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My girlfriend says Aubrie is right about my need to be adored

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zoro posted 7/30/2014 05:45 AM

I posted about having to come here to SI for an infraction from a woman putting her arm over my shoulder at a band gig and I didn't take her arm off of my shoulder. I told my girlfriend it would seem rude and just let her ask me the question she needed answered without doing anything.
Many members responded with helpful suggestions.
One particular character flaw that was brought up about me in my post, and something I have dealt with in past posts (and maybe not honestly) is my need for external validation. Maybe I didn't want people to think I was rude more than protecting my girlfriends safety in my actions since she was right there and probably thought if he does this with me around what will he let happen if I wasn't there.
As I said in my last post I enjoyed the attention and adoration I get from both of my careers of teaching tennis and playing in three different bands. I stated that I enjoyed it but didn't need it.
My girlfriend thinks, like Aubrie, I need to examine that trait of mine.
I have always been a clown around people and was voted "Wittiest" as a Senior Superlative in High School. Besides the other two jobs I have now I was a also in two different comedian shows in the 80's that were run like "Saturday Night Live" format with lots of improvisation and skits that were really funny. It was great working with really talented drama students that were living at the beach for their summer jobs. I also taught Special Education in a local high school for 7 years before coming a full time teaching pro. So obviously I also love to make people laugh as well as entertain in every aspect of my life. I can't see it as something that I should change but since it's my MO my whole life and hasn't hurt me in MOST situations in my life. Obviously it led to my affair in that I was trying to entertain the OW once I saw how much she thought of my antics.
I can see how it did lead to my flirting and even though I don't think I do that now it could be perceived as that. I know a few other guys that try to make people laugh all the time and it gets old and sometimes irritating to me since it's their only means of communicating in my eyes. I hope I never come off like that, but I'm sure I come off as corny sometimes if I'm trying too hard.
I bet every comedian and entertainer questions their motives during their careers and some like Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams plus many others seem insane at times. What makes them so popular and yet sad with themselves when they are alone? How many great musicians turned to drugs for more FUN and escaping?
I am open to suggestions and as I am writing this I CAN see that sometimes I am full of myself. I think that I am just trying to explain the picture I have created for myself through my life and what might be wrong with it.

BrokenButTrying posted 7/30/2014 06:37 AM

You need other people to think you're funny, talented, amazing etc etc. So you have picked careers that allow you to showcase yourself.

You need other people to validate you because you can't do it yourself. You don't really think you are funny, talented and all the rest. When you're alone you find yourself lacking and you're scared other people will find out eventually.

Why is that? Why don't you think you're enough?

Ascendant posted 7/30/2014 07:32 AM

I have a similar personality type and background; I enjoy being the center of attention...being funny, entertaining, witty, and making people laugh, and what I've had to learn to do is be much more aware of the *kinds* of jokes I'm making and who I'm making them with/towards.

For example, I've learned to be much more straightforward and serious when I'm communicating one-on-one with the opposite sex. If I'm addressing an entire group of friends or people, I will just be my naturally charismatic self, but if I'm conversing with a woman I try to be much more aware of the verbal and non-verbal 'signals' that I'm sending out.

That won't solve your issue of 'needing to be adored', but it will help you establish some boundaries re: the opposite sex while you figure the rest out.

SlowUptake posted 7/30/2014 07:51 AM

I can't see it as something that I should change but since it's my MO my whole life and hasn't hurt me in MOST situations in my life.
Really? I could be way off base here, but here goes.
Do you have any real, true friends, the type that would have your back no matter what and be there for you when you're at your lowest?

It has been my experience that 'flashy, centre of attention people' tend to be great aquaintences because they're fun to be around but most people don't want them as firm friends because they tend to be fickle, unreliable and are not to be counted on when the going gets tough.

The stoic, quiet achievers tend to make better, truer friends.

What's been your experience?

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 9:38 AM, July 30th (Wednesday)]

Lucky2HaveMe posted 7/30/2014 07:53 AM

I must say, BBT shows a lot of wisdom for her age! Her reply is spot on.

BrokenButTrying posted 7/30/2014 08:05 AM

Ha! Thanks Lucky My Nan has said since I was a child that I have an old soul.

