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Burnt Newbie Wises Up

by

I have just been back to the BitchBoard. And discovered that, in my absence, I received a pasting.

Shortly after joining, I made the mistake of posting quite a bullshitty message on the BitchBoard about an ex of mine. He had recently been in contact and asked if I wanted to meet 'to catch up' as he 'still thought a lot of me'. I took exception to this patronising tone, promptly emailed him the 'When is a Nice Guy a Jerk' article -and made the mistake of bragging about it on the BitchBoard.

ER-ERRRRR! While some were sympathetic, others let me know just how pathetic I had made myself sound and pointed out the fact that if I was so not bothered about him I would not have felt the need to get validation from a bunch of total strangers on the Internet.

I read their comments, and then read them again, and it stung, and I felt self-righteous indignation rise from within like lava from Mount Etna. I briefly considered reapplying for membership under a different username, using a different email account, and starting over. Wiping my old ID from existence and re-entering the BitchBoard like nothing had ever happened.

But then I called myself to task. What kind of a Heartless Bitch would that make me? OK, so they wouldn't know what I had done, but I would. I would know that Victorious was anything but. That she had skulked off into obscurity under the weight of a few harsh words. So, I grit my teeth, and wrote another post to the thread, along the lines of "yeah, I was being a wanker, I won't be one any more, thanks for letting me know."

Every word pained my ego; but the minute I clicked the 'Send' button, my conscience was clear. I had done what I am always giving myself credit for - owned up to being wrong. And it felt good.

I know what you may be thinking. Why does she need their approval anyway? But I did it for me. After all, other people's thoughts about me don't actually matter one bit to my life. But my thoughts about me do. And I knew that if I didn't face up to the reason I posted the original message in the first place, as well as admitting it did sound somewhat crappy, I would not be entitled to hold the title of Heartless Bitch - and I would not be a strong person in my own view.

So, the reason I posted the original message? Because it made me feel GOOD. The fact that I had finished with this guy over a year ago and he was still chasing me made me feel wanted. Sure, I feel twenty thousand times more wanted by my current boyfriend, but that didn't stop The Ego from craving more. It made me feel attractive. It made me feel desirable. It made me feel interesting. It gave me something to triumph about when I told people how I had rejected him. In short, it was all about HIM.

And it's not as though I even like him! That might have been understandable (barely). Truth is, the guy sucks. I dumped him because he sucks. Why should my self-esteem be affected in either a good or a bad way by someone unimportant to my life in the here and now? That goes, too, for my other exes, people at work I don't particularly care for, and Joe Bloggs in the street.

I have realised that I am spending far too much time worrying about seeming like a 'nice person' (what does that mean anyway?) in front of the rest of the world, and too little time figuring out what is best for ME, and how to make MYSELF happy without anyone else's help or hindrance. I care too much about getting praise, and I care too much about not being criticised. What I need to do is not give a shit about either, but start relying on myself, and myself only, for approval or correction. Not my mum and dad. Not my friends. Not even my boyfriend, (although his opinion does matter a hell of a lot). Just Me.

Which is not to say that I should just completely ignore anything anyone ever says to me. There is a difference between noting someone's opinion, and actually letting it alter my emotional state. The same should go for other people's moods. My mood is my own, just like my thoughts and opinions and knowledge. Nobody can take those things away.

So I start now. If anyone unworthy tries to make a comment about my life, I will tell them politely that their thoughts have been noted, and now would they kindly fuck off and mind their own business. (Politely, of course.) In return, I will mind MY own business and not make comment on other people's lives without provocation (ie if it intrudes on MY life), or simply being asked. "Yes, I do think you are behaving like a doormat, and if you want my advice, you should go to Backbones R Us and get a spine. Well, you did ask..."

A valuable lesson learned, and from a most unlikely source at a most unexpected time. Who says education only comes from books?


Copyright© Heartless Bitches International (heartless-bitches.com) 2003, All Rights Reserved

Copying or reproduction (in whole or in part) on any medium (such as in print or on the web) is expressly forbidden without written permission from HBI

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