It is so incredibly easy to slip into this place of letting the flaws of others — issues that have nothing to do with us — influence how we feel about ourselves. I don’t know why it’s such a comfortable place. But we think that if only we were something enough, we could cause that person to overcome that flaw, that inclination, that tendency to be rude, shallow, emotionally unavailable, ungrateful, uncaring, unappreciative, whatever, and they would treat us differently. And if they don’t, it’s not because they’re rude or shallow or any of those things, it’s because something is the matter with us.
However. I have realized that is insane.
Recently, I had this moment that almost dealt a serious blow to my self esteem. I found myself questioning my own value and then I stopped myself and realized. That the problem wasn’t that I wasn’t whatever enough. The problem was with someone else. It had nothing to do with me. We can be there for people and we can care about doing what we can to make them happy, but ultimately, our presence doesn’t change who someone is. Being nice to a mean person doesn’t suddenly turn them into a humanitarian. Being wonderful doesn’t cause a self-absorbed person to see what we’ve done for them.
Once again, there is freedom in not being responsible for everyone else. And there’s a balance that keeps us from becoming the uncaring and ungrateful ones. And my self esteem is just fine.