SlowUptake posted 7/30/2014 08:10 AM

I must say, BBT shows a lot of wisdom for her age! Her reply is spot on.
Wisdom? Possibly, or is it an uncanny ability to cut through the bullshit?

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 8:11 AM, July 30th (Wednesday)]

BrokenButTrying posted 7/30/2014 08:25 AM

You're probably right there, SU

Aubrie posted 7/30/2014 08:46 AM

Well ok. It's a little disconcerting waking up and seeing your name in a banner.

I swear you are my dad made over. Flashy. Center of attention. Has to be adored. Has to be noticed. Lemme guess. Do you have an epic tie collection too that's just as brazen as your personality?

I stated that I enjoyed it but didn't need it.
Do you believe this? I mean, really?

We all have talents. I don't doubt you're a good musician or tennis player. But you're all big stages and bright lights dude. Why did you choose *those* jobs? Why didn't you choose to teach music to under privileged children? Still music. Still using your talents. But not a stage and lights. And of course, no screaming fans and chick's asking for your autograph.

I have talents. And could totally exploit myself in an effort to gain praise and glory for them. But I don't. Used to. But don't anymore. Partially because I lack confidence. But mostly because I know what the path of praise and glory is. I get a little attention and some pats on the head. Kibbles, kibbles, kibbles. But even with everyone fawning over me, at the end of the day when I was all alone, in the quiet, and everyone sleeping, I was sitting there in the dark, wishing I could believe everything the adoring fans said. I didn't and couldn't believe it myself. So what's the plan? Get up the next day and do it all over again. Desperately searching for that little thing called peace.

I still use my talents. But it's in a very different way. I use them for me. My family. And I use it for gifts to those I love and care about. I don't market myself. I quietly do my project, then give it to someone who is on my heart. Not because I want the praise. Not for the adoration. But to brighten the day of someone else. I don't even have to tell them I made it with my own hands. If they ask, I answer. But I don't volunteer that information. I don't want the kibbles that comes with it.

Maybe I'm a little overboard about it. But I have seen first hand in my husband's life, just how badly my need for validation hurt him. AND I am a product of a person (dad) who needs it still to this day. I see the constant and daily destruction he does. And I want absolutely zero part of that kind of life.


BTW, BBT and Ascendant had some really good things to say. Read their posts several times.

Brandon808 posted 7/30/2014 08:46 AM

I can't see it as something that I should change but since it's my MO my whole life and hasn't hurt me in MOST situations in my life.
Ok, it hasn't hurt you in most situations. However, you admit it led to the A. So most of your life was not harmed but the part that was affected was hurt in a huge way. So it does not balance out.

[This message edited by Brandon808 at 4:07 PM, July 30th, 2014 (Wednesday)]

Unagie posted 7/30/2014 11:13 AM

I'm not going to comment on what the others have, they have been spot on. Rather I'd like to ask you have you ever met these other famous entertainers you specified? I've met some celebrities, specifically some comedic entertainers at an old job and if that was truly who they were anytime they were in a crowd or around people they'd have been showcasing themselves. Instead each and every one was quiet, trying to blend in and very sweet and polite. No audacious behavior or look at me attitudes. Who they are as entertainers is not who they really are, they have off switches when around family and friends. These things can be separated and everyone needs to have boundaries privately and professionally. Learn to have some. One last thing everyone can change you have stated you don't want to. If this behavior is part of what allowed you to have an A and destroy some one else then why in the he'll do you want to stay that way?

zoro posted 7/30/2014 15:43 PM

Hey everybody,
I just got home from work and have a few hours to play golf on this beautiful day. I read your posts and don't think any of them are even close to "SPOT ON" as you say, but I will respond later.

zoro posted 7/30/2014 19:00 PM

Thanks for your responses everybody. I will respond in the morning. I need time to think about them.

Sal1995 posted 7/30/2014 20:40 PM

Topic: My girlfriend says Aubrie is right about my need to be adored

Don't sweat it, Aubrie is known around here for being right almost all of the time.

