How my Boyfriend Changed an Insecure Perfectionist — 7 Lessons He Unintentionally Taught Me

I was an easily offended perfectionist.

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Photo by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

Have you met a person who acts perfect and all-knowing–but got owned in an embarrassing situation. He tried to save face, however, his comeback sounded desperate and awkward.

For years, I was that person.

People nowadays are hamming on being cool and aggressive. While they wander with a high sense of pride, vulnerability still finds a room in them.

I’ve always seen myself as a faultless independent woman, but in reality, I was just as fragile as glass.

I was at the peak of my perfectly insecure lifestyle during my high school –intelligent, thoughtful, but perfectionist, a relaxed student but a GC in the shadows. People see no faults in me –or is it just how I imagine it?

I always thought I was a talented and smart kid, but insecurities were the downfall of my progress. I chose to keep it low, dodge criticisms, and neglect progressive learning. I’m sensitive as hell that I’d never take action unless it’s a sure win.

Did you ever wear awkward attire and hope no one notices how horrible it is? Sounds impossible, but you kept wishing no one comments on it. Claiming perfection while being filled with loopholes –it wasn’t the perfect combination.

High school, college, internship –I was always pretending that I’m perfectly fine. Whenever I commit errors, I plug out. Whenever I get disapproved, I discontinue. A person that backs out in any type of problem to retain the trophy of perfection –it’s so problematic.

Fortunately, during my 4th year in college, I met a guy who brought me down from the pedestal. We’re opposites personality-wise. He’s not the overconfident type, but his strong personality radiates to people around him. He’s a people person and gets respect from others without even trying.

After months of getting to know each other, what do you expect? I was honestly appalled by the degree of his insensitivity. He laughed at my decisions (because it was petty, I guess), saw through my cover-ups, called out my fear of facing problems, and cited opinions that no one ever had the guts to say to my face.

I loathed the idea of him lecturing me while trying to win my heart. Eventually, I learned that it was what I needed –words to straighten me up and a role model to guide me to the right track. I needed a person who opens my narrow view of the world. I still thought he was very insensitive, though.

7 Simple Life Lessons that Helped me grow as a person

If not for him, I may still be the most insecure and pretentious perfectionist.

I listed 7 life lessons he unintentionally taught me. He never told me these things, but he showed. Everything seems innate in him and I was like a kid trying to make sense of everything he’s doing. I didn’t get his ways at first. But, when I saw the fruits of his patterned actions, it was both unbelievable and astonishing.

These were actually basic lessons, but people tend to ignore them and make life complicated (just like how I did with mine). So, here we go:

1. Never overthink about issues that are done or gone.

Overthinking is a poor but a prevalent habit. Nothing really came up good with overthinking –unless you’re Albert Einstein rethinking the Theory of Relativity.

I remembered the sore feeling when I was extended during college. My classmates graduated on time except for me –hell to my poor decision-making. I remembered crying my heart out. But now I imagine how nonsense that was. It was just a 6-month extension. I’d be working my whole life after that, so what was I crying about?

We often create what-if scenarios and lock ourselves in a feeling that never even happened. We regret. We sometimes blame others for our mischiefs.

Fortunately, we have the upper hand to control our thoughts. So stop overthinking about things in the past. Living in the past surely corrupts the present and the future.

2. Help people whenever you can.

Lend a helping hand. You never know how your help impacts someone’s life. But honestly, this one’s hard for me, too. Being the cautious type, I’m afraid people would take advantage of my kindness. I tend to choose who I help. However, my old mindset proves that I’m measuring the kindness I give out to people which abolishes the true meaning of compassion.

The next time you help others, make sure you don’t expect anything in return. They may or may not help you, but the world watches your actions and you’ll receive help in a different way and form. Karma, remember?

3. Claim it and it shall be yours.

Most people don’t trust wishful thinking. I was one of the “most” people. If you want to get something, work for it! However, my guy proved that there’s no harm in claiming the things you want in life. It’s very funny and mystical to me, too, until this happened.

