There are two days a year that I always dread. One is my birthday, the other is New Year’s Eve. Two days loaded with meaning that I would love to skip. New Year’s Eve is still far away, we’ll take care of that another time. But my birthday is already today and this year everything should be different.
Well, let’s see.
My favorite thing would be to get through a birthday inconspicuously. Nobody knows, I go far away. This is how I get rid of the weight of meaning. At times I had not shared the date on social media until I realized that was unfair. I can’t remember birthdays without looking them up on Facebook or Xing.
In the last 20 years I have celebrated my birthday exactly three times. The first time only because it was a collaborative birthday with a colleague and she suggested it. I invited four people. Another time, someone gave me a nudge to throw a little barbecue at my agency. It was not pleasant for me, because employees have to yes come and the little man in my head talked me into believing that people are only there because they are have to.
This head cinema already offers a foretaste of the reasons, Why I rarely celebrate my birthday:
- I believed I was not worth it. Well-meant sayings like "Let yourself be celebrated properly" I could not take seriously. Why should I let me celebrate and fromwho?
- I don’t like to be the center of attention. The attention of several people at the same time makes me uncomfortable.
- I was afraid no one would come (because I feel lonely sometimes).
- And if someone did come, I wasn’t sure if they really wanted to be there or if they just couldn’t say no.
- I didn’t want anyone to have to worry about a gift. People already have enough to do.
In rational moments it sounds absurd, but I’m not always rational. These are all clear symptoms of low self-esteem. That was never high with me and it’s not today either. While things are looking up, thoughts like this still haunt my mind. Sometimes I would like to be more narcissist, but I do not have that in me. Instead of loving myself with all my heart, I start a negative thought carousel on such days.
The third celebration in the last 20 years took place last year. Then, in pain, I took heart and invited three friends and their partners to a restaurant. I formulated the invitations using as many relativizations as possible ("If you can’t, that’s not a problem." / "A gift is not necessary."). Miraculously all three agreed and seemed to be happy about it.
The evening was good and I’m glad I got through it. My head, however, did not really play along. I was a bit melancholic in the face of the day overloaded with meaning. Still it was a step forward, at least pretend to have a good self-esteem. In this case I believe in Fake it till you make it – to behave as if I am already where I want to be.
This year I force myself to take the next step. I invite a bigger round to my house. Ten to 15 friends will probably come. The overcoming to it was again large. First I put it off, then I felt listless and paralyzed. But I knew inside, That it would be an important step for me personally. It was only later that I thought about why that is – what good reasons there are for celebrating my birthday, even if my head resists it.
10 reasons to celebrate a birthday anyway
- I show friends that they are important to me
- I let friends share more in my life
- I acknowledge that I I am important
- It is about time
- Only those who invite will be invited
- It is a good occasion to cook
- A good exercise for the host role
- I thus accept a social norm
- I expand my comfort zone by facing fears
- An otherwise empty apartment fills up with people
If the is not enough, then I don’t know. And often I really don’t. But then I fake it: I fake it till I make it.
PS: I don’t wish for things or great experiences, but have a few wishes for life.
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Yeah, happy birthday and live high and enjoy the celebration! Here’s to a great new year of life, even better than the past
Interesting article. Just celebrated three birthdays in 20 years – respect! Let’s see if I can manage that too.
I can’t stand birthday parties, I’m not keen on other people’s parties, and certainly not my own. I’m not a big fan of holidays either. This is not at all about me not wanting to celebrate with other people. I am simply annoyed by the social constraint. Mother in law has on 23.12. Birthday, presence is expected of course. It’s not as if you have to be there on the 23rd. December would push terrible boredom, after all, Christmas must be prepared. At Christmas, of course, both parents and in-laws expect a visit. In recent years, we are because of the weather already once with the car and also the train then stuck during a visit. Super! For New Year’s Eve, of course, you have to throw a party too. And in January have then my two parents birthday, there it goes merrily further. Meanwhile I work until the last day before Christmas and start again as late as possible in January. After New Year’s Eve is then finally vacation for me, before only stress.
My birthday is around Easter, my sister’s the day after mine. A somewhat complicated family in addition, and the appointment finding for a celebration makes one gray hair. My wife’s birthday is in August, one day later her grandmother (attendance expected), then the day after my nephew. Maybe I should mention that for each birthday party in the relatives>100km drive are required. Our kids have in February with 4 days to spare. Children’s birthday party is also something fine. Half a dozen 4-year-olds who have energy like the Duracell bunny on high-voltage current. Makes fun, but also totally finished.
