Entries by Alexandra Rufatto-Perry

Tiny acts of rebellion

I didn’t get my nails done. I went to the nail salon with my daughter, Carmen, who was very excited about getting her nails done, and I turned down the service for myself. This was not an earth-shattering decision by any means. I didn’t participate in a protest; I didn’t fight for humanitarian rights, I […]

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If You Want More Freedom Create Better Boundaries

It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?  Boundaries are lines that mark limits, and freedom is the power to act, speak, or think without restraint.  If those definitions are accurate, how it possible to have more freedom by creating limits? Aren’t we bombarded every day with images, articles, blogs, commercials, etc., showing us a limitless life? Where […]

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I’m a verbal affirmation junkie.

There.

I said it.

I'm a verbal affirmation junkie, an addict if you will.  I'm addicted to words and praise and adoration from other people.

As I write, I'm battling the fantasies of comments I'll get (or won't get) in response.  The anticipation builds as I think of the little red notification button lit up on my social media pages, alerting me to the possibility of comments...of compliments... from you.

(this is an excellent time to opt-out if you're like "ew" too personal Alex. I'll try not to look at the stats on my page that tell how long you were here).

I don't know when it started. It would probably take a year's worth of work with my therapist to uncover all the wounds that have led me here, and neither one of us (or my therapist) has time for that.

The bottom line is if you want to make my day talk compliment to me.

Is it just me?

It seems innocent enough, doesn't it? I mean, Words of Affirmation are one of The Five Love Languages, and those are good, right?

Is it wrong to want to know that you're appreciated and valued?

No, it isn't. And for most people, praise and affirmation from other folks are right, a little luxury in the day. Nice to have, but not needed to function.

For junkies like me, words of affirmation turned from a luxury into a necessity.

" I need to know if I did a good job or not."

"I need to hear how loved, valued, appreciated I am."

"I need someone else to validate my worth through words."

And to make matters worse, I built up a tolerance for affirmation.  The "highs" didn't last as long.  As soon as I'd gotten one hit ( "what a great post, Alex!"), I was off chasing the next one and trying to find a new "dealer" who might be able to give me some premium stash.

My 'love language' quickly turned into a 'need language' and with dire effects like;

-obsessing over whether not someone "likes" me ("Oh how I want  her to be my friend!")

-overperforming or giving  ("Look I wove this basket and filled it with homemade goodies just for YOU!")

-compulsive social media checking ("I've got 4,000 views and 21 comments!"   Two seconds later..."I've got 4,002 views and 22 comments!")

But what happens when;

-the other person doesn't like you?

-the basket you wove or the performance you gave wasn't appreciated?

-no one comments likes or even notices your post.

Depression.

Depression is what happens, which leads right into the search for the next hit.  And, the hole that you're trying to fill never stays full, so the cycle repeats itself over and over and over again until you hit bottom.

Until your worth and value are left entirely in the hands of other people.

It's a bad place to be.

I don't want you to go there.

I'm telling you about my affirmation addiction because you don't have to live this way.  I want you to know that whatever hole you're trying to fill using someone else's words can only be patched up by you.

That hole will always leak if you use someone else's glue.

You've got to start telling yourself what you need and want to hear.

You've got to start praising yourself for your efforts.

You've got to give yourself what you so freely give to others.

If you want to overcome verbal affirmation addiction, you've must tell yourself what you need and want to hear, and more importantly, you've got to believe it.

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What would you say today if you knew tomorrow you’d never speak again?

Don’t gloss over this question with the standard response, “I’d tell my loved ones how much I love them.” Of course, you would. Go deeper. There’s more, isn’t there?  More people you’d talk to? More questions you’d ask? What amends would you make? If you knew you wouldn’t have the chance to say anything else, […]

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“I’m feeling a little resistance”

My friend Jen and I send each other messages over Voxer pretty much daily.  We’re small business owners and self-proclaimed nerds trying to figure out the world of entrepreneurship. We share war stories, successes, and do our best to hold each other accountable.  We also share GIFs, ridiculous moments, and an intense love of the […]