Is the “Real You” Too Unlovable for a Relationship?

Last week, we talked about how the right partner will “elevate your best and soothe your worst.”

But what if you feel like your best isn’t good enough? Or you’re afraid your worst will be “too much” for someone?

In this week’s new video, I’ll teach you how to shift from looking at yourself through a lens of self-judgment, self-loathing, and self-hatred, and instead view yourself from a place of self-compassion, self-love, and self-empowerment . . .

Create a Beautiful Relationship With Yourself & Unlock Your Core Confidence.
Learn More About The Matthew Hussey Virtual Retreat . . .
http://www.MHVirtualRetreat.com

So last week, we did a video on how to tell if we are ready for a relationship.

Being ready to not be lonely anymore is not the same thing as being ready for a relationship.

And one of the things that you highlighted in the comments from that video that you really loved was that line that the right person will elevate our best and soothe our worst.

I sometimes think the right person is the person who elevates our best and soothes our worst. They’re not going to eradicate our worst and it’s not their job to take it away, but they don’t agitate our worst.

Of course, we, in turn, when we become the right person, the person who’s ready for a real relationship, will elevate somebody else’s best and soothe their worst.

But what about when we feel like our best won’t be good enough for somebody else and our worst will be too much for somebody else? This is that particular feeling of being unlovable that often prevents us from finding a relationship, really revealing ourselves and connecting.

 

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Guys before you carry on with this video, I just wanted to say to you, if you haven’t booked a spot for my Virtual Retreat yet in September, please take the time to at least go and see if it could be right for you. I have Specialists who are waiting to talk to you on the phone and they can answer any questions you have about it. But if you want to graduate from just watching me on YouTube to being part of an immersive coaching program with me, for your confidence and your wellbeing over three days in September, go check it out. It’s at MHVirtualRetreat.com. All right, back to the video.

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Because we’re so deathly afraid that what we really are when somebody gets to know us—our bad habits, our worst tendencies, our worst anxieties, insecurities, neurosis—that that will all be too much. It will scare someone away.

Do you ever feel like that about yourself? I know that in my life I’ve had those moments where I have felt like, “Well, what people see up front might be impressive, but when they really get to know me, they might find that I’m too much or that the things I struggle with, they don’t want to have to deal with.”

When we feel like that, what happens is instead of showing our vulnerability and using it as a way of connecting, we put up a barrier so that people can’t see those things. We try to be impressive, as we think people want us to be, for as long as possible without showing any of that.

Let’s say you’re a jealous person and you don’t want to show that jealousy to somebody else because you’re worried. You’re worried that it will make you look weak or insecure or you’re worried that it will be perceived as too difficult or you’re worried that in some way it will give up your power. Then you just don’t show it. You just bottle it up and hide it.

But of course, when we bottle things up, when we bottle our . . . what we perceive to be our negative traits . . . up, they start to come out in other ways. Our wounds start mutating into weapons. They mutate into us lashing out at somebody and not really explaining why, being passive aggressive, giving someone the silent treatment, going on the attack, judging them. And now what we do is we start to pick away at the relationship and erode the relationship and someone doesn’t even really get to know the real us.

I have come to believe that vulnerability within a relationship can be the ultimate source of connection when it’s exhibited in the right way. And not everyone—and this is something that I think not enough people talk about—not everyone is ready for your vulnerability and some people will even punish you for it. Some people will hurt you when you reveal things about yourself. They’ll judge you. They’ll leave. I would argue (as you know I would) that anyone who can’t hold space for your vulnerability isn’t the right person for you. That’s not a teammate that you need to go forward with. So that’s a good thing to learn about somebody. But there will be people in life who can hold space for your vulnerability and they will be the right people, the people that you could actually build with.

But how we exhibit that vulnerability is very important. When we are worried that, “God, when they see me at my worst . . .”, we have to be able to reveal parts of our worst. We have to be able to reveal those things about us that we’re scared someone won’t accept and risk not being accepted. We have to risk that someone won’t want us when we reveal that thing in order to build the connection that’s really going to sustain a lifelong relationship.

