When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone and I’m not so sefl-assured.
I don’t relate to these lyrics from the classic Beatles’ song “Help”. When I was younger I was not more self-assured and now that I am older, I am not now less self-assured than before. Furthermore, if anything, I no longer need someone else’s help. As a matter of fact, I think that when we’re young we have a greater dependence on others, precisely for the reason that we are not comfortable with out insecurities. Here is what I mean.
As young adults (20-30), we are much more likely to seek help in groups or support from a significant other. We never recognize this as being per se due to our own insecurities. But, what we are actually doing, is seeking companionship to justify our insecurities as being tolerable or at least insignificant. We hide, cover-up, put make-up over our insecurities in the arms of others. We seek approval of others and in others.
But since I am older now, a generous touch over 30, I can say that I am more comfortable with my faults and insecurities. I no longer seek the acceptance in the eyes of others to disimulate my insecurities. This does not signify, though, that I am more self-assured. Rather, I am simply more comfortable in my skin and have come to terms with myself.
This also has a negative side. As we get older, instead of hiding ourselves in other people, we hide ourselves from others. Instead of living through the nagging, complaining, and telling us what to do or how to be, we accept ourselves as we are and go home alone to enjoy our insecurities in peace. It’s not that we grow strange and intolerant, we only prefer to caress our own lacking without the criticism of others.
For example, last night a friend was insisting that I celebrate my birthday with a night on the town. I explained to her that going out until 7am was her idea of fun, not mine. I’d end up celebrating my birthday by doing what she wanted to. When she ask how I wanted to spend my evening, I said by reading quietly at home. If my friends really want to share my birthday, then they should all do what I want. When she said that we could all go to my house and read, I amended the plan with a slight nuassance.
I like to read alone. So, why don’t all of my friends, instead of coming to my house, each go to their own houses and quietly read a book, and celebrate my birthday by leaving me alone?
Or better, yet. Each one of my friends should go out tonight with their other friends and dedicate at least 20 minutes of conversation centered around me. They could even start the conversation as such, “Do you know what Eric told me today?” After asked who is this Eric, the fun would begin. If I could only be a fly on the wall!
In sum, we all have insecurities. Some times we hide them by seeking the acceptance of others, and at other times we hide them by shielding them from others in our own private solitude.