"Ps Don't be so hard on yourself all the time!"

I was sent an email last week with these words. I can't say it's completely knew to me, I've heard those words a few times before, but this time I felt a little bit different
How do I make someone see the best in me?
It's simple. I put myself down, and bully myself, and list all the bad things about myself to them.
I guess that's the way I protect myself and by me saying all of those things stops them from saying them, or discovering them for themselves.

If I say I am annoying, all they can do is agree, and not figure it out by themselves (or lie and pretend they hadn't noticed).
If I say I am paranoid, jealous, ugly, fat, with no willpower then it's ok, because it's me pointing those things out and not someone else discovering them.
It seems silly I know, wanting to impress someone and then pointing out your flaws.

I have confidence in some ways. And in some ways I think I am a nice person, I have things about myself that I am proud of, and that I think can appeal to people. But I am quick to not want people to think I have an ego, or that I think I am amazing, beautiful, funny, and so on.
Because I don't think those things at all.
I find myself incredibly annoying, so annoying that I can't see how I have any friends or why anyone would want to talk to me.

I think a lot of the time that people talk to me because they feel sorry for me, or just don't want to hurt my feelings. Or they think "Meh, eventually she will go away". But I don't. And that is why I am annoying. Because I sometimes just can't take a hint, and I get caught up in the moment of thinking "HOLD ON. WOAH! SOMEONE MIGHT JUST LIKE ME". And I cling on, really tight.
I guess I kind of push people to be part of my life. If I annoy them and hassle them then they have a reason to talk to me. But how is that successful? How is that ever going to give me the result I want? Instead of pushing them to be a part of my life, I am instead pushing them away.

You see, here. This post was supposed to be my way of sticking up for myself. A way of being positive but instead I'm bullying myself again. And I suppose that's because it's just the way I am.
I was bullied at school, I was bullied as an adult, and I bully myself. I don't really know any different.
Those who say nice things to me are either my family, who kind of have to say nice things, or other people who I don't believe.

And it's hard because, and here is where I sound like a complete and utter brat, there are only so many times that you can hear that you are "nice" or "lovely" or "sweet" until you start to think...."hold on, is that all I am?" I'm not ungrateful, and if someone truly thinks that of me then that's great, and I appreciate it.
However, in my head, it feels like it's the first describing word that comes into someones head when they are panicking. In an almost "You are nice...but..." or "You are sweet....but..." and the word "lovely" is generally only really used because it shares the first initial of my name "Lovely Lauren", which sounds better and more catchy than "Nice Lauren".

I suppose me being an open, honest, soppy, over-sensitive person doesn't help. I would quite happily say to someone, be it a family member, friend, mum on the school run, teacher, key-worker, blogger, that they are amazing. I will tell them why they are amazing. Because everyone deserves to know that, I believe anyway.
But just because I am happy to do that, and to talk to people like that, I suppose I need to accept that I won't get the same in return. And my way of protecting myself from that, and that feeling of rejection or whatever you want to call it is to list my bad points. To point those out saves awkwardness of someone else having to. It saves my heart from being damaged and my pride from hurting too much.
I can accept that people would think these bad things about me. I can't accept that anyone would think anything nice about me.
I can accept that peoples list of 'dislikes' would be much longer than their list of 'likes'.

And maybe that is why I get overwhelmed when I meet new people. When I see a little bit of hope that they may see the good in me. And they might enjoy talking to me, or getting to know me. They might be the person who is able to bring out the side of me who I like, the one who smiles, the one who I look at in the mirror and feel happy to be.

"Don't be so hard on yourself all the time!"
It's hard when I don't know any different. I don't know how to not be that person.
And I don't think I ever will, because whenever I get close to easing up on myself and giving myself a break, things change again, and I am back in that same spot.
I will always be my biggest bully.


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