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NobodysDamsel

I'm afraid to change in case people don't like the new me

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I'm sorry if this has already been posted by others. Lately I've been noticing that I'm actually afraid to change my behaviour, because I'm worried people wouldn't like who I turn into, and things would somehow get worse.

 

I want to feel attractive, sexy, happy, hopeful, confident, etc. All of these are completely normal and people are expected to feel that way about themselves. But, I'm scared that people have gotten used to me the way I am, and that all of these things would change me so much that I become a whole other person. I would LOVE to feel like a brand new person, but what about my family and friends?

 

If I felt attractive, sexy, and like a grown woman rather than a little girl, I'm afraid that my parents - who I still live with - would sense it, and would think I'm out to have sex. Frankly I'd love to be having sex, but it would be really embarrassing if my parents thought I was, or was capable of it. At the moment I'm almost completely sexless, like a little girl. I'm not a virgin, but I act like a child. I FEEL like a child. Which is probably the way my parents want it. I doubt any of that made sense to you!

 

My friends are very shy, awkward, and have problems similar to my own. I think we are all introverts, and we all like rather childish things. I feel almost trapped by the childishness, and I'm desperate to feel more grown up... but my friends are stuck in the in-between from childhood to adulthood, too. I'm scared that if I were to act more mature, they wouldn't know what to do with me. That they wouldn't like me or be able to relate to me anymore. I've tried talking to them about my feelings of self-hatred and that I feel like I need to make a BIG change to myself, but... I'm not sure how they'd react if I did. When I told them, we were all being honest about our own fears and feelings. We pretty much just listened to eachother and looked at eachother. And fidgeted. I love my friends, but it feels really awkward with them. I don't know if that's just because we all have problems... it probably is. But I feel quite... reserved with them. And that really bugs me. 

 

Of course, I'm not only afraid to change because of what other people may think. I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to keep it up, that I'd be fake, that I'd just be lying to myself and others about who I am. I'm scared to feel sexy and attractive because then I might want to have intimate relationships. And that would make me feel very, very lonely. 

 

I also have this strange belief that I must act the way I look. I feel ugly, so I can't behave as if I were pretty. I look like a kid, so I can't act like a woman. Etc.

 

:wall:

 

Thank you for reading my thread! 

 

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Sometimes I think we overestimate how different we would be if we changed some aspect of our behavior or personality.  If you gained some confidence or felt more attractive, you most likely wouldn't seem like a "brand new you."  You would be a slightly different version of yourself.  I don't mean to imply that change is not possible, only that it is often gradual and less spectacular than we imagine.

 

Also, the important people in our lives have a way of changing with us.  As you grow more into feeling like an adult, your parents will probably adjust along with you.  I live with my parents, too, and I have noticed that as I individuate from them and assume more responsibility, they treat me increasingly like an adult and friend, rather than as a dependent.

 

I hope that makes sense.  I relate a lot to what you wrote, and just wanted to throw in my thoughts.

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The key is little steps. You don't wake up one day and decide to be totally different, you make one small change, and then another, and then, as lifequake says so wisely, the people around you adjust too.

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To be perfectly honest, it may happen!  I was pretty sick when I married my first husband, deep into depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia so when he was shipped overseas in the military for about a year leaving me home alone with 2 children I figured I'd fall completely apart because I was almost completely reliant on him.  On the contrary, it made me learn to rely on myself and I found out that I was good at it!  I became more confident, outgoing, and happy.  When he came home he did NOT like the new me!!  He was used to me being under his control, he had been the center of my universe, and suddenly I had my own ideas and feelings and saw that there was more to life than just what he wanted.  It got REALLY ugly, he was more overtly abusive...short of it is it ended in a nasty divorce that, along with some other serious incidents, completely shattered me. 

 

I still haven't gotten back to that happier, more confident, outgoing me again but my point in telling you this is even with how I've experienced a serious setback I know without a single doubt that I am much better off without him!  He was nothing but an abusive, controlling, manipulative, self centered, narcissistic anchor in my life!  I wouldn't have a hope in hell of ever finding that happy me or slowly working my way back to it if he'd stayed in my life. 

 

You want to make a change in yourself and if you feel like that change will be a positive change for you then you must do it!  The people that are worth hanging onto in your life will understand, be happy for you, support you, and maybe even be inspired to make a positive change in themselves.  Anyone who does otherwise are nothing but anchors in your life that need to be dropped anyway.

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Oh I know exactly what you mean! I HATE changing myself or my habits because I'm afraid other people will "notice." not so much disapprove, but if I improve myself, people will notice, which means they must have disliked my old self to begin with. For instance, when I was a kid I hated all veggies. ALL of them. And my pafents nagged and nagged me to eat them and forced me to eat them. It became standard practice to fight with me over the veggies at the dinner table. but when I got older I learned to like a lot of them, and I wanted to try them, but I refused to in front of my parents because they would be like "well holy shit, is she actually eating her vegetables?!" and it would be awkward and embarrassing. Same thing with clothes. I dared not wear anything sexy or super nice, because everyone knew I wore baggy sweaters and was a tomboy..