On random days, my man asks me what we’ll do if he wins the lottery. We chatted about it, did some “wishful thinking”, and decided which goes to which. It’s funny pretending –fantasizing about the future and such.

Then, one day, he was so eager to buy a lottery ticket. Out of the blue, he decided to buy one and never stopped talking to me about his plans for the money. I was so sleepy, but he remained ecstatic about it.

At 9 PM, he watched the lottery, while I washed the dishes. Guess what? He won. Do you believe in miracles? Do I? I didn’t.

But now, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he won 70,000php. I believe it’s more than wishful thinking. Sometimes, I see him as a walking ball of luck. But oftentimes, I know it’s his faith. He won a brand new phone, won a filming contest. It’s mind-blowing!

Try it, too. Put your mind to it. It may not be as big as a lottery, but keeping faith that you can achieve anything sets your foot one step forward.

What’s the most important to achieve success? It’s believing that you can.

4. If you’re offended, say it. Confront them so they’ll know where to draw the line.

If you can take jokes, then it’s fine. But, if it gets quite offensive, there’s nothing wrong with voicing it out. Unsolicited and invasive opinions take a toll on our mental health.

To save face, I tried to laugh the jokes off even if I find it offensive. However, it backfired when I reached my limit. I resorted to shouting and violence (punching) which wasn’t the brightest action to take. So before you end up doing something stupid, start drawing the line.

5. Honesty is the best loyalty.

Honesty is fundamental. However, it’s being overlooked nowadays. To gain trust, be honest with people. Most importantly, be honest with yourself.

Honesty builds foundations, lies diminish it. While honesty forms strong bonds, connections built on lies are shaky and insubstantial. There’s nothing better than being authentic and non-pretentious.

6. Always be hopeful.

When things are getting rough, remember that it is temporary. The anger, frustration, and sorrow –these are all temporary feelings. Don’t let negativity cloud your thoughts. Good and bad situations are the essentials of life.

There was a story about a man and his horse. The man’s horse ran away in the middle of the night and haven’t come back for days. His nosy neighbor saw it and told him, “it’s such bad luck.”

Three days later, the man’s horse came back bringing five more wild horses. The man took them in and the neighbor saw it and said, “wow, that horse brings good luck!”

Days later, one of the new horses kicked the man’s son and fractured an arm. “That’s bad luck!” the nosy neighbor said once more. That night, a group of bandits attacked the village and captured all the abled men to help them attack the neighboring village.

The man’s son wasn’t taken because of his fractured arm. The nosy neighbor said once more, “the horses bring good luck!”

Good and bad situations happen in life. We might not understand why we suffer pain and sadness at the very moment we feel it. But trust that there is a purpose. We need to be patient until the puzzle pieces form into a picture.

7. Be determined on reaching your goals.

The first step, believe in yourself. Second, set a goal. Third, reach it no matter what. Before, when things deviate from my initial plans, I give it up in a blink of an eye. But realizing that everything is attainable when you give ample time and determination, it changes the game.

No goal is unattainable. But it’s a matter of how long you will persist until your determinations come into fruition.

Conclusion

The list contains basic life lessons that are usually not taken into account. As of today, we’re still together. We now agree to lots of things, and I’m still working on carving out the negative outlook I have in life. His views influenced me to be more humble, more determined, and more compassionate. Down-to-earth people have fewer problems to think about.

Not to mention, he got these traits as a God-fearing man. I am now living a belief that if you follow God’s way, you are being set free from the clouded perspectives. The teachings clear your mind. Now, as I understand more of the Word, I’m being unleashed from the chains and blurs of life.

Step by step, try getting out of current society’s “norm” and go back to the track. Let’s refresh to the most basic. We can do this.

Thanks for reading!

Written by

Margarette Mathias works as a college instructor in the technical field. She's also a content writer who focuses on self-improvement and lifestyle topics.

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