“Young, gay, and trying too hard”
As mentioned in my article “The psychology behind overachieving gays” – I was asked to do a follow-up article and elaborate more on some lines in the article.
So here it goes …
Research proposes not only do gay men tend to be more likely to be overachievers in school, but that there was a positive connection between how much they felt like they had to hide their sexuality and how well they did in school and extramural activities, and how much they based their self-worth on things like “academics,” “appearance” and “competition.”
Does this sound familiar?
In addition, young men who have been hiding their sexual identity for longer tend to be more invested in these ‘material’ things, as do those who live in areas where the stigma is more extreme.
Moreover, seeking self-actualization through measurable accomplishments rather than through interpersonal relationships is very segregating, and it can lead to bad behaviors — consequently found that over-investment in personal appearance led to problematic eating and too intense of a focus on academics and competition.
By typing this article I feel more closer to discovering my ‘workaholic’ tendencies. Am I the only one that feels by telling homophobes: ‘By judging me makes me work harder’.
And here is another thought-provoking question for you: are you just looking for validation?
My reason for asking this question is that gay men often suffer from a shortage in the validation department. When you don’t get enough of something as a kid you can be hungry for it for a very long time. Meaning, you seek validation in ‘material’ things like “academics, appearance and competition”.
Healing comes from building the muscle of self-validation. Trust in yourself alone and embrace the flaws and faults of the past. So stop pleasing your family and friends; start pleasing yourself with self-validation.
Hence by overachieving you might lose yourself in the rut of owning the moment and pushing people away is not beneficial to your goals in any case. Who is going to praise you for achieving success if you push people away?
I know being gay is hard, the lifestyle is superficial at times and not everyone around you wants the see you happy, but just know that healing comes with time; and that you are fabulous.
And that’s all from the overachieving gay.
Article published in The Pink Tongue August 2014