When you think of your jealousy, for example, you could say to someone, “I get jealous sometimes. It’s not something I always like about myself, but it’s something that I am working on or something I would like to work on.” If you take just that recipe, that kind of practical recipe for how to show vulnerability, how to show the things you struggle with, it’s quite powerful because the first part of the sentence, where you say, “I sometimes struggle with,” or even, “I often struggle with jealousy, anxiety, depressive thoughts, feeling like I’m not good enough,” if you are open about those things in that way, if you can express it in that way, then you’re almost expressing it with a lack of baggage and judgment around it.

The second part of that sentence is empowered. And it’s actually quite attractive. To hear someone . . . especially because people are not used to being honest about their own vulnerabilities, when they hear someone who is honest about their vulnerabilities and then in the second part of the sentence can say, “And it’s something that I’m working on. It’s something that I’m looking to improve,” that’s a very active, empowered statement that when someone hears that they go, “Oh, wow, they’re brave enough to say this, to admit this about themselves and they’re taking ownership in working on it in doing better in whatever way they define it.” That’s powerful.

That then becomes a very attractive thing. And it also becomes a point of connection in the relationship. Here’s what’s interesting to me. When someone sees our worst, if they see it on day three, they’re more likely to abandon ship than if they see it on day 300 of the relationship. Why is that? Because on day 300, this person has context. They have context for who we are, why we are the way we are, how we are the rest of the time. And they’re able to wrap that, even if it wasn’t a good communication of a vulnerability on day 300, even if our weapons came out and we did some damage, people are more easily able to contextualize things about us when they know us. They’re more easily able to give us the benefit of the doubt, to give us empathy, to give us compassion than they are on day three.

Of course, that makes it important that as we go along in a relationship, we do reveal these things about ourselves and we do start to let someone in in a productive way because that starts to give someone context. It illuminates all of the parts of ourselves that give us beauty and make up the complete picture. But what’s interesting to me about it is that that context that someone has on day 300 holds the clue, holds a master key in how to give ourselves a different level of acceptance and compassion.

Which, by the way, is the basis for growing in life, is the basis for improving, is the basis for being happy today, even while we’re improving. Mister Rogers would say, “No child can ever feel truly loved until he or she is accepted for exactly who they are,” which I suppose some people look at as a mandate for entitlement or for a kind of apathy about ourselves that says, “I don’t have to do anything in order to be worthy of love or I don’t have to . . . I don’t have to fix any of my problems or any of the negative aspects of myself.”I actually don’t see it that way. What I see it as is a foundation for improvement. If we can accept ourselves for who we are today—mistakes, all the things we’ve been shaming ourselves for, all of the things that we don’t do as well as other people, all of it—if we can accept ourselves for who we are today, then we can also build on that because we’re not coming from a place of hating ourselves.

We’re coming from a place of love. When someone has context on day 300 of a relationship with us or year 30, they’ve seen more of the picture. Well, no one has seen more of the picture of us than us. No one has more context for you and why you are the way you are than you do. You have the ultimate context on you, your life. Your parenting, how you were brought up, the situations you’ve been through, good and bad, your brain chemistry, your DNA, the brain you’ve always been stuck with for better or worse. I mean, we know ourselves. We know that there are things that bother us in relationships now that tendencies that come out that we’ve always had. We didn’t decide to have our brain. No one gave us a choice of our brain with all of its stuff that is difficult to deal with or 10 others. We didn’t choose it. We got our brain. We got our upbringing. We got everything we’ve been through and that’s made us us. And we have context for all of that. And that allows us to give ourselves the ultimate self acceptance of this is why I am who I am. This is why I’ve made the decisions I’ve made. This is why I’ve done some of the damage that I’ve done.

That breeds acceptance, which breeds self-compassion, which breeds self-love and ultimately self-empowerment because we can say to ourselves, “Ah, I know why you did things the way you’ve done. I know why we did these things, and we are who we are today and that’s okay, but why don’t we try doing this today? Why don’t we try doing it differently today? Why don’t we try improving that today?” And you’re doing it by putting an arm around yourself and giving yourself a nudge, an encouraging compassionate nudge in the right direction, as opposed to shaming yourself and just telling yourself that so that you must do this today because you’re not as good as everybody else, and unless you do it like this, you’ll never be as good as anybody else—from a place of judgment and self-loathing and self-hatred and admonishment.

And the cool part is, once we do that, once we give ourselves the right context on ourselves, we’re able to then use that structure I spoke about, that two-part structure of “this is something I’m struggling with: acceptance.” Not “this is something I’m struggling with and I’m never going to be better, I’m never going to be able to solve this, and I’m never . . .” No, that’s not acceptance. That’s a feeling of frustration and resentment and judgment. And then of course the catastrophic thinking of, “It will never be better. I’ll never be able to change this. I’ll never be able to improve on this.” No. “This is something I sometimes . . . or this is something I often struggle with, or this is something I’ve always struggled with, but I’m working to improve it.” Acceptance. Empowerment.

And that’s how those two things co-exist because we often, I suppose, find the idea of accepting ourselves and bettering ourselves as being a paradoxical set of ideas. It’s not. It’s an acceptance of who we are now with a loving arm around the shoulder that says, “And here’s what we’re working towards. It doesn’t have to always be this way. We can still improve. We can still change. Plenty has changed in our lives up until this point. And there are things in our lives that we thought would never change and did change. So let’s see what’s possible. At the very least, let’s see what’s possible. Let’s have a curiosity about it.”

If you think about it, that’s what I’ve just done with you is laid out a key to self-compassion, self-love and a stronger relationship with yourself that can lead to stronger relationships with other people. Because when you come from this lens, you’re truly able to connect with other people and your relationships will get better. If you don’t have a relationship right now, I promise you, applying what you learned in this video will make many more connections in life possible because you’ll bring a much more beautiful lens to the table in your dealings with everybody.

There are other keys to self-love or what I call core confidence and I believe that core confidence is one of the great master keys to living an incredible life and to being happy. I have spent many, many, many days in my life beating myself up. And it’s always when I return to what I know about core confidence that I return to a place of peace and not in a turmoil.

I’d love to show you everything that I have learned, developed and packaged together in a program I have coming up this year, a place where I’m teaching this whole program and it’s called the Virtual Retreat. It’s happening in September, from the 24th to the 26th. And I would love to invite you to join me.

I would love for you to be a part of it with me, because together over three days, I’m going to walk you through everything I’ve learned about creating not only the life you want, but creating the relationship within yourself with yourself that you want.

I’m going to leave a link here: MHVirtualRetreat.com. When you go there, you’ll get a chance to apply for a phone call with one of my team. And these are Specialists that talk to people about what their goals are, what they’re struggling with and where they want to be in the next chapter of their lives, both in terms of their outcome and in terms of the way they feel. And we plot a course. We plot a roadmap to getting there together. And when you’re on that call, you have a chance to decide whether you want to come and join me on the Virtual Retreat in September. But even if all you do is the phone call, that itself can be a clarifying act for a lot of people about what they want to do in the next chapter of their lives or this chapter of their lives.

Go book your appointment for the Virtual Retreat to speak to one of my specialists. And as always, I will see you next week.

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5 Replies to “Is the “Real You” Too Unlovable for a Relationship?”

  1. Dear Matthew,

    I’m not sure you’ll get to see this at all, but I want to thank you so very much for this weeks video about the real you being too unlovable. It hit me so much emotionally I had to watch it twice in a row just to concrete it in my mind, as I connect with everything you said very strongly, and have been working so hard on being vulnerable in a healthier way recently. I actually feel though, I should admit that I felt very disheartened by your previous video – specifically regarding the part where you said how rushing in to something with someone / your feelings going from 0-200 etc isn’t a sign that you’re ready for a relationship, anymore than your being closed down / shut off from people and struggling to open yourself to others. I ended up feeling that I would therefore be someone likely cursed with never being ‘ready’ for a relationship. I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder nearly ten years ago now, as part of my treatment I have been through an intensive group therapy process called a ‘therapeutic community’ (Oxfordshire Complex Needs Service) where I have learned a great deal of psycho-educational training and understanding. I’ve also worked as a consultant for NHS Oxford Health (TVI STARS) in using my lived experience to train professionals in mental health and personality disorder / self harm / challenging behaviour etc. One of the reasons I follow you so intensively is I can recognise that you also have a much deeper and more therapeutic understanding than most, as you refer to several techniques and phrases etc that I was taught during my treatment. Unfortunately with BPD I struggle hugely with black and white thinking, hypermentalising, catastrophising etc and then your previous video emphasised in my mind that I would never be ready because I do fall victim to both being very closed down from everyone, and when I do have a potential relationship situation my feelings quickly rush in to overwhelmingly strong and I also have all the fears you explain in this video, about my best never being good enough or as good as everyone else’s and my worst being far too much. Unfortunately my own sister once told me I am too much / too hard work and didn’t want a relationship together – so I have further fuel to add to those mental fires. I have been extremely closed since my last relationship which was violent and abusive and it broke me very much, this was back in 2012. However in the last year, two potential someone’s have come along because I’ve been trying to follow your advice, about adding those spokes to the wheel in how to meet more people. The first – Adam, who I met in september last year and we both rather had the lightning strike hit us both quite unexpectedly as we’d both been out of a relationship a long time, and I was very honest and vulnerable about myself – it became extremely intense with him and then after 6 months he unexpectedly fell off a personal cliff and suddenly disappeared in the ghosting me sense (never happened to me before – another of your videos was invaluable then to me regarding ghosting) and as this was my first delve in to relationships in almost a decade I was devastated, couldn’t understand and quickly shut down again. Then in April this year someone else came along in making a close friend who was also interested in more with me physically, despite already having a partner – it seems he’s one of these open relationship types which I’ve never encountered before. I have no idea if this is even a healthy situation for me to be in or not as I have only ever been the one and only type, completely monogamous. And feeling like I’m only ‘one of his many’, I find understanding what he really wants or feels or what I mean to him almost impossible and I’m struggling with trust and remaining open with him about my feelings. I’ve still tried once again to be all the things you describe in this video, accepting myself, my past and why I am triggered by certain things that take me back to my violent abusive partner and the things he did to me, not punishing myself etc, being vulnerable instead of a victim (the karpman drama triangle which I’m sure you know about) I’ll probably be watching your unlovable video several more times in the week too. I only wish I knew of a better way of telling if or how I’ll ever be considered ‘ready’ for a relationship when there is so much damage both from the past, and my struggles with my extremely overwhelming feelings which my diagnosis makes 100x harder still. I have wanted to come to your retreat for so many years, but I must admit I have always worried my diagnosis would mean that I wouldn’t be very suitable, or be ‘too much’ even for you and your retreats, if that makes sense. But I do hope I get to meet you one day, as you have been a life changing support for me throughout the years, and I wish I could tell you that in person so you could see just how much. Take care Matthew and thankyou for being there, and for who you are. Very much love from Rachel.

  2. Well, I totally agree that two people should leave space to really get to know each other. But while I’m confident enough to be at least ok with my flaws, I find so many guys just want to see my “good side” and then start to rush things.

    I really hate that. I really don’t feel seen and accepted. We just met once or twice and they (it happened repeatedly) are head over heels though this is way to soon. It is really annoying, I wished they could first look at my bad sides, see if they can handle them and then decide to move on – or not.

    Is there a good way how to communicate that? Like, successfully?

  3. Actually Matthew, I feel the opposite for me is true; I think other people aren’t good enough. Often I will meet a guy – and then out of nowhere, he starts acting oddly; pulling away, or playing games, or blowing hot and cold – or whatever that is completely unprovoked. And it’s then that I look at the situation and think to myself, “Okay – I am not the one from a broken-home, or the one who doesn’t have a Secure Attachment Style, or a basic repetition-compulsion that I’ve failed to deconstruct.” -And that is when I lose interest and drop it, then run. Yes I have faults; I am not the world’s most patient person, and I struggle with forgiveness – but that is not the same thing as having a Personality Disorder, is it? Recently, a guy put me on the back burner, while trying to decide to take the person he was with, off the boil – and deliberately misrepresented the truth of his relationship status, letting me think he was single – when he wasn’t. In short – NOT GOOD ENOUGH! You wouldn’t set a diamond in silver, or copper. You would set it in platinum or gold; something strong enough to hold onto it. Know your worth! (Which means steering clear of non-precious metals.)

  4. About what you said in video that we can acknowledge yourself better than others and be confident enough is true but you can know yourself better but make you fall for the people for example me after realising that being sociable affect my peace of mind I got my self being introvert and that’s makes me fear as when I developed something hard to understand my self I thought its was better but it makes me another person that am not happy of

  5. Yes, self love, self compassion, self forgiveness, self encouragement, self improovement, … we all human, human emotions are okay to feel, self awareness, also the ability to turn the negative into positive, creating a new paradigm in our mind a reality that is positive, how we truly want to live each day, by scripting our day: I am so happy and grateful now that, … and at end, you write, it is done. You start on your day how you script it. Always write it in present tense as its already happend.

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