Can you help me to depend on myself?

The thing is this month has been rough for me, I feel bad and sorry all the time because the person that i trust the most doesn't pay enough attention to me and I feel frustrated and anxious. Please help me!
Asked by Luigi

Thank you reaching out and for submitting your question. I am so sorry that you are going through some difficulties and challenges right now.

You say that you are feeling like the person you are closest to in life is meeting your needs at this time. That is truly a hard place to find yourself in. There are several things to consider and keep in mind.

In some cases, when we feel like a person is not meeting our needs it could simply be that life has gotten in the way. In the beginning of romantic relationships, in particular, we tend to go out of our way to shower the other person with attention and time. But that honeymoon phase does not last forever. For one, life truly won’t allow for it. Sometimes life gets super busy, but even the normal day-to-day can make a lot of demands. It can be possible, with good communication, to express what you are experiencing with your partner. It might seem as if you are being too needy, but oftentimes other people just are not aware that you have an unmet need. It does not need to be an awkward conversation. It can look like picking a quiet time when you both are relaxed. Let the other person know how much you value them and appreciate your company. Let them know you are hoping that you prioritize one another a bit more and suggest carving out more time together. If you are with someone who just happens to have less need for attention, they could simply be assuming you are the same way and thus they could just be entirely oblivious to your desires.

Of course, it helps to be sure you are being rational. Take a step back and assess. Is what you are wanting and asking for reasonable. Have a willingness to compromise with the other person. You are two different people with two different sets of needs. How can each maybe shift just a bit to meet a little closer in the middle?

The other angle here to consider, and which you mention, is being more okay with being on your own.

For one thing, you are a valuable person with worth all on your own. Time spent with others is wonderful. But time alone is important. And it is a great opportunity to do things that inspire you. It is a beautiful chance to get to know yourself on a much deeper level.

Getting to know who you are is a worthwhile task. Too many people spend too much time so focused on the external world that they wake up suddenly at the end of it all and realize that they never really got to know themselves. Journalling can be a helpful tool in this process. There are lots of journalling prompts, both online and through books. You can sit and write. But that is not a requirement – you can also just sit and think about things. What are your opinions? You values? Your memories and beliefs and dreams? 

Time alone is also a time to create and explore. Is there a hobby you want to delve into more? Perhaps you have an activity or passion that you might want to revisit. Or consider whether you might give some thought to a new hobby to check into. When we are alone, we can lose ourselves in whatever we want. Nobody is there to stop you or interrupt. Take advantage of that gift to make and create and give your attention to a new (or old) thing. Create art. Put together puzzles. Plant a garden. Knit a sweater or some socks. Build a piece of furniture. Make candles. Learn to cook. Start a scrapbook. Take a class and learn something interesting and fascinating that you always wanted to learn more about. All of this stuff can truly be done all on your own. Or, too, it could be the chance to take a class or join a club which means meeting some new people. 

But you don’t have to just sit home and find a hobby. You can get out and about too. Go to a movie, for example. Go enjoy lunch on your own. It might feel weird at first. But you will quickly realize nobody cares. People are paying far more attention to themselves. If there is some discomfort at first, that is okay. Laugh about it. After all, how silly is it to feel we can’t go places alone? One you start going places alone, you might wonder why you never did it sooner.

Try volunteering. There is no better way to get out of your own head and set aside your emotions as when you turn all your attention outwards and serve others. There is so much need in the world. People need you. You will likely find you forget about yourself in the process. And it is highly probable that volunteering will, in fact, provide you with a huge mood boost. Giving to others is actually one of the best gifts we ourselves can ever get.

Be wary of technology. It is a powerful and wonderful thing. But social media in particular can open up the trap of comparison. Remember that it usually merely “looks” like someone else is constantly having the time of their lives. You are only seeing curated snippets. Of course, that said, technology can, if leveraged carefully and deliberately, open up the world. It can be a way to build connections with others. It can be a way to engage in meaningful conversations.

If you continue to struggle with your emotions, consider reaching out to a therapist. A therapist can help you explore what you are experiencing and can help you come up with some just-for-you strategies to help you make some positive changes.