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Me vs. myself, fixing my self esteem issues, can anyone help?
#1
This could end up being a long thread, but maybe it helps me, so I encourage anyone to chime in with any ideas or suggestions for me.

I'm not sure where to start because I've been thinking about these problems of mine for "years" and so many things came up, explanations, justifications, all over the place. Plus I know people online don't necessarily like reading essays. So I'll keep it short and if someone's more interested in some specific part, I'll elaborate on that. Hopefully I can get some good input from you guys, some help, because I know I need one but I don't want to go to therapy, it's just something I don't want to do.

So...I'm 30 and I have low to no self esteem. Sometimes even I feel how awkward I may appear in social situations. Often times in my life I felt as if my welcome in some social circle fizzled out. Maybe I can't explain it well, but it would be almost as if I'm fine for some amount of time, but then I don't have the "brakes" to stop acting a certain way (or something) and then I feel as if I got on peoples nerves, or should I stay overstayed the welcome, so to speak.

I don't know if this has anything to do with parents, but if someone thinks it has, I can give you a quick rundown of my childhood. For now, I'll just say I grew up with parents separated (not divorced) in a same house (each on their own floor) and watching them constantly fight and bicker over anything, often putting me in a position to choose sides, eventually making it me being the part of "dad side" and my older sister being on "mother side", and in most of the situations, mom would have the last say when it came to arguing with dad.

I don't have true friends. The best way I can explain this is - if I was to marry tomorrow, I couldn't even think who my best man should or could be. That's pretty pathetic. I do know a lot of people on different levels of acquaintance. Some of them I know well, I've been to their houses, we went out a lot, we know some details about our family or love situations...but I never feel as if I'm a friend and I always think I get overly expressive and extroverted when I meet with them, who knows how I look to them, maybe desperate, I don't know.

So for starters before I go into more details, how is it possible to take care of these issues. Just to give you another example, when I go out of town for a trip, anywhere, I feel completely different, relaxed, outgoing, I want to meet with everyone. I usually am pretty good at conversing with strangers.

But this reminds me of my dad. He's great when it comes to making initial contact, but he messes it all up when things continue on. I watched him fall out with many of his buddies, as if he just wants to put people away, and then gets back into friendly mode...it's complex.

Anyway...is there a pattern or a common theme you guys see here? Is there a way I could change this? Thanks
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#2
I think you might be caught in the wake of your childhood. Growing up in a parental warzone like the one you described may have forced you into the role of peacekeeper, where you perhaps feel overcautious and fearful of being yourself around the people in your life because you're worried that your own behaviour might 'set them off' and lead to confrontation or rejection or something worse. If you could learn to relax a little bit and let your guard down a bit more on a daily basis, your self-esteem would no doubt skyrocket.
And blood-black nothingness began to spin
A system of cells interlinked within
Cells interlinked within cells interlinked
Within one stem. And dreadfully distinct
Against the dark, a tall white fountain played.
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#3
I do want to relax and let go, but this thing accumulated with consequences over the years, that's where I see my major problem. Being 30 is not being young and I sincerely fear of being alone. I also fear of being in the same situation as my father. He's gonna be 70 in few years and I can't think of one person that I would mention as his "life long" friend, not necessarily literally "life" long but you get the gist.

He got in arguments with most of the people he hang around with. His former bandmates, his former workmates, he even had couple of friends from foreign countries, friends who he met by accident just because he was always extroverted in very specific situations, and those people would come to visit us from those foreign countries...which is something that sounds really cool, for example imagine you meet a really cool friend in Paris and you keep in contact, visit each other - and then you fall in argument with him over some petty sh*t. That's what he did. And I am without a doubt that it was his own fault. He has a track record of pushing people away, it's almost like he subconsciously wants to be alone - but only until he gets the need for socializing, then he turns into extrovert extraordinaire.

I had couple situations in my life where I did similar things. For example...my former high school roomate. Brilliant guy, and I really mean that, kind of person you don't meet too often, down to earth, honest, etc etc just a solid dude all around. After we got back in touch (after couple of years being out, due to life taking each of us separate ways etc) he invited me to his bachelor party. Guess what I did? I didn't go. Why? Because I felt he should invited me to his wedding, not just bachelor party. And he gave me a few phone calls to check if I'll come, and I didn't want to answer. I put the phone on silent those days. I literally can't believe I did that, now that I write it down.

Also, one awful trait I emulate from my father is caring for other people more than yourself. Now, it may sound noble, but it's all but. It's probably my father's way of begging for affirmation, and I do it to also, because I'm damaged goods. I won't go into details now (unless someone really wants me to) but I can think of 10 examples of my father going out of his way to appease someone and then the relations between him and the 2nd party going down the tube. And that's just what I can remember and recollect from my memory, can't imagine how many of those cases were there "off my record"...

Sometimes I find myself doing the same thing. Those couple of good acquaintances I have, let's call those "buddies", often are the people I try to appease, for example I try to act funny sending some random jokes or similar sillyness over my phone, just so I get some response. And when I'm in actual social situations, I constantly think about my words. What am I gonna say next. What if I screw up and say something wrong, maybe they won't hang out with me. So I have to say something good enough.

It's a messy situation that I need to get out of by any means.
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