We all need to find our Dwight Schrute in life: our idiosyncratic, obsessive, loyal and funny soul mate.
He’s out there, he’s weird, and he is waiting for you, my dear!
It took me several boyfriends and several heartbreaks to discover a beautiful partner who appreciates the weirdness that makes up my personality. And I appreciate his weirdness, too.
Part of your inner Dwight Schrute lives inside your own head. Dwight is always confident and he stands up for what he believes in. He is creative and shameless, so he gets what he wants. So often, women (in particular) self-deprecate and internalize the things others say and do. Especially their boyfriends, girlfriends or past lovers.
But why? Why are we beating ourselves up because we don’t feel appreciated? And more importantly, why can’t we just see that others do appreciate us? Why can’t we have pride and joy in being ourselves, like Dwight?
Because we aren’t looking for or receiving the credit we deserve.
There’s a delicate balance between being selfish and giving to others. We can’t do too much of only one because we will either give all of ourselves away emotionally, or we’ll be consumed with conceit and self-love, effectively scaring others away. I struggle to find this balance. It’s hard!
There are three things that I have found to be helpful when we are feeling under-appreciated or feeling a lack of self-love:
1. Express your feelings in a verbal or written fashion to your partner.
Ask him/her to do the same. Dwight Schrute is expressive, and he always communicates when he is upset or feels threatened. This is how we balance out selfishness and giving away—by cooperating. Nothing can be accomplished without compromise.
Without being compassionate, we can’t let others help us and we can’t help others—hence, the impasse and communication breakdown in many relationships. Notice that Dwight Schrute gives his whole-hearted loyalty to Michael Scott, but he always maintains an unwavering sense of confidence and dignity.
2. Do something to improve your self image. Make yourself feel like the princess you are!
No, I am not saying to frivolously spend money at boutiques or get a boob job or spend three hours a day at the gym. I think we all need to make a dedicated effort to do one thing for ourselves every day. Go to yoga, paint your nails, go for a run in the sunshine, or just simply daydream. Or, if you’re like Dwight Schrute, spend some good time getting down and dirty working on your beet farm.
3. Compliment others, find something beautiful in everyone, and accept the compliments others give you!
I don’t know how Dwight Schrute has demonstrated this behavior in The Office, except in the back-handed way of having a steamy affair with one of his coworkers, Angela. Fortunately, everyone feels under-appreciated or lacking in self-esteem at times. So if we make an effort to be in this together, we will develop a love for others and for ourselves in turn.
I struggle with this immensely because I am a textbook recluse. When I do get the gumption to go out and order a cocktail by myself and compliment someone on his or her hair, glasses, shirt, cowboy boots, dog, etc., I usually meet someone cool and we can typically find something to talk about for a hot minute. My palms and armpits sweat when I talk to strangers, but this is how we meet new people who can nurture our souls and provide positive vibes in our lives—and how we can give out positive vibes to others.
So go, now! Find your inner Dwight!
Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman