Dealing with Desperation

Desperation happens. Whether it comes from wanting to be in a relationship, the desire for a promotion or the drive to be included in a circle of friends. But the problem is that this do-or-die attitude often achieves the opposite effect of what you want. The sense of urgency that desperation creates is what perpetually turns people off. Way off. As someone who has struggled with the disease to please over the years, I’m speaking from first person experience.

Yea, I’ve been desperate in the past (perhaps in the not so recent past)! But I personally have zero shame surrounding this issue. It’s been a part of my life and I’ve been wanting to write about it for a long time. We all have desires, the picture of our ideal shiny life dreamt up in our heads. When our reality doesn’t match that ideal most people will start to make some changes. But it’s scary. Thus, fear starts to settle in.

dealing with desperation

Desperation is born out of fear, fear that we’re actually not good enough to get what we want under normal circumstances. When we’re scared we make rash decisions, wildly change our personality and pretend to be a person we are not. Ever been there?!

It could be the fear of never being loved or accepted or the fact that you don’t want to repeat the past. Fear can be born from past behavior, which settles in the present and ravages our future.

Imagine the average person creating an online dating profile. Men say they’re a bit taller than they are. Women fib about their age. These don’t seem like huge offenses, but they’re the start of fear based, desperate behavior.

While I didn’t lie on my online dating profile, yep that’s where Mr. Giddy and I met, most of my moments of desperation have come through building friendships. I did not learn how to truly make friends until my late twenties. Which means I had many years of screwing up, trying too hard and putting myself in the perfect position to be used.

First I have to back up to high school, I did have some friends at first but then realized they were not circle I needed to be involved with. As a fervent rule follower I was not down with underage drinking, which was the only thing most kids in a small country town do on the weekend. I still think this is so sad! Small country towns: get with the program and get more creative with your social options. K thanks!

This honky tonk atmosphere is not where a sensitive, creative gal like me thrived. I shut down and didn’t feel as though I belonged anywhere. Later on I made a friend for the wrong reasons and it honestly made me fear why anyone would want to start a friendship with me. This crippled me for years as my self worth plummeted. When self worth is low, desperation starts to settle in.

But I tried again in college. I’m not afraid to try! Had some hits, had a lot more misses. But that’s bound to happen with fickle, confused college age students, right? I used to think that if two people had something in common they should be friends. Doesn’t always work, and boy did I learn the hard way!

I also thought that I wasn’t allowed to disagree with people I considered pals. I had no idea how to be involved in a friendly debate. The people pleaser just kept creeping in. I thought only enemies fought. I was raised in a family where communication was practically non existent, passive aggressive behavior was the norm so I was very comfortable avoiding confrontation and tying my emotions up in a pretty little bow.

But because of my desperate past I have two amazing talents: I can spot hopeless behavior from a mile a way and I can relate to those who are struggling to overcome fear.

Even though I have many wonderful gal pals today I still make mistakes. More so now with work instead of straight up friendships. I’m still new with this whole small business thing and like I mentioned in last week’s post I consider my clients my friends. My pal’s successes sit on my ability to make them feel comfortable to speak their truth. There really isn’t room for desperation. Good thing I can rise above it.

If you need help rising above, I’ve got your back.

When you sense fear, desperation or low self worth consider taking the following actions:

–Remember your amazing qualities, list them

–Gauge the quality relationships you’re already in

–Seek help by reading a development book (my first suggestion to everyone is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown) or confiding in someone you trust

–Slow down, at least for a few minutes a day (whcih could mean starting a breathing or meditation practice which I’ll be sharing my journey with next week)

You deserve to rise above desperate behavior, and you can do it.

giddy gal


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Photos by Jonathan Ivy and Eurri Kim 

9 thoughts on “Dealing with Desperation

  1. Yes, desperation and can be the demise of friendship. I think life is truly about learning to work better and understand each other so we refrain from these behaviors. Thanks for keeping it real!

  2. I completely agree that desperation is built from fear. Looking back on the times I’ve felt most desperate, it was coming from that exact place. I think I’m just now allowing myself to be exactly who I am and stop being desperate to be who others want me to be.

  3. I’ve definitely felt the desperation (in both friendships and relationships) throughout grade school and college. Heck, I’ve even felt that way after college, and even in social scenes. It’s helpful knowing that I’m not alone. I appreciate this article’s honesty, and tips on how to cope.

  4. I love all of the tips you shared to combat desperation. I think its a feeling we have all felt and knowing how to overcome it is essential. My friend group helpful in helping me avoid this feeling lately. I am so grateful for their honesty and support.

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