So it’s simply the effort that makes celebrating less palatable to me. And the compulsion to have to do it exactly on these specific dates. Plus that pesky gift-giving. I am trying massively to reduce my stuff. I don’t need anyone to bring me more (well-intentioned) stuff. Likewise, I don’t want to clutter others’ desks with well-intentioned junk. It’s not so easy to give alder bites, and in view of the abundance of gifts I have not yet been able to do without them.
Spontaneous barbecue party in the summer with friends or relatives – I’m there immediately. Or just go out in the evening, if you feel like it. Celebrating your birthday is something that definitely goes against the grain of my minimalism. It is not important to me, I do not like it, so it is ballast.
However, I also have to admit that I don’t care much about being the center of attention. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I don’t like my own birthday very much. Let’s see, next year I will be 40. Only wishes and real resolutions: To be debt-free and not to celebrate. Both I intend to achieve, so far it looks quite good.
The topic of appreciation I have to think about again. I have not seen so far.
Best congratulations also from me!
Another reason: the older you get: A birthday is a great occasion to see people again. Because they don’t come without an occasion, because everyone has a full calendar. I don’t accuse anyone of bad intentions, but even some good friends have to spontaneously withdraw their commitments because they have real reasons to do so. The more liabilities you have created, the more effort they will make to move mountains and come anyway, even though it doesn’t fit them in at all. The treadmill is getting bigger and bigger. Maybe it will get better with age.
So: take occasions, whether birthday, exam or solstice. Then it is not about the birthday at all, but it is just an occasion. This might help people with a low self-esteem feeling ((-:
Happy Birthday Patrick !
And "thank you" for the food for thought, maybe I will celebrate my birthday on Saturday after all ;-).
I wish you all the best for your birthday and a lot of fun with your friends, it’s going to be great, don’t go crazy.
Happy Birthday Patrick!
Happy Birthday Patrick! I wish you a really nice celebration.
Oh, Happy Birthday. I’m sure it will be totally nice. I would like to celebrate z.B. don’t even come to 10-15 people, it’s great that you have so many friends who have also accepted and obviously like to celebrate with you
Well then happy birthday.
Will you tell us how the party was??
Hey Patrick, all the best to you! I’m sure it will be a great evening And yes, fake it ’till you make it is a great way for such situations. The feelings follow the thoughts
I was a long time also so similar to you. Just don’t be the center of attention, why me of all people, they only say/do that anyway because they have to…
Slowly, however, I also manage to accept my birthday. Only gifts I still find stupid
All the love
All the best also at this point, have a great day and I also think the evening will be great – I can understand your feelings so much though, don’t like my birthday for exactly the same reasons.
Nice to know you.
first Happy Birthday and you speak from my soul> for me my birthday and new year’s eve almost coincide (29).+31.12.) also I think to myself every year, since no one has time between the holidays anyway, and even I usually have no desire to do so. I also play down the day quite a bit, like to go away – skiing, that I’m tired in the evening or if it’s just for one night – to escape the pressure.
I will take your 10 reasons to celebrate a birthday anyway to heart and let’s see, maybe there’s also with me again times ne party
Have a nice day.
happy birthday and thank you for this honest and thoughtful article!
I have no problems with birthdays. But my attitude to New Year’s Eve has changed fundamentally. Last year for the first time on 31.12 made a night hike at minus 15 degrees and realized: is much more cool than the collective drinking everywhere.
Greetings and nice that we have met in person on Saturday.
First of all my happy birthday ;-)! This is a very honest article with some good food for thought! It’s nice that there are still people who give an insight behind the facade.
Many greetings, Hendrik
Happy Birthday, Patrick – have a great day! And: we have something in common, I also do not like to celebrate. Was completely different as a child, but has completely decreased with the beginning of the study. The last celebration was some years ago – but maybe I will do it again next year
Hey Patrick! Happy Birthday! YAY. Let yourself celebrate!
Honestly, I have often handled it like you do. But this year I was already a little offended that not so many congratulations. The bad thing is, I made it extra hard for my friends, because they can’t remember birthdays either. The question was: Is it fair??
Many WANT to congratulate, like me, to show: YOU’RE THE MAN! Yes, it is about appreciation, and it is about love. I am glad that you came into the world xx years ago, because YOU, yes exactly YOU have enriched my life. Honestly! I’m great that you exist!!
I also had to learn that there are people who love me. And to those I am worth something, who are happy with me on this one day that I exist.
For you and also for me this realization is hard stuff, we are not used to it. And yet it is so! Besides, this is always a great opportunity to have everyone around again, to celebrate, and to be happy. Happy because you feel the love and appreciation. To say it again: Nice that you exist!!
Happy birthday, Patrick!
