yes I think I look to others to feel validated, as if without others approval I am not worth anything...
So if I ever make a mistake, which of course I do from time to time, as I am human, I feel extremely vulnerable, as if the whole world or at least anyone that knows I have done this mistake, is now having a major conference, if what "they" have thought all along is true- i.e- dee relly is worthless!!! "Proof" so to speak...
Ok, weird..., now that I realize that on a deeper level, what do I do, how can I stop the "viscious cycle?"
I just want to be happy as myself and not need the validation of others ever.
Advice for the first little step I (or others with the same problem) can take?
It doesn't even have to be a mistake. I wrote a post in this thread where I basically express a feeling similar to this except about my appearance. But for me it is not always about others, its within. I do feel really bad if a choice is up to me and I choose poorly (um, not as bad as this guy, but just about). Perfect example: restaurant choice is up to me, we go, and it sucks for whatever reason. I feel tore up inside about something so inconsequential and have to watch myself to keep from apologizing so profusely to the point that its annoying people. In that case, most likely nobody else is blaming me. It is coming from inside, this feeling of guilt about having made a poor choice. I feel like I should just know the right answer, should always just choose right naturally. I often do, but when I don't... it's tough.
I grew up in a very supportive and nurturing family, which was pretty forgiving of mistakes although frustratingly quick to try to teach lessons from them without much acknowledgment that of course I regretted them and decided not to do it again.
I get such a bad feeling whenever I make a mistake, especially if someone is being hostile to me because of it.
argh people making fun of me when i mess up on stupid little things is one of my biggest pet peeves ever. so i pulled the zipper the wrong direction, or i left my hair dryer at home. seriously, it's not that big of a deal. i give myself a hard enough time already, why you gotta be judging me too, and on things that, in the long run, are not going to matter?! :steam:
i think part of it is being an NFP and always having my thoughts on the not-practicalities, which causes me to err in the detail realm more often.
anyway, also, i grew up in a loving family but my dad (INTP i think) is very critical. he thinks he's doing a you a favor and that objective "constructive" criticism is always welcome. he was much better about not doing this when i was really little, but as soon as i got to be a teenager he became more critical. i dunno if he understood that if you are telling a teen - ESPECIALLY an NF - about how they are wrong all the time and need to change, while assuming that love and pride are tacitly understood, you are not going to help that teen's self-confidence. especially when it relies so much on what others think of her already.
i am good friends with a person (also NF) who is rather critical now and i used to get rather pissed off at her for critiquing me all the time. the thing i didn't realize for quite a while was that she's even more critical of herself than she is of me. so more for her and less being annoyed for me
Yeah, I can't help the mindset that my mistakes portray me in a negative light and that I'm just an incapable person whenever I mess something up. As much as I'm loathe to admit it, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to myself and most anything that I do. I've only recently been able to let the smaller 'mistakes' slide.
I feel like my life is my responsibility, and anything that I do or take on is an extension of myself. It doesn't matter whether something is difficult, or if I've never done it before, or if it's the result of an unforeseeable circumstance--I've got to do it, and I've got to do it right. Often, I go without asking for help or advice, because, well, I'm the one who has to take control for my own well-being.
The worst kinds of mistakes, in my eyes, are: (a) repeating the same mistake a second time, (b) making mistakes that affect other people, and (c) making mistakes that other people have to help 'clean up'. I can absolutely never forgive myself for those kinds of mistakes, as there's 'no excuse' for them.
I've experienced this a lot as well. I remember beating myself up for not loading the dishwasher "right" many years ago. What helped me tremendously is the book "What You Think of Me is None of My Business" by Terry Cole-Whittaker. It's a little, inexpensive paperback published in 1979 (no typo) that's still relevant decades later. I read it for the first time earlier this year and have read it a few times since then. This book is partially responsible for me being able to quit my job of nineteen years in order to pursue a career that speaks to me on a soul level.
Also, trying holding either ring finger while breathing consciously. This finger harmonizes grief and guilt and I've found it powerful when I've felt remorse over something I've done.
I'm reading an awesome book now called Radical Acceptance. I think you'd like it. If anything, just read the first chapter at Barnes & Noble. It's a quick read, but really profound and illuminating.
So happy you brought this up -- I was just thinking of it. The author is Tara Brach, and she has a fantastic weekly podcast. It's meditation, accepting yourself, and a lot of it helps you deal with being extremely self-critical (which most of us are, to varying degrees, and I am seeing that notion affirmed in this forum). The podcast is her weekly Dharma talk given to a group in Bethesda, MD and it is part Buddhism with some psychology thrown in. You might like it -- it's not cheesy and (just my opinion) feels more authentic than anything self-help and is free from new age lingo (again, adding my opinion in).