I have a very good friend that kinda has two boyfriends. She’s trying to decide, or really trying not to decide (the two guys each know about the other and are okay with it, or at least not wanting to lose her over it, and neither is forcing a decision at the moment). She has really great reasons for liking/loving both of them. I’ll call them M and S. They both bring something different and amazing to the table. So I can see why it’s difficult for her.

We’ve talked about this “issue” a number of times. And she always comes back to not wanting to make a decision. Which is a decision really, to choose not to make one, but that’s another blog post.

woman two men

Anyway, in our last conversation over drinks the other night, I think I finally realized why she is hanging on to M. On paper, S is the smarter choice. He’s more stable, has known her since she was 6, knows every last atom of her and loves her and wants her anyway/because of it. He’s funny, a great guy, patient, and wise. M on the other hand is more exciting, not the least because she has only known him 6 months. He’s had a troubled past that is shrouded in mystery. His circle of friends is that vegan, fixed-gear biker crowd. He’s also really really hot.

Both guys are very smart, but M’s brilliance comes across more dynamic and exciting. They can communicate without a word. They have deep conversations and connect which is very addictive when you’ve just met a really hot guy. I get that.

But as we talked the other night, and patiently kept the drunken guys at the next table from derailing our really great conversation, I think I figured it out. Why she’s not willing to let M go despite his anger issues and brokenness.

She loves seeing herself through M’s eyes. She loves seeing herself how he sees her. Because he instinctively gets that SHE’s brilliant. Why she is so great at what she does. How she’s changing the world by giving her gifts as a life coach. Seeing the possibilities for himself through her. Saving M from his codependent childhood friends. She loves knowing that someone like him gets her, so quickly, and realizes her amazing potential. It makes her feel powerful and sexy and exciting.

Who wouldn’t want that???

But here’s the thing. My friend already IS powerful, sexy, and exciting. She doesn’t need M’s eyes in order to be that or to feel that. She doesn’t need anybody else to BE that. Because she IS. So I challenge her, in all her amazingness, to choose to feel that for herself, by herself. TO BE IT, without needing anyone else’s validation or opinion.

And I challenge you, the reader, to think about the relationships in your life that make you feel the best about yourself and write down (in the comments below would be a great start because putting it out there is very powerful), how does this person see me? What is special about me to them?

And then choose to feel that way on your own, every day, and show up that way for everyone else in your life too. Choose to know that those qualities are a part of you no matter who you are with. And own them so the rest of us get to recognize them too.

27 Responses

  1. Brilliant blog, Aimee! Just “happened” on it – and your message is so needed… that people can come to own their own light and not NEED another to reflect that brilliance. And then, when we own our goodness and uniqueness, those people that would naturally be our friends will always be reflecting our beauty. We just won’t NEED them for that, but love ourselves with them and by ourselves.

  2. Awesome Aimee,
    What a new take on boring v exciting, and how many possibilities does it open up for those married to “boring” people to juice up their marriage.

    In other words, I read that your post describes how our “need” for validation fights against our “need” for stability. One’s own personal growth and desire for happiness can make a person lean to one side or the other erratically.

    Instead, as we find our own internal validation and resonate with that, and our own stability, what will happen to M and S? Will one fade away? Will one grow up?

  3. This is such an awesome message. Know you and be you, no matter who you’re with. So simple, but sometimes it’s such a journey!

  4. Hmmm … writing them here is a little difficult. But the fact that the exercise made me think through the concept was powerful on its own! I have a tight circle of close friends who love me for certain values, skills and behaviors. Those are what make me special in their eyes. I acknowledge that I have them. But sometimes I forget. Thanks for creating such an effective reminder, Aimee!

  5. OM darlin, such a powerful reminder that it is up to US to see ourselves as powerful, sexy, competent… without waiting for someone else to see it (or NOT see it as the case may be).

    Let’s own it!

  6. It is important to understand how other people view us! It will help us feel good about ourselves and at the same time make the necessary changes to brighten our own lives. Great article.

  7. Hi Aimee,

    Interesting story. It is so important to find that person who basically adores you, for who you are. They support you, even if your life changes and things don’t go as expected. Hard choice for your friend. Sounds like there is something wonderful in both men. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Excellent post Aimee – it’s very true that we often hold onto people because they say within us the aspects that we cannot truly accept or acknowledge in us (and that would apply to the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ aspects! Thanks for your insights and inspiration.

  9. I’d love to hear what those good qualities are too! I know it’s hard to “brag” about ourselves, but when we say something simply without comparing or making ourselves better than another because of it, I don’t feel like it’s bragging!

  10. Great Elizabeth – sometimes we forget that it’s okay to think well of ourselves on our own, it only counts if someone else sees it. But I think that’s almost backwards. When you value yourself, it is easier for people to see the value in you.

  11. Good point Moira. Sometimes they are actually doing more harm than good but because they think we are “beautiful” or “smart” we let them overstay their good. A great way to apply this too.

  12. This is a message that is so needed. We don’t need anyone’s permission to recognize our own brilliance and uniqueness. And as we learn to see how wonderful we are in our own right, it becomes so much easier to realize too that we don’t need anyone else’s approval or permission to be who we are.

  13. This is a tricky one isn’t it! Sometimes it does take someone else to make us see things both good and bad. And it is very important to “own it”, whatever “it” is even if it is just long enough to get rid of it (the bad stuff)! Nicely written article.

  14. Excellent post! It’s a great skill to be able to see yourself through another person’s eyes…a lot of people are very good at doing that when it is a negative way that people see them. Turning it around so that they can see themselves positively is wonderful!

  15. I love your viewpoint here Aimee. Approval from others is something we all seek on some level, and finding someone who reinforces our self worth always makes us feel good. But the key lies within ourselves. Once we see ourselves as we actually are, it matters less how others see us.

  16. Fantastic post, Aimee!!! And I love your closing, “And then choose to feel that way on your own, every day, and show up that way for everyone else in your life too. Choose to know that those qualities are a part of you no matter who you are with. And own them so the rest of us get to recognize them too.”

  17. Great point to show up as the person you believe you are when when someone else sees the real you. I see this as showing up as the person God designed you to be. This will definitely help in making a wise choice of who you will be happy with as a lifetime partner.

  18. Wonderful article! To feel that uniqueness from within is really special. And yes you are right, we need to grow knowing that we are very special no matter who we are with. Thanks for the reminder.

  19. Now THAT was a challenge. I’m letting my light shine by publishing a video of my keynote to help me get a book contract. It felt a lot like walking naked through the city at first, but all worth it!

  20. My friend Robin was the first person to hold up a mirror and show me who I really am. It took awhile, but I eventually stepped into that for myself and can own it in myself. Great post, Aimee!

  21. This is a common converstaion betweeAdriaan and I….I read comments about me, testimonials from clients, reviews…all sorts of things and I never see myself the way the writers seem to…I need to see myelf authentically…not just as they see me but as I truly am and embrace it without any reservations…

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