The Thirst for attention or approval from external sources has way too much of a hold on my generation. From the friends I have to the family that I was born into, its like I never fail to see someone vying for my eye or the eye of someone they think holds a bit of popularity or power.
Now I am not by all means, an IG (Instagram) fame whore, or self proclaimed social media socialite. I will say, that I am well connected and am a master (self proclaimed of course) of proper and effective networking. Could this be the reason your thirst vies for my approval? Or is it because you’re looking for the best way to “come up”?
I ask these things because I’m at a loss. I’ve never experienced the moment in life where validation from someone, who bleeds the same as me, was necessary. I’ve always looked to myself for validation of whether or not a decision I’ve made was the right one, or if it was wrong, I would think of a way to “fix” how I feel.
This issue is starting to burn me because I’ve met a few new folks in the last couple of weeks and I’m starting to see the “real” them. There is one individual who I’ll call “Waldo”. Waldo makes sure to grab my attention EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Now, this can be attributed to many things. I’m a well groomed gentleman, usually an open book as it pertains to my life, and I do hold a well full of knowledge, I’m sure none of these are the reasons though. Waldo isn’t gay so my looks have none to do with it, he’s knowledgeable himself , and I don’t think he wants or cares too much about my life. It’s just that every time I’m interacting with someone in his area, his conversation keeps me at focus, and recently I’ve learned that some decisions he’s made were based on how I conduct myself. Now, some may think this is flattering, but when you’re posed with, “Why would you handle XXX like XXX. That’s not the proper way to do that.” and the answer to that question is, “Well, Roe does XXX when he XXX so if he doesn’t get pulled up on it, then I shouldn’t either”. #THEBLOW.
In actuality, he is bringing attention to things I may not be doing correctly, but they’re working for me. You may ask, what’s the environment….it’s work, my 9-5, the “dungeon” so to speak. This is spilling over into my personal life now and it’s somewhat uncomfortable. We all love attention, well not love but it’s not always a bad thing to be “wanted” or “needed” in the right way. In my personal life, I see friends who look at me and will always say, “Man, I wish I would’ve done things the way you have.” or “It hurts to see you at our age and both of us on different levels. You’re really on a successful path and I’m just here.” Doesn’t that last one make you cringe a little? These types of people make me think that they’d do anything to get where I am, and wouldn’t hesitate in sabotaging my life to get there. Those are the ones that I can’t keep around. One side of me says, “Guy, we were both given the same exact opportunities to do great things in our lives, and you chose the path I didn’t take.” then there’s the other side that strives to help them though, I don’t come from much. Just a housing project in Brooklyn, NYC that didn’t offer me much of anything but the HUNGER to want more.
After having discussion after discussion about this with some of my peers, I realized that it’s not even about their thirst for approval, it’s about what they see in the individual that attracts them. Now me, I’m a modest guy. Ask me, and I’ll tell you there is absolutely nothing special about me, just a regular Joe. Beauty though, is in the eye of the beholder.
It goes back to when you were growing up and the foundation that was laid under you. Since my mother had always taught me lessons of independence, I’ve carried those throughout my life, I guess not everyone has had the ability to gain knowledge or be afforded the familial environment that I had.
So I ask this….WHAT DO I DO WITH THESE FOLKS? To be more specific…how do I deal with WALDO without hurting his feelings?