Overcoming Loneliness & The Nobody’s Girl Experience
Loneliness is in a pandemic of its own right now.
Perhaps you are feeling it even more than other women, if you had a less-than-great childhood in which you were not exactly welcomed, appreciated and nurtured in a consistent way. Your problematic upbringing then leads to you to experience yourself as a Nobody’s Girl. And when you feel loneliness, you can deeply feel it at your core. This blog is Part II of a three-part series on understanding and overcoming the Nobody’s Girl challenges you face.
I myself am a recovered Nobody’s Girl, married to the love of my life. I’m going to share how my transformation from loneliness to love took place so you can do it too. Let’s first start with understanding the dynamics and how those insights can lead to change. Next, we’ll talk about how coaching and mentoring can lift you out of the darkness.
RELATED POST: LONELY AND SINGLE?
Overcoming Loneliness: Understanding How Nobody’s Girl Dynamics Play Out in Your Life
Depending on personality, a Nobody’s Girl can run hot or cold. If you are an extroverted, fiery type, who is used to being very successful in her career, you will tend to more of the elaborate performance art dedicated to manufacturing love. You work overtime to make a guy love you.
Or on the other hand, you may become wild, hostile, rebellious, even abusive to a man who falls into your orbit to ‘test’ him and push him away. You watch yourself helplessly while you push all his buttons and get him to say exactly the wrong thing, the heartbreaking thing that will end it all. Meanwhile it feels impossible to be authentic or real with the guy. You’re too much of a hell child for him to handle anyway. Often you simply dump him first, before he can do it to you.
If you tend to be more introverted or shy, you may hold back in a relationship by doing less, or being quiet, shy or unavailable. It may be hard for you to open up if you’re too down on yourself when it comes to love and you think that everything that comes out of your mouth with a new match is somehow wrong. You turn down dates, don’t text or call him, don’t suggest any fun activity or even seem to like him at all. But of course you do. You just know where it’s going. So you carve out your own little hermit world, like Anna.
Overcoming Loneliness: The Case of Anna
Anna’s first reaction to the cell ringing was surprise. But that quickly dissolved into irritation after the first bbbring and once she got a look at her caller ID. Wrong number. And right in the middle of her rarely interrupted Friday night ritual. People can be so rude.
At this very moment, she thought, some woman was staring into a bathroom mirror carefully applying mascara while trying to dial her cell phone at the same time. Or, worse, some guy was drunken dialing his ex after one-too-many Guinnesses. And she got to reap the benefits? She waited for the phone to stop ringing, the caller to hang up without leaving a message and then went back to what she was doing. . . the same thing she’d done 100 Fridays before.
After getting home from her demanding job as a ER nurse, she’d pop a dinner of lasagna in the microwave. Then she’d curl up on her couch and scrolling through her Netflix menu wondering which one to watch first while eating dinner. Needless to say, she never even looked at her Bumble account. It had been eons since she was out on a date.
To learn more about overcoming your Hermit tendencies, check out the my best-selling dating book, Love in 90 Days.
Even when a Nobody’s Girl’s behavior is not about being a Hermit like Anna, or pushing guys away, there’s always an awful lot of critical self-talk. Take a look at this next scenario and our friend Joy, whom we met in the prior post and see if you find yourself in it:
Overcoming Loneliness: The Case of Joy
He probably won’t even show, Joy thought as she drove up to the restaurant to meet her date with an interesting guy from Tinder. He’d probably just asked her out on an impulse and now that he’d had some time to think it over, wouldn’t even be there. But when she stepped out of her car, she could see his chipper little face waiting in the vestibule.
Just from the exterior, she could tell how swank the place was. Who’s this guy trying to impress? She wondered while checking her lipstick in the side mirror one last time and then heading for the door. Quite the gentleman, he opened it with a smile and said, “You look fabulous.” Whatever, she thought feeling exhausted and less than put together after a grueling week of launching her demanding client’s new website. “Our table’s already set, come on inside.” Hmmm, look who’s in a rush. She smiled and said, “Thank you” a little too loud as they made their way to the table.
It was only a matter of time before he’d find something annoying about her and wanted to slip out of the date. Maybe he’d realize her outfit was too ugly or her hair looked messy or she wasn’t as much fun to be with as he’d thought. It was only a matter of time. And the clock was ticking toward rejection. But that didn’t happen and Joy was stunned.
In a flash of insight, Joy recognized that she was doing the pushing away! So she decided to change her negativity towards men and love relationships once and for all. We will have more on Joy’s successful journey to love later.
Overcoming Loneliness: How Did I Become A Nobody’s Girl?
Your current problems in love start with the first relationship struggles you had when you were a kid. As a perfect little baby you deserved and needed a solid welcome into the world. Most people get that through the unconditional love and attention that an adoring, mothering parent lavishes over them. (Both mothers and fathers can be a “good mother” but we’ll use ‘she’ for right now.) The good mother sees the perfection in you: she thinks you’re extraordinary, wonderfully special. She is affectionate and an attentive caretaker for you. The good mother makes you feel like you’re a good part of a wonderful world.
