In breaking free from shyness and loneliness it is important to consider the divide between “different” and “unique”. Different often implies odd or doesn’t fit it in. Unique can be understood as rare and ,often, valuable- to the right person.
People are collectors- we collect objects, experiences, and, yes, people that match our interests, that fill an area of our life that is incomplete. Shy and anxious individuals often fear missing opportunities to join the ‘people collections’ they see around them. In an attempt to belong they try to fit in anywhere they can. The challenge is that even the casual collector will recognize a ‘copy’, an ‘imitation’ of what they are looking for. They may be fooled by what they see at a distance but they quickly recognize that things are not what they appear to be on closer inspection. If you are not the real thing- they will know it and move on.
Finding your place and your people is important. The solution has two parts: First, become the collector yourself. Recognize that you are as a much as the collector as the collectible. Find the experiences that are valuable to you and go where these things are happening. Join with others who are doing these things and become knowledgeable and passionate about them. Others will be drawn to your energy.
Second- be a discriminating collector. Don’t settle for less that what you want or at least do not pay ‘top dollar’ for copies or things that do not fit just so you can say you have it. Your time, your emotions, and your energy are valuable. Spend them carefully and make sure you get the most for your investment.
Appreciating yourself and recognizing your own value is the first step in being appreciated by others. But it is a challenging process and you may find that you need help along the way. Contact Jim Walker, LCSW and begin the journey to discovering the full rewards that you deserve. Call today!