Naked Wanting

There's this girl...she's a part of a group and she's sort of on the outside of the circle. She can be kind of....off putting I guess but is generally an ok girl.
She hints and sometimes outright asks to be more included but no one really extends that invitation to her. I talk to her a little bit, but I'm also trying to remember it's not my role to save everyone.
It bothers me a little. This naked wanting. She just puts it out there that she wants to be included, that she wants to be wanted.
I saw something she wrote recently and it's been sticking in my heart. Because I am not brave enough to be so transparently wanting.

Because I want. I want to be seen and noticed. I want to be included. But I don't want those things at the same time. When I get seen, noticed and included I get scared that I'll be rejected and thrown out. So I leave, or force the issue and withdrawal so I get less scared.
It seems to me there must be some sort of healthy middle ground between such naked wanting and such unhealthy withdrawal and self sabotage. But heck if I can figure it out.
The other night I was with some people and I was having fun. But halfway through the night I was holding onto my chair to keep myself from fleeing. The people were nice (well most of them) and the topics of conversation were pleasant (except for that one by that one not so nice person) and yet I was panic stricken at the thought of remaining. Things had gone well for the most part which only increased the likelihood that things would start going poorly.
I held on for a few more hours and then headed home earlier than I was planning. It was all well and good but I just get so desperate for people to like me; to think that I'm witty and funny and smart. I want people to want to engage me and be in a relationship with me but when they do I freeze, completely terrified with wonder as to what I should do to hold onto them, the relationship, the feeling of being included.

The thing is, I don't want to feel this way anymore and I don't know how to stop. It's not always right at the surface, it's not always so paralyzing but it's always there somewhere. Most of the time I don't recognize my sabotage until I've sunk the ship, then there is only time to glean a lesson and try to move forward better and more evenly keeled.

I'm also trying to remember that it's not my job to save everyone. Because when I try to pull everyone in and help them I end up drowning myself. I overwhelm myself in trying to manage other peoples expectations, happiness and general sense of being included. To a degree that is a good thing. It isn't bad to want to help people and include them. But I will rarely do it at the healthy level.
It feels terrible to be honest. It feels like I'm a flake; like I'm letting people down and that I'm not performing to the level that people (what people I don't know) expect me or need me to perform at.
But most days lately I feel like I'm drowning and I don't know how else to save myself. Then I save myself only to begin drowning in the shame of letting down people I don't even think have those expectations of me.
It's all very confusing and contradictory. That's just going to have to be ok for now.

No comments: