How to be Uncomfortable — Not every bad feeling can be changed NOW.
tl;dr — feeling crappy is bitch, but not worth selling out for, + how to deal with discomfort and be honest in your giving (below).
- “Ok, I’m going to give them space… so they can see how awesome I am and miss me.”
- “I’ll tell them it’s ok if they do it without me… so they beg me to join.”
- “I’ll be understanding when they snap at me… so that when I’m in a bad mood they’ll do it to.”
Even though the other half of these thoughts may be subconscious, they are still unhealthy.
People struggle with discomfort.
We hate being unhappy, and we hate not having control — over everything. If you have BPD, or some form of insecurity, it’s so much worse.
Give us a situation where we need to WAIT for things to smooth over, get better, resolve… that’s when we go batshit crazy.
We often struggle with knowing what it is we actually need, not to mention expressing it in a healthy way… and worst of all, expecting someone else to do it, or fix it, for us.
In relationships, it’s tough to balance different people, different needs, different ways of recharging and communicating.
I’d go so far to say it’s fucking horrific sometimes.
We do things we should, for reasons we shouldn’t.
When we’re trying to help ourselves feel better, when we feel insecure, when we’re worried about people loving us or leaving us, it’s easy to do things that we feel are altruistic or giving, but on closer inspection they are offered on condition: the other person needs to responds the way we want them to.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it benefits any relationship when things are given with expectation — we all know, don’t we, that we’re just setting ourselves up for disappointment.
- Sometimes we attempt to martyr ourselves, sacrificing our desires and needs without request because we think it ‘shows we care’.
- Sometimes we push and push and push for understanding and resolution, when it is simply not within our control.
- Sometimes we say things we don’t mean, offering the illusion that we don’t mind, or are above a certain feeling… knowing full well if they don’t try change our minds we’ll be devastated. (Stop this now btw — testing people ain’t cool).
- Sometimes we try to be better than ourselves, to show another how great we are, and how we want them to treat us in return. Unfortunately, when they fail (even once) to live up to this ridiculously high standard that’s been set, we feel jilted and cheated.
We can be better.
It’s definitely not easy to choose to sit with feeling anxious or concerned, or feeling unhappy. EVERYTHING WE’VE EVER LEARNED tells us to chase happiness and quick-fixes.
When it comes to BPD, insecurities and relationships, everything feels immediate — everything needs to be fixed NOW.
Otherwise the world will explode, right?
There are a few things that we can do to remind ourselves it’s OK not to be OK, and to keep our actions in check — only giving when we truly can do so without expectation.
3 steps to be Comfortable being Uncomfortable
1. Write & Express
When you’re struggling with emotions like anxiety, concern, fear, hurt, it’s easy to let it get stuck in your brain on repeat, like a terrible 80’s pop song. Getting pen to paper (more effective than key to board) allows you to express your thoughts, order them and observe them more objectively — all without demanding that they be healed or fixed.
2. Focus & Learn
“Hah,” you say, “that’s the hardest thing to do when I’m worried.”. And you’re not wrong. But the trick is to focus your attention on something new or physical — whether you’re learning a new skill in Sketch or a new dance routine, investing your mind power in something that takes actual concentration gives you a break from the crazy.
3. Explore & Connect
We don’t like feeling uncomfortable *duh*. But do we know exactly how we feel, in our bodies and minds? The most difficult of the 3, this step requires the hardest work: When you’re feeling bad, explore what the real experience is. Do you feel worried? Anxious? Edgy?
Now take 3 deep breathes. How does your heart feel? Are you stiff and sore? What does this feeling mean to you? If anything, you’ll start being more connected to your physical body, and hopefully understand that you actually won’t die because of how you feel.
It’s not easy, but there’s one more thing.
1 step to Giving Without Expectation
This one is simple in it’s delivery, but difficult in implementation. Basically, ask yourself what you’re expecting from your actions in your relationship.
If the answer is anything other than “nothing”, you’re doing it wrong.
I know it’s ridiculously tough to trust people, but relationships are just endorphin-chasing escapes without it. However, we also need to learn to be enough for ourselves, and to treat ourselves well — regardless of who is there for us and who lets us down.
Let them treat you the way they want to treat you.
If you don’t like it, leave. If you like it, stay. Have the confidence to know what you really want, to accept what you believe you deserve (tough AF, I know), and the self-awareness to know when your insecurities are asking others to give you what you should give yourself.
But don’t set yourself and the other person up for failure by playing a game that has no rules and that no one can win. As mush as you can, be honest.
Today I’m going to be uncomfortable, and have some trust. I hope you join me, and wish you luck.
- The NHS is understaffed and overworked. It can take up to a year to get help, if you qualify, and there are few resources outside of emergency cases that offer help to those who can’t afford sky-high fees.
- I’m looking to build something for people, to help — maybe an app, maybe a chat, maybe a “I don’t know what but we have to do something”. If you want to help (especially as part of London tech/creative community) please get in touch.
We don’t have to do this alone.