• Wed, Nov 7 2012

Should Dating Somebody Boost Your Confidence?

Earlier today, Huffington Post quoted a piece in Cosmopolitan U.K. in which Kim Kardashian said of Kanye West: “He’s great at boosting my confidence. He gives me compliments in every way possible.”

Believe me, I think it’s fantastic that the world’s two most self-absorbed people have somehow found love in a hopeless place or whatever, but I also find these words a bit conflicting. Constantly boosting your confidence, particularly when it’s low, through a significant other’s words can actually be significantly worse for your self-esteem.
I know it sounds like I’m simply being too picky about Kardashian’s komments, but it’s from my own experience (which may mean this is simply Present Me telling you to avoid being anything like Past Me).  For the last however many years I’ve been in the dating world, a significant portion of my self-confidence has come from whomever I’ve been dating. Whether it was needing my partner to consistently tell me I’m pretty–otherwise I would feel ugly–or relying on another boyfriend to call me smart because I felt inadequate in school or with writing, I got most of my “confidence boosts” from other people.

But feeling insecure unless somebody–even and especially a significant other–compliments you is a dangerous road to go down and a pretty hard one to get off. It becomes like a pharmacy in which he or she can fill your prescription, but you’ll never get behind the counter nor understand how to fill it yourself. You become reliant on that person(s) for your self-image; in relationships, this almost never ends well.

It’s definitely easier said than done to fix. No matter what other people say to me–whether it’s incredibly cruel or extremely kind–I have always been able to find a way to criticize myself to an increasingly deep extent. As a result, I admittedly still desire validation sometimes a fair amount of the time; I won’t go into the things I need it for these days, thereby somewhat defeating the purpose of this post, but it’s a problem I’m trying to fix. By reminding myself that I am an entity who should rely on herself for confidence, as opposed to finding it elsewhere, I feel less stressed and don’t get down on myself so badly.

Yes, it’s lovely to receive compliments and there’s nothing wrong with getting a good smile out of knowing people you care about think you’re great. However, it should never be the main source of your confidence. When you need a boost, look to yourself; if you need to find it in somebody else, that could be a problem. Just remember: you are the primary source of how wonderful you already are and can be, so give yourself the credit you deserve, and don’t rely on anybody else for it.

Photo via Pinterest.

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