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Beauty (and the insecurity beast)

A man said to me today, “Does your guy know how skinny and beautiful you are?”

Any other time and I would have been offended – I am uncomfortable receiving compliments – I have learned to say ‘Thank you” but – mostly I’m in knots inside not wanting to be noticed.

I’m not a ‘girly’ girl.  I don’t wear heels, don’t need spas or salons or haircuts.  I don’t dye my hair or buy purses or shoes.  My favorite flower is the tiny grass daisy.

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I really try not to call attention to myself.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry – will only wear silver-colored metals – no super short skirts or low-cut tops.  I wear minimal make up, no colored polish on my fingernails and no busy patterns on my clothes.

Today, I responded in a moment of complete honesty.  I surprised myself when I looked him in the eye and said, “You know, I’m scared I’m not enough.”

He looked at me and asked, “Does he know your heart?  That you’re beautiful inside?”

“Yes.  I think so.”

And I know that’s what counts.  I’m not shallow.  I’m not ignorant.

But if I’ve ever wanted to feel beautiful, to be looked upon through the eyes of someone special and seen as beautiful – it’s now.

The knots inside are of a new kind.  Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and there are eyes I want to please.

And what if I’m not enough?

‘Tis better to give than watch me receive

Had a gift sitting beside me at work today.  I read the card – savored it – but couldn’t bring myself to open the bag.  Didn’t feel comfortable even opening in front of the other person in the office, and it wasn’t even FROM him.

I have the hardest time opening gifts in front of someone!!  My family included.  I get all shy and slow about it, especially at Christmas.  We each get one gift at a time and everyone opens their gifts, then another is selected for each in the group, I usually end up with a few piled up while we go around the room ‘C’mon Amanda – you’re not opening yours’. 

Ug.

Don’t look at me.

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I try to time it so the focus is on someone else and hurry and open the gift while everyone is preoccupied. 

I think I’ve narrowed my issue down to a couple of possible reasons.

1) I have a very expressive face and wear my heart (and all my other organs) on  my sleeve.  What if I don’t give that first reaction that the gift giver is hoping for??  I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  Actually, believe it or not, I don’t like the focus on me – period.  Yes, I can ham it up sometimes – but I don’t really like being looked at.  I know.  Get the straight jacket.

(ie: Someone mentioned an outfit I wore to work, which, was quite appropriate for work, but because he liked it, and obviously ‘he’ was a man – I haven’t worn that ensemble since). 

2) I really am uncomfortable receiving anything – and would much rather be the giver.  I squirm when someone wants to do something nice for me.  I’m working on this, but honestly, I can’t even let you buy me a Happy Meal at McDonalds without feeling all indebted and awkward.

I’m sure there’s some psychological reason for #2.  Probably something about feeling unworthy etc. etc. etc. 

Pfft.

A friend pointed out a while back that I’m denying others the pleasure of blessing me.  Then I just felt even worse about it.

It is not a conscious thing I do!  I truly, truly feel uncomfortable being on the receiving end of charity or gifts.

When my son had his ‘incident’ in my new-to-me car, I didn’t have the deductible required to have the repairs done.  I needed to make my only mode of transportation operational again.  I had to borrow money from my best friend.  Oh boy.  Just asking for that favor about killed me. 

I can pay her back in a couple of months, plus interest, but the whole ordeal was incredibly humiliating for me.  Of course, she responds to my long, apologetic request with a light-hearted ‘of course!’.  I make everything so much bigger than it needs to be.

I wouldn’t think twice about helping a friend.  Giving a gift to a friend.  You could have the shirt off my back and I wouldn’t be thinking about it the next day even … but somehow, the logic that others feel that way too when they give, does not sink in with me.  I know it to be true, but don’t feel it.   

Good news is – you can trust me with a can of worms, or even a can of whoop ass, because I assure you – I won’t open them.