[This message edited by Sal1995 at 9:19 PM, July 30th (Wednesday)]

zoro posted 7/31/2014 05:54 AM

I ran out of time this morning because I got up too late at 5:40 AM. Be back at 3:30.
Thanks again everybody. I've been thinking about what everybody said. Maybe a little spot on with many of the comments, Some of them hurt and I don't like the little laughing signs about any 2x4's given out... but whatever. Please think about where any of you have been before coming off as too smug.

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 7/31/2014 07:38 AM

I read your posts and don't think any of them are even close to "SPOT ON" as you say,

I've been thinking about what everybody said. Maybe a little spot on with many of the comments,

What a difference stepping back and processing can do for you. Your gut reaction is to get defensive. But I have found that when I get defensive there is probably some truth there that I need to look at.

The fact that you have kept coming back, letting us know that you aren't ignoring the posters and you are processing what is being said shows a little bit of growth.

Acknowledging that some of the comments have been "somewhat" spot on is one thing. Now, what are you going to do?

Keep working through this zoro.

zoro posted 7/31/2014 15:43 PM

I am fine when I'm alone and have no problem thinking I'm enough. I taught Special Education and helped many underprivileged children in those days. They still thank me to this day when I run into them. I enjoyed working with them and only quit because I was offered a Head tennis pro position. I'm not always performing and teaching tennis. I have a lot of interaction with people in different circumstances like everybody else. I'm not faking my personality. I am myself and very comfortable with it. I really didn't choose music or tennis, but opportunities kept coming up from high school on to play music for money and for over 30 years it has been a substantial part of my income that I work hard on like any other job. All my band members toured with different famous artists and for them it has been the only job they ever had. I will quit or cut back in a few years when I think about retiring but until then it's a job and we do some benefits every year for people or other causes.

Good points and I am aware and don't flirt or try to be cute when it's with another woman. I changed after my affair in that aspect for sure.

This one is more spot on in that I have hundreds of friends and acquaintances through both professions. I have some close friends but NONE that I hang around with.
When I'm off work I either do stuff with my girlfriend (ride bikes, go to the beach, play golf) or play golf with my son or watch a few things on TV later in the evening. I don't really have time for hanging with any friends other than my girlfriend and family.

I'm sorry you don't have confidence in what you do or did, but I'm happy you are making use of those talents in a nice way.
Was it your main source of income or do you just do it on the side?
By the way I've never bought a tie, although I've been given some that I wear when necessary.
I guess you're using your talents in figuring out other peoples behavior with your insight from their posts. I can see why you said what you said about me from what I wrote and you're not entirely wrong, but a little overboard with your assessment of knowing what I'm really like. I certainly don't know what you are like other than what I have read on SI for a number of years and you've made some great observations that are consistent with certain types of personalities, but everybody is not the same and nothing is black and white like you make it seem at times.
I took in some of what you said.

I have changed since my affair in a big way. I don't think my playing music and teaching tennis hurts my relationship other than time away from my girlfriend (which is a real consideration). Neither of them are there for me to seek validation or adoration even though they both provide it. I'm still not sure I actually need it. Maybe when I cut back I might feel that but for now I just go to my jobs and work and enjoy them.
I feel I am myself at work and playing music. I don't think I need to apologize or quit because they bring attention to me. That's what I mean about not wanting to change. Damn I just feel lucky!

As said to Brandon808 I have changed in many respects since my affair, even when at parties. I'm not sitting in the corner, but I think I fit in how anyone else would in public and can't see why I would feel any different about myself because my jobs were playing music and teaching tennis. I respect everybody for what they do and what they contribute to society. I feel insignificant to many, but don't put myself down because I'm not as smart as they are or as rich or whatever. I love my life and need to work on some issues which I feel I always am to some extent and always trying to improve.
Yes that behavior as you stated led to my affair in that I didn't respect my boundaries enough and was very selfish then. I could still stand to be less selfish and I know that.


Yes, I'm glad I took a little time to think about what I wanted to say since it did upset me that members talked so aggressively and all knowing about my behaviors. Some of what they said is correct and worth working on. I will continue to read and post which for sure makes me think at least.

