As I see it, the inherent flaw in human nature is our need to be loved.
We can pretend that we are tough and portray ourselves as stoic warriors to the outside world, yet intrinsically, we need, and crave that affirmation from an exterior source. The desire to be loved, cared about and made to feel special is part of our genetic make-up. We want to be a part of something that is bigger than ourselves, something that defines us beyond our own narrow, self obsessed point of view.
This need to be loved can get us in a lot of trouble.
In my family, when one is feeling unloved, we do something unusual – my husband calls it creating a crisis.
This means we invent a calamity and then milk it for all it’s worth.
I had one of those days recently, when my expectations from the Universe were not being met. I was working on a particularly raw chapter in my book, was feeling forgotten by my friends and stressed out about money, because “doing what you want for a living” doesn’t always pay the bills. I tried to hide – with a movie, large buttered popcorn, M&M’s and root beer – but the movie was crap and I felt gross from gorging on all that garbage.
It wasn’t very mature (and by no means is this an endorsement of similar behavior) but I went ahead and created a crisis.
When my husband eventually texted to find out where I was, I replied, “lost” and then turned off my phone.
Yes, I was attempting to elicit a reaction, and no, it wasn’t fair. Yes, it was childish, but I never claimed not to be, and it did get me attention – so there! The emotional abuse I put him through was unacceptable, I get that, but, as the old adage goes, we usually hurt the ones we love.
I did text him an hour (or so) later to tell him that I was safe and just needed some time to think some things through.
I want to a person who is self sufficient, who doesn’t need validation from someone else, but I’m not there… I wish I had a tape playing in my head that said “you’re awesome” or “everything is going to be OK” but my tape plays other, less affirming things; more often than not, it’s “panic” or “you’re a failure.”
I do not know if these people who “don’t need anybody else” actually exist or not – I sure haven’t met any of them. And is this the ideal I should be striving towards anyways? What’s wrong with needing others? What’s wrong with needing to be loved?
I understand that if your self-worth is wrapped up in what other people think of you, than you’re going to be in a lot of trouble. If you measure your successes against other peoples expectations of you, than you’re never going to be successful.
I wonder if this is another example of people not talking too each other? We probably all feel vulnerable and alone sometimes and just crave a pat on the back or an “I appreciate you.”
Seems a lot easier than creating a crisis.