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I feel like a bitch 24/7 and I hate it

January 24, 2023

This is going to sound stupid, but I've always been super soft. I grew up with a younger sister, so I developed a pretty soft side early on, and I was never aggressive with people. Going to an all guys school tho, I was easy to pick on, then in university I found it hard to be assertive and talk to women.

Now, I'm 24 I got a degree a 10/10 girlfriend, a great job. But I still feel soft as fuck and super insecure all the time and I hate it. I'm worried my girl will just look at me one day and be disgusted or that my bosses will fire me because I just can't handle shit. And the more I think about it, the softer I become. I fucking hate it and nothing seems to be working, even when everything is objectively fine.

Any tips? Thanks.

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[–]pm_me_nudesfromspace[S] 13 points14 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yo, you guys are all G's, bringing tears to my eye honestly. It's been this negative self-talk my whole life, since a kid. I just don't want to look back and go shit, the best days were the days I couldn't enjoy because of the voices.

[–]LettuceBeGrateful 14 points15 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah, a couple tips:

  • It sounds like you fundamentally don't respect yourself, and you're projecting that self-hate onto others. I get it, I've felt that way before, and still do sometimes on my tough days. But just remember, your girlfriend is choosing to date you, and your bosses chose to hire you. They want you there!

  • It was kinda hard to tease out the different in your post between aggression and boundaries. This is something I'd bet a lot of men struggle with these days, because there's a 24/7 emphasis on not being a bad, scary, threatening man. We don't get the same messages about enforcing boundaries and validating our anger - we get told to suppress it. Just remember, being able to enforce your boundaries with bullies does not make you the aggressor.

  • You pointed out that the harder you are on yourself, the worse you feel. I'm gonna ask a question that's so simple, it sounds stupid, but here go: why do you keep doing that to yourself, if it isn't helping? It sounds like you're caught in a cycle of self-judgement that keeps the negativity on your mind.

Food for thought. Tbh just based on these two paragraphs, you're basically a textbook case of why psychologists exist. This exact kind of negative self-talk and its conflict with reality are made for therapists. (In particular, you could probably benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy.) If you have the time and the means, consider looking up therapists in your area and giving one a call. I promise, you'll feel better on the other side!

[–]GM_Timephone 12 points13 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Hey friend, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

I am an almost middle-aged man who would likely also be considered "soft" by many people. I've always been sensitive, I have a hard time taking criticism from people whose opinions I care about, and I try to avoid a majority of confrontations. I'm certainly not aggressive and am rarely assertive.

To be frank, it doesn't really bother me, and I'd like to know why it bothers you.

All this "alpha/beta" nonsense I read about online is basically horoscopes for dudes. Anyone claiming they're an alpha, whether out loud or in their head, are just trying to distract everyone (including themselves) from their insecurities. The whole Alpha Wolf theory in nature has been debunked, and the researcher who first proposed the idea regrets it intensely.

The way I see it, the world doesn't need more aggressive men shouting at each other, it needs men who are thoughtful and kind. Men who aren't afraid to be sensitive and vulnerable around others, who can be sympathetic and empathetic, and form real bonds with one another.

Sometimes you do need to be assertive though, especially in relationships, with family, and in the workplace, so learning how to be assertive when necessary is a good skill to have.

It seems to me that you clearly suffered some trauma growing up and being bullied so even though you've built yourself a great life those wounds are still there. Everyone has trauma that they need to be addressed and there's really only one way to do it: therapy. Once you start unpacking all your negative feelings with a professional you can maybe figure out why you have trouble with assertiveness.

Therapy isn't a sign of weakness, it's just going to a doctor except for your emotions instead of your body. I've been in and out of therapy for almost 15 years and I live a rather peaceful and happy life, in no small part due to the work I put in in therapy.

Talking to your girl would probably also help. Be honest and vulnerable with her, if you think she's trustworthy. If you don't think she's trustworthy then that's a whole other problem. It takes true strength to be vulnerable with someone you care about, so it's not for the faint of heart.