BrokenButTrying posted 7/31/2014 16:29 PM

I taught Special Education and helped many underprivileged children in those days. They still thank me to this day when I run into them. I enjoyed working with them

Your phrasing is interesting here. It's all about you, the ego kibbles you receive for being so helpful and selfless and then what you got out of it rather than what you gave to them. Might be something worth thinking about.

The bottom line, zoro, is that you failed to enforce a boundary with that drunk woman. In that moment you cared more about offending and upsetting the woman with her arm draped round you (and consequently how you would be perceived by her) than you did about your BGF's feelings.

Your BGF now has to question the strength of your boundaries when she is not around to witness things. She cannot trust you to protect yourself or your relationship. She is telling you this loud and clear... what are you going to do about it?

Aubrie posted 7/31/2014 17:27 PM

Zoro, I never claimed to know you or have all the answers. I said you *remind* me of my dad. Based on what your wrote. I see the same behaviors. The same phrases. Does that mean I *know* you? Absolutely not. But I have an idea. Our words and behaviors are signals. People who have experienced or been exposed to those signals can "read" you. That is the great thing about Wayward. Everyone here has BTDT. The tie comment was a little thing called sarcasm.

Absolutely the world is not black and white. I'm in a very gray situation right now. I don't have all the answers and will readily admit it.

You seem to have a handle on yourself and are totally ok with you. The only reason you're here is because of your GF. Do you think she is be the problem and not you? Do you feel you're a-ok and she needs to jump on board? What are you hoping to gain by posting? Or are you just posting to appease the GF?

Do you or do you not have an issue with wanting to be adored? Do you see it as an issue? Or is It something you are entitled to have as long as you don't flirt or cheat? What are your guidelines for adoration and ego kibbles?

P.S. I would PM this but your GF is here and I don't know who she is to clear it with her. Her comfort and safety is important. So on the thread it is. If you prefer I stay off your threads, say the word. I am totally cool with backing away if you find I grate you more than help.

The point of being being here is to heal.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 5:33 PM, July 31st (Thursday)]

zoro posted 8/1/2014 06:17 AM

I think I was trying to defend myself from what I thought a few of you made me out to be, but I see what you mean. I do feel good about helping people and I might think about not judging what I do with what I get. I'll try to keep that in mind. An example of what you said even in another situation like leaving a big tip at a restaurant (which both my girlfriend and myself waited tables in our younger years) and enjoy leaving BIG tips. My girlfriend is satisfied to leave it and leave. I like to stick around and see their appreciation. She always points that out to me and I can see how that would fit into my profile of who I am. Now I feel bad about doing that. Our tips are so extreme that I don't want them to think we did it by mistake is my answer to her, but I know better. Luckily we don't go out that much.

I wish my girlfriend would let everybody know who she is on here. She has posted many times with some very insightful responses to many posts and goes on SI every single day since our DDay when she found this site. It has helped both of us in our R. I think it would give her an outlet to ask questions that bother her about me since I know this always helps me when I come here. She is very different from me though and is very private in even in her anonymity here.
Most of the time I come here it is from her request to work on some issues that I screw up on.. like the arm around my shoulder thing and some others.
I know I have issues and I feel she does too but I think she has it way more together than I do and I'm proud of her and her life. She was a Valedictorian in High School and it went on from there. You might guess that I wasn't.
Yes.. the bottom line was another infraction of boundaries that I let go from a drunk and former Wayward herself with two young children with seemingly no boundaries of her own. I know she doesn't think anything would lead up to something between that girl and myself, but it was the non action from me more than what it could lead up to.
I don't have any ties and I know it was sarcastic, but you are right about the basic premise that I dress for tennis, golf, and my music with style and fit in mind and always have. I don't consider it flashy as much as stylish but it's always concocted I must admit. She on the other hand is always neat but very unconcerned with anything but comfort. She hates to get dressed up!
I will try to think more about my motives when getting ready to play next time.
I'm not sure about my guidelines for adoration and kibbles. What are other's guidelines? Like makeup for women and tight fitting clothes? Is dressing stylish considered egotistical? I could see that it could be for sure but who would buy all that nice stuff?
Thanks again and I am going to try and talk my girlfriend about revealing our relationship like many other couples here. I think it helps me understand the dynamics of their situations more clearly and I think it would do the same for us.

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