But as a Nobody’s Girl you didn’t have a stable consistent experience with a good mother. So at the most fundamental in-your-gut level, you feel like that you don’t belong, you’re anxious because you’re not at home in the world. If you get very depressed you might even feel that you deserve to die. The bottom line is, unconsciously or consciously, you feel basically unlovable.
So you learned to take charge and take care of yourself. Even more so when it came to managing the end of a relationship. The good news is that, paradoxically, over time this Achilles heel turns out to be a special gift.
Overcoming Loneliness: The Nobody’s Girl Assets 😉
Understanding your unique assets and gifts will help you overcome Nobody’s Girl challenges. And the process of growing up as a Nobody’s Girl has given you much.. You grew up fast and built yourself from scratch. And, on one level you really don’t need anybody; you’re a hard scrabbling street-smart kid who is independent. You have learned to do it all yourself. You know how to take care of your car, how to get a paycheck, and most importantly how to manage your own ups and downs. How to be successful in your career. I want you to close your eyes right now and appreciate that about you!
In addition, you know better than anyone how to rebound after being dumped, how to console yourself when a good relationship ends. How to take it on the chin. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” As Friedrich Nietzsche said! This means that over time you have become one incredibly strong woman! Once again, please literally pat yourself on the back and give yourself appreciation for your great resilience, your courage, your true strength! You rock! We rock!
Overcoming Loneliness: The Nobody’s Girl 😉Super Compassion
You know what is going on with people. Because of all that you’ve experienced you don’t take any relationship for granted. You appreciate and are grateful for kindness. Being on the outside, looking in means you have learned to study what was going on with others, looking for a place to fit in or to get some love. If you are the introverted type you may have learned to be a great listener. If you were abused you learned to be vigilant, watchful. This means you are a student of human behavior and can understand and read others especially well.
You especially understand the dynamics of rejection and pain. As a result, you are deeply compassionate and feel for others who are suffering. This means that often you have unique gifts and can heal the pain that others are going through. As you grow and develop yourself you may be an extraordinary therapist, mentor, spiritual guide or life coach either informally or formally. The funny thing about that is, is that as you develop these powers, people will tend to flock to you. The Nobody’s Girl often becomes Everyone’s Healer. This has certainly been my journey!
Take a minute and appreciate all the great assets and gifts you have, love!
Overcoming Loneliness: Healing Your Childhood Wounds 😊
It is truly never too late to heal your childhood wounds. Those hurts and disappointments ultimately led to you becoming the Nobody’s Girl. But remember, you also have an inner child that can be reparented! Just like Cinderella had reparenting from her fairy godmother, who saw her beauty inside and out. A fairy godmother who got her to the ball. You can find such people too! Whether it’s a mentor at work who believes in you and your potential. Or someone from church or synagogue who can show you how to heal spiritually. Or a life coach who has exceptional tools to help you overcome those inner obstacles.
What kind of coach can really help you? This is a person who sees you clearly in all your wonderfulness, like a great loving mother would. A mentor who appreciates, respects and admires you! In the area of relationships, a rarer commodity for sure, someone who knows about happy couples, soulmate love and even how to date to find the One. And, yes, there is a One for you.
Healing from childhood wounds using affirmations and insights from self-help books is not only challenging but takes years of practice to get anywhere. Look I write self-help books so I know their pluses and minuses. Those who read my books and don’t practice the homework assignments or follow instructions don’t do very well.
Almost always, we Nobody’s Girls, need more in the form of a relationship that helps heal our childhood wounds. I certainly did.
Overcoming Loneliness: Find a Mentor
Luckily we are wired to look for mentors, role models and others who can heal our childhood wounds. Think about who might do this in your extended family or social network. If you can’t find anyone, consider using one of our coaches—who have been trained in reparenting and all the ins and outs of how to find the One.
This is what Joy did, and her whole life transformed. Working with a caring, thoughtful, appreciative and knowledgeable coach, her very own fairy godmother, she was able to ditch her Nobody’s Girl experience and is currently dating three interesting guys!!! And she is feeling super good about herself, which is where love starts!
This is how I got over the Nobody’s Girl experience. I looked for and found a reparenting mentor who could see the beauty, genius and lovability in me. Who guided me to be with my soulmate husband. And encouraged me to become a psychologist, teacher and author.
No matter how bad it has been for you, you can take action and change your life. You can find and have love that meets the calling of your heart. And you so deserve it! 😊
RELATED POST: HOW TO OVERCOME LONELINESS ONCE AND FOR ALL
As a relationship expert, I've helped thousands of women get the love they want - even when it seemed impossible. I’m Dr. Diana Kirschner. You might know me from my PBS Special, seen me on Oprah, or have read one of my bestselling books.
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
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