I don’t deserve a good friend

There’s some things about myself that I just haven’t been able to put into words so far. But I’m going to try right now. Hopefully I can unpack this enough to help myself start working on it.

I do my best to be a positive influence on others’ lives. I try to help them in any way I can, encourage them and quietly love them. And I don’t want anything in return for this, I do it because I’m human. I just want to be good to the people around me, that is all.

And just recently, I was talking to a friend, telling him that the more effort one puts in to be a good friend to themselves, the better of a person they are, or rather can be, towards the people around them. I truly believe that. And I really do try to be a good friend to myself but sometimes I wonder, do I deserve it? Well, not “do I deserve being a good friend to myself”, but more in line with, am I even a good person?

In myself, I see these deep-seated flaws like gashes embedded into my flesh that I can’t seem to stitch up. They’re like wounds that keep opening up and drawing my attention to them. I see these flaws in myself and I wonder, am I really as good a person as I try to be, as I make myself out to be in my own mind? How can there be so much wrong with me, when I try to do what is the best for myself and for the others around me? I wonder why I sometimes feel adversarial, why I feel lonely, why I feel this incredible anger towards some of the people I’m closest to when I know that they want the best for me? I wonder why I take things so personally, look at every matter through my own jaded, self-centred perspective. This isn’t the way someone who is a good person thinks, right?

For instance, if someone else in my classroom is complimented for asking a clever question, why do I feel as if I’m not clever? Or when another woman is called beautiful, why do I feel like my beauty is undermined? Why do I feel average in so many different ways? I see the imperfections I wear every single day. My tendency to be overly excited, childish. My need to have things my way and the way my body never seems to do what I want it to. The way my cheeks are round again, or how my stomach never seems to be flat or how my thighs never seem to be skinny. There is just so much wrong here.

I try to be a good friend to those around me, and to myself. But I think I fail with being good to those around me, because I’m honest about these shortcomings of mine. I feel like they’re evident when I choose to be vulnerable with my closest friend. I feel like he sees everything here that is wrong and someday he’s going to see, like everyone else is, that there’s nothing extraordinary here. The naivety, the stubbornness, the tendency to be self-centred. These are all toxic traits and often, I feel like a toxic person. I’m so deeply afraid of the people I love choosing to leave me behind because I am so honest about these traits. I’m so afraid that because I’m open about my fears of inferiority when someone is complemented, or because I spin narratives around myself or because I tend to be dramatic, passionate and emotional – because of all these things, they’re going to see, like I do, just how terribly flawed I am. And they’re not going to like that.

I feel like most people do a good job of hiding their imperfections from the world. I see none in the people I love. I just love them and see only the good in them. And I mean that truly and honestly. Sometimes, when I’m angry or petty I’ll say something or point out the things I’m hurt about, but the bottom line is: they just seem like better, well-rounded and more dedicated individuals than I am. The people I love overcome their inhibitions, live life to the fullest and are just so much better at breaking through their fears than I am. I admire them so much, every single one of them. And I would never want to do anything to hurt them, ever. But sometimes, I feel that being ‘me’ is hurtful to them. Wearing my negative traits on my sleeve, showcasing them and being honest about them – is that hurting them? Am I building this image of myself in their minds where I’m nothing but these terrible parts of myself? Will they eventually see only the bad? Will they stop being able to see the good because the bad overshadows it – I have, sometimes.

And I wonder, I constantly wonder, when is it that they’re going to realise that I’m not worthy anymore, with all my imperfections that can’t keep up with the way that they handle their own demons? Or when is it that they’re going to stop seeing me as anyone ‘good’ at all, and will only be able to see those flaws anymore? Or when is it that they will realise that I can’t ever keep up with how beautifully they live their lives? When will they finally see that I’m mediocre compared to them? When will they see I’m lazy, unmotivated and honestly, an imposter, a fake, in the midst of the greats I surround myself with? And when will they finally, like people always do, move on to find others of their own calibre?

I try to be a good friend to myself and to those around me, but there’s just so much wrong here, inside me, that I wonder, am I even worthy of being a good friend to? Do I deserve the love I try to give myself, when I can be such an annoying, childish and terrible person sometimes? And do I deserve the love that those around me try to give me when I know that someday they’ll see only what’s wrong with me, because I wear it so freely on my sleeve?

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