How Feeling Ashamed Can Turn You in a Better You

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Here’s a short story of one of the times of my life during which I felt the most shameful, how it turned me into a better version of myself and how you can too.

Back in the first year of University, there was a girl I was interested in. We became great friends but that ended up putting me deep into the “friend zone”.

Luckily, in the second year, we got closer and closer and started seeing each other alone, spending more quality time. A deeper connection was created and one night we finally hooked up.

I did it!” was my thought back then.

But she had just come out of a long relationship and didn’t want anything serious. She wanted us to remain friends and have fun around with other people.

I was so deep into her that I accepted despite being well aware that was going to be difficult for me. I was wrong. It was actually impossible.

A few weeks later, at a friend’s party, she started getting closer to the neighbor who was also at the party. At one point they went to his flat to start hooking up but I went with them and they, later on, started kissing on his couch.

I should have left, but I didn’t.

I stayed there, doing pretty much nothing, while they gave me clear signals I should get out.

However, after close to 2 hours, she gave up and decided to leave the party, going to the station with me to take the first train back.

She hated me for what I had just done and I had no excuse for what I had done. After all, I had agreed we’d see other people. We decided to stop talking to each other because our respective feelings of hatred and shame were too strong.

I felt awful for weeks and still regret having stayed there that night. Partly at least. Because I have now out-grown it.

It makes you think

As she had become such a big part of my life, I suddenly got a whole lot of time on my hands and used it to mourn my stupidity for having stayed there.

Why did I do that? How did I endure 2 hours of seeing the girl I liked kiss that other guy? What did it bring me?

Answers to those questions took time to appear to me. After all, I was clouded by how strongly I felt for her.

I finally realized it was because my state of mind was that I couldn’t live without her. But by that time, close to 3 months had passed and I was still alive, having some happy times when I wasn’t thinking of her.

I understood my beliefs were flawed. I was me and she was her. We were connected in life but our lives were different. It was a matter of preference.

I would have preferred spending my time with her.

But it wasn’t meant to be and my life needed to keep moving.

Your life is only yours

You’ll always have people around you. You may have incredible friends, a magnificent family, a mind-blowing lover. But the only one who can truly change yourself is you.

The rest only impacts you.

It may do so in a positive or negative way. You may want those to impact you in order to give you an idea or where to direct yourself towards.

But you will be the last one choosing.

Through this experience, I created a shell around myself, completing the mask I already had on often. To protect myself from being hurt again, I felt I needed to not fall in love again. After what had happened with my first girlfriend, I truly believed this was the solution.

It took years but I understood one important aspect of love: it shouldn’t simply “happen”. If you let it overwhelm you without any control over it, you will lose control of your own life.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fall head over heels for anybody. I have done so many times afterward and love my current girlfriend to the point I cannot express in words. But you should be aware of it.

Only this way you can not only endure difficult times but also appreciate the good ones to the fullest.

Feeling shameful is only bad if you let it eat you alive. Instead of doing so, use it as a learning experience and grow from it.

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Polyglot speaking 6 languages. Writer. Helping the world to learn languages and become more understanding of others. Say hi →

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