mean to be the original source of surety and by all means, it wasn’t meant to sustain you in your belief on whether or not God did a good job when He knit you together. It wasn’t meant to sustain you, period. Even married to a man who tells me he thinks I’m beautiful all the time, I still struggle with allowing things other than God to tell me what makes me worthy and attractive. Bonus lesson on this point, finding a man who thinks you are beautiful will not be your remedy. Don’t be tricked into thinking that God giving you a loving husband will make you accept yourself. Only God can validate you and end in something that’s consistently unfailing.
3. Go and be confidently who God made you to be and who you want to be. Do it because you should be and not because you are hoping it will land you someone who can make you feel that you are worthy to be loved. (Disclaimer: Hopefully being yourself and who God made you to be are the same thing, haha. If not, go be who God made you to be and that will become who you want to be. Shew, that was close.)
Be sure of who you are and what God says you deserve. Don’t chase men or approval in glances, flirts, or relationships. Hurt hearts want to do that by nature. If you live a life based on approval you will be ever insecure, anxious, and on a damaging ride of peaks of valleys only leaving you more hungry for someone to love and approve you in the end.
Respect that you have issues with rejection and get involved with someone with great caution. Don’t be intoxicated by the draw of hearing from someone what you’ve felt you’ve needed thus letting that put you in a place where you become UN-objective and UN-able to protect your heart from a foolish choice. It’s funny because we usually blame the men for being harsh, un-accepting, and risky with our hearts and while that can be true, an insecure heart is a savagely hungry one and will typically throw itself out in greater risk to anyone willing to admire it. Just as a starving person ravenously eats a scrap of bread, so the heart of words it’s starved to hear. Even if those words came from the dumpster.
Put your trust in the One who made you, said you were beautiful, and the one who can be enough for you before and after and if you get what you are hoping for from the other sex.
As the rapper LeCrae says, and you know I love to end a blog with a rap quote,
“If you live for their approval, you’ll die from their rejection.”
Be careful little hearts what you live for, who you seek and how you seek it for you will be a product of it.