Another Person Is Not A Salve To Your Wounds, So Stop Relying On Others To Fix You

Another Person Is Not A Salve To Your Wounds, So Stop Relying On Others To Fix You

You probably already know that another person can complete you. There is nobody that can fit into the god and self and love-sized gaps within you. You probably already know that other people do not exist to be salves to your wounds, and yet you probably act like it regardless.

Using another person to complete yourself is not just getting into a monogamous relationship and relying on it for your friends and wellness and sense of self. It is so much deeper than that.

Using another person to complete you is looking around and identifying the ways you are measurably better than others, and then using that fact to validate how good you really are. It is creating a silent but pervasive competition between you and everyone you know, a place where there is no room for growth or kindness. A place where this is only room for scrutiny and envy.

Using another person to complete you is playing the comparison game in your favor, and doing it constantly. It is rigging the system in your own mind to ensure that you are always on top. It is being driven more by social cues of success than the feeling of deep, whole fulfillment. It is being more inspired by how good you will seem than how great your life could actually be. 

When we are truly empty and unable to convince ourselves that we are, indeed, worthy of goodness and friendship and love and life, we need to put other people down to rise. This is not a good place to be, because when we cast our judgments out at others, we are actually caging ourselves. The less okay we determine other people are, the less okay we make ourselves.

Because if we criticize someone for settling down, we are going to resist settling down, even if it’s what we want more than anything. If we judge someone for owning their sexuality, we are going to deny ours, even if it is a desire that burns more deeply than anything else. If we are constantly picking apart the ways other people are not as successful as they seem, guess what we will also do to ourselves?

Other people cannot fix you. They cannot heal you. They cannot make you whole.

They can help you, they can guide you. They can offer you wisdom, and if they are kind enough, maybe some love or support. But they cannot do the work that is yours. They cannot close those gaps, they cannot make you feel okay about your existence. Only you have the power to do that.

And the best place to start is by understanding that you cannot devalue one person to inflate the worthiness of another, especially when that person is you. If you live with the goal to just be better than, you will inevitably place yourself in a mental state of being beneath. Neither is helpful, and neither is true.

There are strengths that are uniquely yours. There are skills others have mastered that you couldn’t even begin to attempt. This is not a valuation of your personhood, this is just reality. We all have strengths and weaknesses that, over time, balance one another out. Maybe we are more proficient at one thing, but we are certainly less capable at another. We cannot see the whole by the sum of a few parts.

So when you want to compare, and judge, and bully your way into feeling better about yourself, remember this. Remember that what you say about others, you are saying about yourself. What you judge in others, you will judge in yourself. This is not some mystical law of karma, this is how our minds operate. We need consistency. When we create rules for others, we unconsciously follow them, too.

So stop thinking that another person can make you feel easy and ready and happy to be alive. That is your load to lift and burden to carry. And if you cannot yet love yourself completely, try to work from the outside in. Validate and affirm and praise and appreciate everything you can about everyone you know. Start small, and stay genuine. But if you do it consistently enough, all that light you shine on others will eventually illuminate you, too. Thought Catalog Logo Mark