Sometimes the phrase, “Am I not good enough for you?” is spoken out loud and other times it is a nagging thought in the back of your mind. Either way, it is a pretty loaded question. In any kind of relationship – romantic, platonic, familial, or social – this thought may be present, and I think as a therapist it is important to talk about it for a minute.
There are many different contexts in which this phrase is spoken. The underlying variable in many of these encounters is self esteem. We are our own worst critics and are quick to notice, point out, and experience our own shortcomings. Then we tend to take these ideas and believe that they are now blindingly obvious for the world to see in bright flashing lights like a billboard over our heads. Of course this is not really the case as in my exaggerated example, nor is it in the more realistic version either. Sure we all have faults but does that mean that everyone sees them, or that others will even think of them as faults? No.
So let’s break down this phrase a little more in order to get to the communication behind the words. First, “good” is a judgement and is not objective. So, don’t use it to describe yourself within the relationship. Second, as I have said before, a relationship does not reside with one person but between people. The reality is that it is the intricate dance between the people that is the relationship. What I mean by this is that relationships are not about one person or the other but the qualities and characteristics that you bring to the relationship and how they mesh together to make the relationship work or not work. Therefore, it is not about “being good enough” for someone.
So the next time you hear the phrase, “Am I not good enough for you?”, whether it’s out loud or in your head, think this to yourself: It is playing on your insecurities, it is not about you or the other person but what you BOTH bring to the relationship and how the shared qualities work together.
And no, you do not have a bright flashing billboard over your head with all your faults listed for all to see.
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