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Mapex70 karma

Not sure how close this is to the experience you’re describing above, but only recently (I’m currently 34) did I realize within myself that the reason throughout my life that I have been socially awkward and “cringey” in public is because I have this underlying, extrinsic goal of getting people to like me by acting a bit outrageous, saying and doing outrageous things, to get a laugh. My “medicine” was 15 years of psychotherapy to curb and conquer my major depressive disorder and social anxiety, but recently after playing Cyberpunk 2077 and interacting with the character of Johnny Silverhand did I make some more realizations about my innate validation approval.

For being a self-alleged punk rocker, I realize I don’t act as “punk rock” and authentic to myself as I could, and this inauthenticity permeates my public persona as well as my personal relationships. Chasing this extrinsic goal of approval from others, in turn, caused me to fail at achieving that very goal.

I might be rambling at this point but what you said about your past of seeking approval to your present of self-compassion, self-care, and relationship building really spoke to me and I thank you for sharing this deeply personal aspect of your life.