“I am unwanted”: What determines your value?

A beautiful snowfall here in Toronto and I’m thinking about a comment from a viewer on one of my other videos, who says he’s feeling depressed that he is so physically unattractive that he will always be alone and unwanted.
And this comment was deleted before I was able to reply, but I hope that if this commenter is watching, that I may be able to reply this way.
I think this is a common enough sentiment.
The first thing that I would reply is that this is not such a rare and unique thing, this feeling of not being good enough, the feeling that no matter what, I will not be appreciated.
In my younger days, I sometimes felt that sense of being completely socially isolated and unwanted.
And I think there’s no way to completely make it go away, you know, just as nothing.
It can’t be dismissed.
First of all, it should be accepted as a feeling, that this is this is real, and not simply dismiss it and, you know, say you shouldn’t feel that way, because fair enough.
A feeling like that is a feeling.
And we cannot dismiss the desire to be loved and wanted and appreciated by other people.
That’s always going to be something that is important.
So there is no way to make that go away.
But I think that part of that feeling, part of it relates to this more general question of what is my value.
What am I worth? And how do I judge that? How do I know or decide what is my value? What makes me good or bad, or what makes me worth anything? And it’s so easy to apply this judgment that we have, this sort of judgment of other people, to turn it on ourselves.
This idea that if nobody else likes me, then clearly I am unlikeable, and therefore I will follow this opinion that I believe others have.
So others say no to me, and therefore I will say no to myself.
And it’s natural to look at things this way, sort of automatically.
Because when we’re young, when we’re children, we are at the mercy of others almost entirely, and we learn from others how to behave towards ourselves.
We learn from others what our significance is, what we mean.
And we depend on others to accept us, and to judge us to be good.
That’s the default state when you’re a baby.
You’re just in the world, and everything is dependent on other people, and we simply passively submit to the will of other people.
As we grow up into adults, we have to learn to do certain things ourselves, and we have to take care of ourselves.
We don’t have people changing diapers or, you know, feeding us with a spoon every day.
We have to learn how to take care of ourselves.
But there isn’t anything automatic that says, you know, automatically the way we feel about ourselves is fundamentally changed.
We can grow up and we can do adult things but still inside be crying out like a child.
As adults, there’s nothing that automatically makes us cut ourselves off from the judgment of others and choose to judge ourselves first.
The idea that our own opinion matters, that I can have an opinion about myself that is separate from what other people judge about me: there’s nothing that automatically takes things in that direction.
That seems to be a matter of choice.
Imagine a life where everybody in the world hates you.
You are an object of contempt for every single human on the planet.
Now, this is an extreme case.
Now, in that case, would it be fair to say that you have no value, because everybody dislikes you? Can that really be enough? And if everybody in the world loves you, everybody in the world admires you, does that mean automatically that you are good? And what if it changes? If everybody loves you and therefore you’re good, and then suddenly everybody hates you and now you’re not good? Can it really be dependent on others? You could be somebody that everybody hates, and then you do a great thing, everybody loves you.
And does that really change fundamentally who you are and your value? It’s a matter of what is your standard for value.
What matters? How do you define your self and your own worth? If it is based on others’ opinions, it will never be reliable, because others’ opinions can always change.
But your own opinion of yourself: that is something that is much closer to your control.
Now, I can’t automatically change, because it’s so imprinted from years of habit.
But it can change over time.
And it has for me as well.
My opinion of myself has improved, as I care less about imagining what other people think about me, and instead ask myself: do I like myself? And at first I answered the question, meh, it’s mixed.
I like some things about myself, and I don’t like some other things.
So that led to me then taking steps to improve myself, to the point where I can say, overall, I like myself.
It’s a long journey.
It takes a long time to overcome the habits of judging myself according to some standard of whether other people like me or not. […]

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