I used to think I didn't have insecurities. That I wasn't easily put down. That I wasn't like most people. And I'm not, really. I didn't, and I don't, worry about how I look. I didn't care if people thought I was weird. I didn't give a dang about being popular or anything. It was a thing I was proud of, acting how I wanted, and not how other people expected. Going against cliques and 'normal' society.
But I was wrong. I do have a insecurity. I need — I want — approval. I work hard at what I do. Writing mostly. Whether its for work, for pleasure, or just a little factoid that I found interesting, I always want it to be accepted. Some people might say that I don't work well with criticism. Maybe so. But criticism I can work past. Forgive and forget. I can't hold a grudge.
But perhaps I'm wrong again. I think what I really want is… acceptance. I like being the way I am. I wouldn't have it any other way. But it still hurts when someone calls you strange, or a freak. Being with people who accept me the way I am is a thing I treasure. But if even one person shows a sign of dissing me, its like being stabbed in the heart.
The thing is, approval and acceptance are sometimes the same thing. In a group or team, I try to put in my hand. Helping, having fun, working, I like doing these things with people, and I like it when they accept my play in things. They approve of it. But my fear of not being accepted sometimes makes me look at things the wrong way; maybe my sense of humor, or sense of what is interesting, or sense of strategy is put in the wrong place. And so when it is rejected, perhaps the person has no distinct disapproval, they are just saying, gently, that here and now is not the right place for my sense of whatever.
But often, it doesn't feel that way for me. Whether the person's intentions were spiteful or meant to be gentle, it feels like a punch to the stomach for me, almost literally. I can't think about it without feeling sick. I can't look the person in the eye, can't talk to them, can't bring up the same joke, fact or idea ever, ever again.
I can't hold a grudge. I've said that before, and it's true. It's not that I do not want to hold a grudge, I can't. And also I don't want to. I trust people easily. I can give them a second chance. I can't stay angry, and I don't get angry at people for turning down my ideas. I stay on friendly terms with them. And yet the punch to the stomach doesn't go away for a good, long time.
I have yet to find the difference with some of my rejected jokes, ideas or facts. For some, I pretty much just yell 'So what? You are not me, you don't know what I find interesting, and my opinion is allowed to be made public without you shoving in!' Some, I just drop. Forget about it. No punch at all. And yet for some, there is the punch. The feeling of rejection. I don't know why. Maybe because the rejection is thrown in my face without reason, so suddenly. But this happens to me often, and most of them are waved away, or backhanded. I just don't know.
This is why I have thought for so long that I didn't have an insecurity. But that is impossible, in some ways. Everyone has insecurities. Outgoing, friendly, responsible, gentle, angry, gruff, stern, rule-abiding, happy, carefree… No matter what you are, what qualities you have, you have an insecurity, somewhere in there.
It's not really something to be proud of, but at least you're human in that way. Insecurities can be overcome, you know. Mine is just a trivial thing, and I think one day my mind will take that to heart, and I won't care too much any more.