• Ollie Horsfall

Who am I trying to Impress?

Photo Credit: Johanna Dart

There's a part of my self that never feels as though he's done enough even when I have. Over the last two years or so I haven't really, and while it hasn't entirely been a waste of time and I came to some pretty solid realisations about myself as an adult, I don't have much to show for the progress I've made.

Does this mean I haven't made huge strides in my life and my personal wellbeing? Of course not. What it definitely does, is make it difficult to remember those changes have taken place. I can't objectify my progress because I have no physical reward, nothing tangible to spark my memory.

For 24 years of my life I felt like I didn't amount to anything really. For the longest time I didn't know it's okay for me to think differently to the majority of people. Regardless of my intelligence, I've never been able to make lasting connections to those who don't have a similar world view to me. I don't think that makes me special, but I do think it means I only ever accomplish real connections with people who are just like me. I guess that makes me more like everyone else than I'd first admit.

I want acceptance just like everyone else. Even now, my first instinct when people ask me what I do is to try and impress them, seeking their approval with small tidbits of information that I'd deign 'unique'. It works most of the time. Even now, even with the strong sense of self I still feel like the only way to befriend people is to impress them first.

It's not a healthy way to build relationships and I often make an interesting first impression, steadily leading to high expectations that will tend to fall apart. This isn't cynicism by the way, I'm often looking for the best in people, and I'm often the one ignoring certain behaviours in order to cultivate some sort of ongoing rapport, this isn't something that is often offered to me in return.

I've realised that my accomplishments, tangible or not, are my own. They belong to me and whether or not people know about them, they have happened regardless of the approval of others and that should be enough.

I'm not saying that I won't continue to have the same habits I have always had when it comes to meeting new people, but I am saying that it's okay for me to let my accomplishments speak for themselves without me having to advertise them.


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