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[QUOTE=Hiya] I already have a reputation of being pretty mousy, people are always telling me I have to learn to stand up for myself more and learn how to say "no" and how to defend myself and smart back more, and that I'm "too nice," I get that one a lot. :confused: Maybe when I come on here, I try to be more like people say I should be in real life. Now, if I'm understanding everyone correctly, I'm not nice enough. I'm too fast to assume someone's being rude or sarcastic or snotty with me, too fast to say "hey, that was uncalled for," and the people in my "real life" all say I'm not nearly fast enough. Now I have no idea which one is right or which way to go.[/QUOTE]

Nini ~ I think that after we have been taken advantage of, manipulated, or mistreated in anyway in our past our first defense is to be leary of the same happening again, to mistrust our own judgement and to do our very best in preventing that from happening ever again. Sometimes, which I believe has happened in your case, we tend to overcompensate in these areas.....not finding ourselves trusting of other's intentions such as when somebody doing something nice for us interpreting it as a way to get close to us so that they will be able to hurt us, yet again.

Like when you were out with a guy and you didn't know the teams that were playing and he laughed and you interpreting him as thinking you were stupid because he didn't ask you out again.....perhaps it wasn't even that at all!!! :nono: Perhaps it may have been how you got very quiet after he laughed and barely contributed to the conversation and he took that as a sign of disinterest on your part. In other words, you may have misinterpreted his laughter at finding something funny as an insult and reacted in that way which took the rest of the evening into a whole different direction. If you hadn't taken that to heart and in a negative way and instead turned it around into something positive such as saying, "Wow....NE and I go thinking it's Nebraska....just goes to show that while I was being taught geography my mind was on Johnny P. who was the cute guy who played the drums in our school band!!! Boy....and to think I gave up geography for a drummer!!!" :D the outcome could have been much different. Right??? There could have been numerous ways of handling the situation rather than coming down on yourself for not knowing everything....who does??? Do you see what I mean, how we can be our own worst enemies??? Don't you think that if you had allowed the mistake to blow over and not internalized it so much that things may have turned out a little bit differently??? He may have been charmed by your comeback and seen your strong sense of acceptance of yourself and self worth & he would have been turned on by that.....many men are turned on by a woman's confidence and I see you needing to work on this part of yourself. People can tell if you are confident or lacking in it. They home in on it like a shark to the smell of blood!!! :eek: And that makes a big first impression. If you do not accept yourself & your imperfections you can come across extremely weak and lacking in confidence and self love. And people are generally not attracted to that. Doesn't mean that you have to be completely full of yourself.....just somebody who likes who they are and knows that they are special.

Another thing we tend to do after being taken advantage of is becoming automatically defensive of anything that seems to be directed as something that points out a weakness within ourselves that can be improved upon, that we know we have and which with a little work can be changed, but are unwilling to admit. It's called constructive criticism. Somebody who genuinely has our best interests at heart will take a risk and tell you what you need to do in order to get better or do better. Because we see it as a protective mechanism we will get defensive when somebody points this out or perhaps touches the vulnerable part of ourselves. I still have to make sure that I don't fall prey to this to this day even after all that I have worked on to regain my self esteem after the abuse I went through in the past. Realguy has a way of bringing that out in me too like when he started that thread in regard to people holding ex's in such a high regard. When I responded he made a comment about how he could think of many other ways that somebody could develop strength than to go through an abusive situation. And although he was right from the perspective of not truly understanding abusive relationships, I felt a strong need to defend myself and others who had been exposed to abuse to point out that it wasn't by choice that we entered an abusive relationship....and that it took courage & strength to leave one. Not only that but to also turn it around & not allow it to further weaken you but to strengthen you by using it to help others who found themselves in the same situation. I know now that Realguy's comment was only as constructive criticism and yet I jumped in defense when perhaps I should have left it alone. I think he is doing the same here....can you see that he is only saying what I described above???? But in a more direct way....a cutting to the chase sort of way??? ;) Some of us respond to that (personally I do not ;) ) at least not until I know the person and have grown to trust them as a friend. :D Then I know their intentions and find it much easier to trust them. I think that when you share here, you obviously trust that people will offer you good advice & support. I guess like for me it is easier to come to you after you have developed some type of trust.....because that is important to you. If Goody had said the words that Realguy had.....I have a feeling that you wouldn't have reacted so badly. And perhaps that is how it is in the real world with you.....that you do react badly because you are unable to trust the person that you are with. You automatically feel that they have the potential to hurt you. Just like all the others.....right???

So, Nini, perhaps it all IS a matter of trust. Trusting your instincts again, and trusting that there are people in this world that can like you, that is, after you show them a person who likes and trusts herself!!! I hope this all makes a little more sense.....the fact is, there is work to be done in you, my friend. And the only one who can do it is YOU. We can guide you and offer suggestions but in the end it is totally up to YOU to trust us enough to make the changes in yourself that will make your future brighter. Be open to hearing what others who care about you have to say. It is quite obvious that what you have done on your own is not exactly working. You need to trust yourself, Nini, and those around you. And to be confident enough to know that you are loveable and that there are people out there willing to be your friend and your only have to learn to how to let them in.

((((HUGS)))) ~ Goody :angel:

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