I know exactly what you’re talking about and I thought until now that I was all alone with these thoughts, because after all, everyone loves his birthday! For me, this day is just so loaded with expectations and anxiety that I never actually enjoy it and only celebrate because it’s expected. Whereby I ask myself at the celebration then, whether it pleases the guests at all.
So yeah, I know your thoughts enough and I’m glad you want to do it differently this year
All the best for your birthday! I am curious how your celebration was. I have – for the same reasons as you – never celebrated a single birthday in my life (apart from earlier children’s birthdays). Interesting that so many feel the same way. Nevertheless great that you dare to go out of your comfort zone.
thank you for the congratulations!
It also relieves me a little that many of you can understand my thoughts. I didn’t want to write this article, because I was afraid to be alone with it. But Jasmin motivated me to do it and now I’m happy about it.
also from me all the best for your birthday and a hopefully nice celebration. Just the thought of hosting 10-15 people in my apartment – even though I like them very much – makes me feel very different. My introversion is definitely standing in my way. Not to mention my pragmatism. Brave that you try this.
And once again you proved to yourself with this article that you are not alone with any quirk and even if it seems so strange to you I turned thirty two and a half weeks ago, so for me this year there was even less celebration potential than usual. I hope in the next few years I can see the thirty a little more relaxed. Until then I will probably do it like this year and go on vacation.
Greetings and all the best,
I also have a lot of things in my way. Whether now introversion or lack of self-esteem. But I try now times to go around it.
Getting older is fortunately not a problem for me. I have the feeling to develop strongly. So every year feels better than the one before.
first of all happy birthday. Many of your written things apply also to me. Especially the ‘not being in the center’ . This also refers to the wedding have married 4 weeks ago only civil and because of the social pressure, one should celebrate yes still large. We are still in disagreement and don’t really want a huge party. But that’s another topic..
I myself have a birthday on Saturday (in this sense, cheers for us bulls!). ) and I’m not sure yet what I’m doing or if I’m doing it at all. I celebrated last year for a long time, since I moved back to my hometown after graduation and could just celebrate with family for the first time in years. Most of the friends I invited have cancelled for various reasons (scheduling conflicts, illness, etc). In the end only the family and a friend were there.
I still wish you a nice evening with your friends.
it’s a pity that last year not so many friends came. I was also afraid of this, but fortunately it did not come true.
A success factor could be to invite in time, especially since there are also holidays coming up in May, which are used to go away.
I had invited everyone a few weeks before last year. Unfortunately, this is also not a guarantee for success
I still don’t know what to do resp. if anything at all. Next week my brother and grandpa have their birthday too and tonight we are invited to one as well. Sometimes it’s just too much for me
I hope you had a nice, relaxed evening with your friends.
Give and take is one. Most of the time introverts don’t have a problem to give something or to help someone, but to accept something gives problems. It is really one and the same thing. The one who wants to give us a present gets a good feeling from it. We should treat him to this. We should learn to accept gifts and help, compliments and appreciation because we are not only doing good for ourselves but also for the other person. Let’s accept gifts (on any level) as honest, respect our gift giver. If we interpret a dishonesty into it, it is unfair.
It took me 50 years to be able to live like that. – Every person is worth a gift and not only once a year. Congratulations belatedly!
Kind regards from Sabine
if it has something to do with introversion, I don’t know. I blame it on self-esteem. But yes, we must be able to endure that. And until I can do that, I’ll pretend
All the best also from me!
I can well understand that you are/were not so keen on celebrating your birthday.
Personally, there are other reasons that prevent me from doing so: I stress myself out trying to please everyone and to entertain the guests. I just don’t imagine it that way.
However, your reasons for a celebration of course also appeal to me.
I also have a birthday this week. I haven’t planned anything yet but maybe I will
then give some more thought.
Probably every host wants to offer the best possible experience to his guests. I had decided not to worry about it until the time comes. If I consider all the fears at once, it will never be something
I hope that also belated birthday wishes will be accepted? All the best to you!
With the Kopfkino points I have recognized very much of me again. I would really like to invite people to my place, regardless of any special occasion, simply because I would like to cook for them and because it would make me happy if other people spend a nice evening together because of my invitation. But then the aforementioned head cinema turns on and unpleasant memories of previous invitations are conjured up, where actually most have canceled or have looked in only briefly for the sake of decency.
Nevertheless I would like to add one more point PRO birthday party: at my party I decide the rules. What I can’t stand at other parties is the obligatory booze-up followed by some pseudo-funny games that you can really only endure in a drunken state (the other people and the whole party can eventually only be endured in this state). That’s what most people think of as a successful party – and that even far beyond the teenage years.