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Even if you change some things about yourself, you're not changing who you fundamentally are.  And it is those fundamental things, I believe, that attract us to other people and vice versa.

 

I also agree with lifequake that, oftentimes, the important people in our life change with us which actually brings you closer together.

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Thank you all. Your replies make a lot more sense, and, thinking about it now, only good could come of it. If I were more confident and independent, a very large burden would be lifted from my parents. Also, I would say yes instead of no to invitations from my friends. Maybe I could even help my friend, who is in a similar sort of situation to me... things are happening in the UK right now that are putting a lot of strain on mental health sufferers, and it's getting to a point where it's do or die. They are forcing my friend and I to work, and that is causing us both a tremendous amount of stress and worry. Maybe if I can work on my self-esteem, confidence, and independence, I can tackle this and help my friend to tackle it, too.

 

Besides, I need to change anyway, for me. It's unlikely that anyone would have a problem with me changing, but if they did, it would not be a reason for me to stay the way I am.

 

I've been thinking about this mess going on in the UK, and I think it has forced me to get some perspective today. 

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To be perfectly honest, it may happen!  I was pretty sick when I married my first husband, deep into depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia so when he was shipped overseas in the military for about a year leaving me home alone with 2 children I figured I'd fall completely apart because I was almost completely reliant on him.  On the contrary, it made me learn to rely on myself and I found out that I was good at it!  I became more confident, outgoing, and happy.  When he came home he did NOT like the new me!!  He was used to me being under his control, he had been the center of my universe, and suddenly I had my own ideas and feelings and saw that there was more to life than just what he wanted.  It got REALLY ugly, he was more overtly abusive...short of it is it ended in a nasty divorce that, along with some other serious incidents, completely shattered me. 

 

I still haven't gotten back to that happier, more confident, outgoing me again but my point in telling you this is even with how I've experienced a serious setback I know without a single doubt that I am much better off without him!  He was nothing but an abusive, controlling, manipulative, self centered, narcissistic anchor in my life!  I wouldn't have a hope in hell of ever finding that happy me or slowly working my way back to it if he'd stayed in my life. 

 

You want to make a change in yourself and if you feel like that change will be a positive change for you then you must do it!  The people that are worth hanging onto in your life will understand, be happy for you, support you, and maybe even be inspired to make a positive change in themselves.  Anyone who does otherwise are nothing but anchors in your life that need to be dropped anyway.

 

I'm sorry that happened! :( I guess it takes a big change in yourself to see how people really are. I know that we attract certain people when we are sick, and attract different people when we are well. I've heard that a lot and I keep that in mind when I think how I would like to have another relationship. I'm glad you found out that you are capable of relying on yourself. I found your story quite inspiring, and I really hope that you get back to your confident, outgoing, happy self very soon!

 

Oh I know exactly what you mean! I HATE changing myself or my habits because I'm afraid other people will "notice." not so much disapprove, but if I improve myself, people will notice, which means they must have disliked my old self to begin with. For instance, when I was a kid I hated all veggies. ALL of them. And my pafents nagged and nagged me to eat them and forced me to eat them. It became standard practice to fight with me over the veggies at the dinner table. but when I got older I learned to like a lot of them, and I wanted to try them, but I refused to in front of my parents because they would be like "well holy shit, is she actually eating her vegetables?!" and it would be awkward and embarrassing. Same thing with clothes. I dared not wear anything sexy or super nice, because everyone knew I wore baggy sweaters and was a tomboy..

 

Haha I think I know what you mean. I never used to wear pink or girly clothes when I was younger, but then at 15 I suddenly loved pink and bought lots of pretty, flowery, frilly clothes. It was quite a change. But everyone goes through those changes, probably... especially in adolescence, but probably throughout life. It is quite embarrassing though when people look at you all shocked and go "Oh my God!"  :lol: I guess I am afraid of getting those weird, embarrassing looks and comments. But we shouldn't really care what others think so much.... we are who we are, and people change, I guess! 

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I think the fact that you feel like you want to experiment with changing yourself is a positive sign that you will be OK if you try. Don't worry so much about judgment, go out and live your life, take chances, make mistakes. You'll be happier with yourself knowing you gave it a shot trying to be who you think you'd like to be. And hey if it doesn't work out, at least you'll know what you don't want to be, and you can move on to another experiment of self-change or whatever.

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Besides, I need to change anyway, for me. It's unlikely that anyone would have a problem with me changing, but if they did, it would not be a reason for me to stay the way I am.

 

I was going to say this. :)

 

Making a change that you want to make feels good. I worry about what friends and people I work with will say, too, but where people comment, it's always been positive. I think people can tell when you've changed something that makes you happy and they respond to the happiness more than the change.

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