That's my advice. Good luck in your journey, and keep us posted on how it goes.

[–]Anon_Anon462 7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

All this "alpha/beta" nonsense I read about online is basically horoscopes for dudes.

Your response is incredibly well thought out, but damn if I'm not stealing this.

[–]surrealstrength 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well said sir.

[–]ZulutheZebra 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well I think it’s definitely worth considering “Why do I feel like a bitch?” If you have a “10/10 girl and a great job” that’s doing pretty damn good, especially at 24. It’s one of the great ironies of life though; you can have the whole world at your feet and just taste ash and ruin if your mind is not in your corner.

I will say though, maybe dig a little on those feelings of inadequacy. Trust me, nothing spoils a relationship faster than one party quietly nursing inadequacy as that leads to petty and jealous behavior more often than not. Or maybe you feel like she legitimately would leave you when a better option comes along deep down, which is another thing to figure out.

What I will say about therapy and digging on problems, is don’t be discouraged if it takes you years to hit progress. Learning about what makes you tick is a lifetime journey, not something you can do a few sessions on or hammer down a few tricks to make it work. Along the way though, you may very well learn the reasons behind some of your more problematic behaviors so at least you are aware of them in the meantime.

Best of luck my friend, you certainly don’t sound like a “bitch” or a loser and I hope you can know that for yourself one day.

[–]leelbeach 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You don't sound like a bitch to me. Having a degree and a 10/10 girlfriend doesn't sound like you're a bitch to me. I wish I was in your shoes.

[–]Crunch-Potato 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Your GF and boss picked someone they like, question remains, do you like this person?

This question is usually the source to most of our problems, that the person sitting there just doesn't seem right in some way.

[–]Desserts_i_stresseD 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I utterly hate this alpha/beta male bullshit going around young men these days, it's the new version of "be a man" that was perpetuated when I was growing up. Somehow being almost 30, I'm unaffected by this new wave of toxic hyper-masculinity which probably started as a joke like most internet memes/culture.

I'd say take some interest in a hobby you haven't done in a while to replace screen-time. Being online too long will skew your perspective of reality and yourself.

I'd also suggest open discussion with your girl about your vulnerabilities, it's actually a sign of strength to be open and honest about your feelings to people you are in relationships with, and if she's really worth it, she will be a support system for you developing a new form of self-love and self-care.

I struggle with this to this day and have self-destructive patterns. Maybe working with a therapist or counselor would help to be able to identify your negative thought-patterns, identify them as not being helpful in your life, and actively discredit them with positive (or even neutral) thoughts about yourself and your day.

Negative self-talk is the bitch! Not you!

[–]stillcantshoot 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Man I would just start putting yourself out there. Learn to embrace doing hard shit. I've lived a pretty blue collar life and doing hard shit sucks. Working in the rain and cold sucks, doing house repairs and working even on your days off sucks, camping in the mountains suck, learning hard skills sucks, lifting weights after a hard day of work sucks. But I'm going to tell you, it's rewarding as fuck.

[–]hg915ad 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

You just got to get out there and do it. I work outside and even in high school worked on ranches before and after school. I do 300 push-ups and go for a run every morning before my shift. And then hit the gym after my shift. I work law enforcement so I work in the Heat and the cold and wearing all that equipment is brutal especially the highway boots in the summer. Just get at it and it'll become second nature

[–]Remarkable-Ad1479 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Gym and martial arts.

[–]superprawnjustice 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think a lot of people value softness more than you know. You are wanted. You are appreciated. We live in a hard world, embrace whatever softness you can retain while surviving it. It makes you more valuable, not less.

[–]Megamike_007 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I find whats really missing in life today as a man is that safe conflict. I found that joining a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym was amazing. Every man needs to be able to push themselves a bit. To learn that we all have a power inside us that we can rely on. Jui Jitsu is great as it teaches one to be humble too, among many other things.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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