Today’s post is the last, but maybe the most important, in my series on Kindness…With Men. It’s about being kind to yourself by allowing for mistakes and some icky feelings…and being patient with yourself as you grow and learn. Remember, you may hit some bumps, but stay with it. You’re moving toward achieving something extraordinary in your life.
Kindness…With Men: Dating Commandment #4
Be kind to yourself. When you really go for it and put yourself out there, you may act a certain way, have certain feelings, or make decisions that you later feel bad about or regret. Show yourself the kindness you deserve by giving yourself second chances and allowing for mistakes.
As you already know, there can be some difficult times during your search for love. Like other times in your life when you’re working toward a better future and achieving positive change, you have to allow yourself room to learn and improve. Every new man you speak with, every date, every email…it all takes courage. Just keep this in mind, and remember that there is a learning experience in every single effort you make.
Not showing yourself the understanding and kindness you deserve simply sabotages your efforts, or even worse, paralyzes you. I have these two tips:
1) be your best cheerleader and,
2) build a support squad.
Harsh self judgments are most often your insecure 18 year old talking to you. Tell her to just stop! Have those needed conversations with yourself about how much you have overcome and achieved in your life, how much you know and can do, and what a deserving and remarkable woman you are. Remind yourself that, as an accomplished and independent woman, you are not defined by one act or what one man thinks of you.
And always have friends to call on when you need support. Your friends want to be there for you. Here’s my best advice: don’t look to those friends that respond with the requisite “yah, he’s a jerk” every time you have a bad experience. Your real friends – the ones that are wise and grown-up enough to see you and see men as good people trying to connect – will point out when you’re in need of a positive shift or a soft smack upside the head. (Sorry…is that too harsh?) But truly, a good friend will support you with both honesty and empathy. If you don’t have these types of friends, seek the help of family, a therapist, or a dating and relationship coach like me who you can trust to gently support you.
Ask yourself this question, and then take the next action:
In what ways do I show kindness to the women I meet and know?
Commit to approaching your next 3 dates with the initial acceptance, open-mindedness, and generosity you would show a new woman you meet.
If you’d like to read the entire Kindness with Men series of posts, they are here.