My self-esteem has been better since I stopped doing these things:
  • defending myself when I receive critique
  • denying compliments
  • apologize whenever I remotely imply I have any kind of ability
  • Refusing to take compliments
  • Tell people how bad I am

Like I offhandedly joked to a friend that I sucked, and she just responded seriously, “Oh. Well, there are ways to get better.”

And that was just a silly thing, but in Adultland that’s kind of how everything is and if you complain about how much you suck people aren’t going to tell you otherwise and will just say, “Well, you can get better.” 

Like, story time. I’m friends with Sonny Strait. He’s the voice actor for Maes Hughes and a well-known artist and actor. He’s kind of a celebrity in the otaku community. The first time I met him in person, we were talking about deviantART, and I asked him if he’d looked through my art. His face lit up, and he said yes, he had. I could tell he had a lot to say about it, and I got nervous, and just muttered, “I, uhm. It kind of sucks.”

Immediately, his interest seemed to vanish, and he just awkwardly said to me, “Well, I wouldn’t say that.” I’d stopped being a fellow art enthusiast and just become some self-pitying person looking for validation. Sure, I was very young and not that skilled yet, but Sonny’s a professional, and he sees it for what it is - a kid getting started in art and someone who would value input from someone they admired. 

I’ve struggled with self-hate for years and I’ve found that it’s a lot like how the more you smile, the more you feel better, even if you don’t really have any reason to feel better. There’s no black and white “self-loathing loser” and “pompous bigheaded ego-stroking douchebag”. I thought if I liked anything I did or had any pride or didn’t hate myself, I was the latter. And I was - in the eyes of every other teenager struggling with the same thing. The whole world isn’t teenagers who are struggling with depression and self-hate, though. 

If you don’t like yourself, change yourself. And if you can’t do that, start by doing the things I listed at the top. Once you start feeling better about yourself, everything else gets a little better, too. 

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    yep. pretty much.
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    Bold by me, because that’s something I’m really struggling with right now. It’s hard not to try to think in those...
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    I can’t help but feel like this is directed at me. :(
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