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Being sexually attractive/charming overly important for my self esteem


BDD

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It feels like I rely too much on feeling accepted through my sexuality/ability to charm people. I feel there is an addictive quality to it. I'm not sure what to do. I feel it relates to a desire to cheat on partners (which I have done one time), and I want to change it. I don't want to be an abusive person, I just don't completely understand how to overcome it I guess.

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Well to be honest with you, you can start by being honest with yourself. It seems like you are well aware that you don't like that side of you and that you want to change. There may be some point in our lives when we feel like we can use our sexuality to attract someone to boost our self-esteem, but the truth is you just have to be you and you will feel much better. Find something that really speaks true to you and the real you. Make yourself happy by not using your sexuality. You can just be as charming if you show the real you and don't be afraid of other people's judgement. Cheating on a partner can eat up your guilt and you don't really want that. If others are true to you, then they should not only be looking at what you are capable of sexually.

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Wow...

 

First, I know someone whose very similar - so I really, really admire you for being able to see that side of yourself and wanting to change it - good on you for that.

 

With the guy I know.. he uses his charm/sexuality to draw people closer to him because he desires feeling connected to people. whatever "connected" means. I think it's meant to mean an emotional connection. But the fact is - he's not actually any good at creating emotional connections (mostly because he's quite self focused - quite judgmental - and very scared and insecure) ... so what he creases is sexual connections. He wants those connections to mean more - but because he's doing it with affair partners - and not actually building an emotional element - it's never more. And the women often don't really see it as more either. And then sometimes - he feels used. Like people only like him or want him because they like having sex with him.

 

And yes - he feels guilt about his wife/family - and resolves to change and never cheat again - but the resolve never lasts forever.

 

I don't know if that's how you feel.

 

IF that's how you feel - my advice would be to work on building emotional connections with people (if you're married/in a relationship - you'd better stick to your partner and male friends) ... listen to them as well as sharing about yourself. Try to be actually interested in others. Try to empathise. These things are easier said than done if they don't come naturally. Try to believe that people want more from you than the charm and sex. Think of your good qualities. Don't put yourself down too much in your head (you can put yourself down in all sorts of weird ways - even in ways that make it sound like youre boasting about your negative qualities like they are something to brag about - but seeing yourself in a negative way is always putting yourself down).

 

Just work on the emotional connections. With men and your partner

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but the truth is you just have to be you and you will feel much better. Find something that really speaks true to you and the real you. Make yourself happy by not using your sexuality. You can just be as charming if you show the real you and don't be afraid of other people's judgement. Cheating on a partner can eat up your guilt and you don't really want that. If others are true to you, then they should not only be looking at what you are capable of sexually.

 

Yes, I am a dork/geek probably by definition. I think however people perceive me to be something else, which I have tried to do. Being afraid of being myself has related to feeling not worthy of happiness, being afraid to be happy, thinking that being happy is "too easy," not trusting others and being afraid of being rejected, and being afraid of looking stupid.

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Yes, I feel I am a really manipulative person, and the way your described your friend I think is very similar to how I feel. However, this can even take on the form in monogamous romantic relationships, so there's that. The time I cheated I feel related to my inability to connect emotionally and not respect the other person. I also have difficulty have male friendships, because I think I perceive them as competition, but I think that has gotten a lot better fortunately.

 

And yes, it certainly related to not recognizing my own self worth outside of those aspects of myself. I feel it involves trusting and enjoying either people, in addition to respecting myself, as you are describing. And I agree, my forms of modesty, compassion, empathy, and other supposed positive qualities can take on dishonest and manipulative forms.

 

Thank you for your response.

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I think that we all have that kind of feeling sometimes, but you just have to look at you first and ask yourself if that's really who you are and what you want to be. IF not, then go the right way!

 

Yes, knowing who you are I feel is the tricky part as well. I just know that I am certainly afraid to be vulnerable and open. I think I come off as very controlled, robotic, and rehearsed in some if not all of my interactions. I've been called an "alien" more than once, haha. But yeah, I have also been diagnosed with OCD and have experienced some trauma, so perhaps that is related. All I know really is that I need to take more responsibility for myself, which is extremely challenging, doable, overwhelming, and necessary all at the same time. Guh, exhausting....

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Yes, I feel I am a really manipulative person, and the way your described your friend I think is very similar to how I feel. However, this can even take on the form in monogamous romantic relationships, so there's that. The time I cheated I feel related to my inability to connect emotionally and not respect the other person. I also have difficulty have male friendships, because I think I perceive them as competition, but I think that has gotten a lot better fortunately.

 

And yes, it certainly related to not recognizing my own self worth outside of those aspects of myself. I feel it involves trusting and enjoying either people, in addition to respecting myself, as you are describing. And I agree, my forms of modesty, compassion, empathy, and other supposed positive qualities can take on dishonest and manipulative forms.

 

Thank you for your response.

 

Ahh, well then perhaps before working on emotional connections with others the first thing to do is actually repair how you feel about yourself. I don't usually recommend dwelling on the past and our relationships with our parents/care givers etc - but maybe spending some time thinking about why you feel unworthy or not quite good enough might be a good idea. As long as you don't stay stuck in that past .. rather than working to change the future. I.e. once you've worked out why you feel this way - don't repeat the story to every woman who comes along .. just understand it and use it to help you move forward (i.e. when you start doubting yourself - remember there's a reason you feel that way - and it's not because you're really unworthy or not good enough).

 

And yes - my friend used to compare himself against other guys and see competition when competition was not there. He thought "well, that guy is rich - but I'm smarter than him". See - there was no reason for my friend to feel the need to be better than the other guy - but because my friend felt like he didn't make enough money - he thought there was competition against a man who did. The man who did made him feel bad about himself just by reminding him of what he didn't have.

 

The first step has to be working on feeling good about who you are. Accepting your limitations and being proud of your strengths. And then work on the emotional connections slowly after that.

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Yes, thank you, I definitely agree. Sorting the past has been a priority, and working on myself more I feel is next. Holding off on relationships until I've done some work is probably best for me.

 

I'm thankful my friendships with men have improved, but surely could be even better. It usually involved/involves how attractive they were deemed (or I perceived) versus how I perceived myself, physically. Unfortunately, this brand of thinking applies to all people in relation to myself, when it comes to intelligence. I've put people down unintentionally, unawares, and sometimes intentionally in this way. Certainly something else I want to work on - it is most definitely a reaction to how hard and cruel I am to myself, thinking that I am stupid, not smart enough, not worthy, etc.

 

Thank you

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Edit: I wrote this before I knew you had responded to my other posting. It sounds like you don't really need my advice but I'm happy to listen.

 

The other day someone told me I worried too much. I think I replied to another one of your

threads. I think we have a few common issues. I have had lots of problems that I only overcame by carefully thinking them through for years, but sometimes I just have to turn off my brain because I just worry too much, period.

 

It was so weird reading this thread because there are so many things I can relate to, I've used my sexuality to charm people because I feel like my personality is lacking too. I also used to choose my good friends based on how pretty I thought they were. I can be extremely nerdy, cerebral, but most people expect me to be something different too. But I'm learning how to be a more confident person. I'm learning accept that I don't get to decide what the rules are when it comes to this stuff. I think I talked about that in my other reply.

 

If something inside you is telling you that you're not acting the way you want to or should, then listen to that voice. Ignore the voice that forces you to suffer and endure things you can't. Change yourself if that's what you want. You might act awkward or unnatural but the fact that it bothers you so much probably means you're not really meant to be that way. Let your defense mechanisms down completely if you can. It took me too long to dismantle mine piece by piece, and I wish I could have just embraced everything at once.

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If something inside you is telling you that you're not acting the way you want to or should, then listen to that voice. Ignore the voice that forces you to suffer and endure things you can't. Change yourself if that's what you want. You might act awkward or unnatural but the fact that it bothers you so much probably means you're not really meant to be that way. Let your defense mechanisms down completely if you can. It took me too long to dismantle mine piece by piece, and I wish I could have just embraced everything at once.

 

I agree meoww, thank you. For me it's embracing the part of me that I feel is "wrong" and that is not widely acceptable (the part that feels like the "real" me). I feel I am usually playing a part that other people expect from me - that sort of perspective I feel has really geared a lot of my behavior.

 

Takes time and practice. Thank you.

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