Problem Point: I’m Always Afraid Of Drama? How Can I Be Stronger?

Image by Gerd Altmann 

Q. I’m an 18 year old guy who shouldn’t be feeling like this. Plus I hang out with friends who always get in fights and they sometimes drag me in it. Can I avoid the constant drama?

A. Sounds like you are easily influenced because of your need for approval. You can only be stronger by building your own confidence. You obviously have a lot of fear in your life through a lack of affirmation and value from those you care about. Yet only learning to love and value yourself will give you the gradual strength you need to face the world. 

The first thing you could do is to change your friends. Friends who are always fighting or dragging you into it, especially when you don’t really want to, will do nothing for you. Strength isn’t about fighting. That merely shows a lack of coping skills that is replaced by aggression. Strength is about confidence, high self-esteem, personal appreciation and living to your own values. 

You feel weak because you really don’t want to fight and are living against your values. You need the confidence to stick by your own principles, not just follow what others do in a blind, accepting kind of way. You will feel much better for it, too, when you start hanging out with people who share your aspirations, beliefs and principles, as you will feel reinforced and affirmed as a person.

In answer to your question, you are afraid of drama because that is against your nature, yet you are hanging out with people who are only interested in drama. That would create continual dissonance for you:  always making you feel  stressed and inadequate because you are not being affirmed in your beliefs and whom you wish to be. Time to change your crowd and find people who share your world and hopes. You will start to feel much better about who you are and what you care about.

We all have a feeling of wanting to BELONG, to be included and valued by others. Your wish to belong is drawing you towards the wrong kind of people for you which does nothing for your self- esteem because they don’t reflect how you really feel. I think once you change your friends – perhaps by joining clubs and societies that you like – you are likely to find that you feel much better within yourself and far less troubled about your life.

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Problem Point: I Constantly Want to be Above Less-Than-Perfect People. Why?

Photo by Jackson David

If that is the case, you clearly have a problem with your self-esteem. You feel inferior to others, and the only way you can make yourself feel better, and feel you matter, is by putting yourself above them. Sadly, the more you strive to do that is the more you expose yourself as inadequate, insecure, and not worth knowing as a person.

The main problem with your logic of perfection is that there is no such person as a perfect person! Everyone of us has both strengths and flaws to give us BALANCE and uniqueness. Perhaps you have not got the reinforcement and affirmation you seek from the people who matter to you, and you waste valuable life trying to be ‘perfect’ to gain their approval. But perfection is a stagnant state. There is no growth, no further development or creativity in perfection.

Why does being perfect matter to you so much? You obviously don’t think much of yourself, so you project that inferiority complex on to others. If they are not perfect in your eyes, they are not worthy, because you don’t feel worthy either! This kind of world view cannot make you feel good about yourself, because winning friends and influencing others do not come from negativity, unkindness or cruelty. It comes from self-love, self-appreciation, gratitude for what you have, and appreciation of others, too.

It takes all sorts to make our world. Putting yourself above others is also the root of inane prejudice and sexism/racism. It is easy to assign certain people to your imperfect list, according to spurious criteria, and treat them in discriminatory ways. However, when you put yourself above others, there is likely to be no one there to value you when you need some empathy and support!

You can treat others however you wish, but you will gradually discover that the greatest happiness is associated with how you treat yourself first, how you value yourself, and how you can radiate that self-love outwards to others, in the form of empathy and kindness, for them to value and respect you in turn.

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