When I dared to celebrate my birthday in my own place last year, I made it clear in advance that there will be no boozing at my place. There was champagne for the toast and the rest was comfortable sitting together, eating, talking, wonderful. Unfortunately, this time again most of the guests left very early, but I try to consider it a success
thanks for the belated congratulations!
I actually find your point very important. I could now also celebrate according to my rules. Without much alcohol and without games. Was nevertheless (and for me just because of it) good
Hello Taurus man,
I wonder if it’s the sign of the zodiac?
I also just had a birthday and was on vacation as usual at this time:-)
I too always disappear into oblivion and don’t feel like celebrating……so I can understand you well.
first of all: all the best for the new year of life!
I just read the article and had to smile again, because I know exactly all this of course (as well as many other incidents from your book).
The only birthday I have celebrated with friends was my 30th. (that was more than ten years ago) and I found that kind of strange, because all my friends didn’t know each other and I felt very uncomfortable myself. Thereupon I left the celebration with me again – because with celebrations it had nothing to do.
In the meantime a lot has changed with me, but one thing has not: I don’t like my birthdays. However, last year I wanted to celebrate with all my dear friends – most of whom I have only made in the last few years – after all. Therefore I simply invited together with my best friend under the following motto: "We celebrate life, love and music". It was a really nice celebration, where even the fewest people knew each other, but everyone got into conversation with each other and new acquaintances were made in a cheerful, nice atmosphere – and that in my apartment It was such a success that on New Year’s Eve there was a joint celebration with music making and singing.
Judith has written that she herself doesn’t like to invite people because she stresses about pleasing everyone, making sure everyone is having a good time – yes, that’s exactly how I felt about my 30.! I was so anxious and could not relax myself at all. At the "We celebrate life" party I thought to myself: I give the beautiful room& Drinks (everyone brought something to eat) and for good conversation& mood is everyone’s own responsibility. In fact, then everything went by itself and everyone took care of everyone – plus we had a great buffet
Now first a while can pass and sometime when I really feel like it again& If I am in a good mood, then I invite you to my place again. My own parties are my favorite now
nice that you share your experiences. For me it is interesting to see how many people have the same "problems". Nice also that you have found the desire to celebrate yourself. That motivates me to keep at it.
Could be myself ..
Am now considering re-celebrating my birthday. Thanks for the article!
Celebrating a birthday is very stressful for me. I don’t like and try to please everyone and end up tired and worn out. It would never have occurred to me that it had to do with low self worth. ….
It’s my birthday in 3 weeks, like every year I’m dreading this day and I’ve been given the task to think of: How would I find my birthday (finally once) beautiful and what and who do I need for it… that alone was not easy to clearly define resp. Define this already but the adversities that I am aware of and present simply can not be beamed away. My pious wish: I would like to experience a carefree birthday.. Sounds so simple and unattainable at the same time. And then I realize how many people feel the same way for a variety of reasons.
This year I don’t want to look how I can please everyone, I don’t want to be chased and rushed by those who want to be "first", I don’t want to celebrate 2x because our life includes people and situations that don’t work at the same table (I fully understand everyone’s situations and yet I don’t want this egg dance anymore) and I don’t want to run away and not celebrate at all either!
How do all the other people do it? How to succeed in finding your birthday beautiful?
The ones I love the most and would love to have with me that day live at least 1 hour away and can’t just pop in for a coffee…the family situation is rather constraining for us too…
I love the aforementioned aspect of appreciation for well-wishers and the perspective that those who can and are there do so sincerely and of their own free will.
I also love how you managed to write down your feelings about this day that should bring a grateful smile to one’s face and hope that this year I too can experience my birthday happy, relaxed and grateful for all the people (even if you can’t be there to touch and squeeze).
Thanks for your post and to all the people who find your birthday a "horror" too. We can do it and it’s nice that we and the day we were born exist
Hello I see myself in certain points again.
2009 I had no desire to celebrate under lovesickness. 1 year later everything broke down, relationship off, grandma was dying and it followed in a short time still some deaths.
I regret a little that I didn’t take the chance and celebrate the birthday, the 30th, one last time with my mom. But: I didn’t know that she would also leave me permanently 4,5 months later.
Since then I have celebrated 1x in the smallest family circle. When in 2016 I wanted to combine birthday, housewarming and this-is-my-new, not a single guest came. 2 canceled, 2 would have come, had something happened, The others did not cancel, not to, no one came spontaneously Rum. Embarrassed in front of the new boyfriend.
In 2019 I would like to make a city trip.
Planned was 2020 to celebrate but in thoughts of the last bankruptcy is missing me (currently still) The great desire.
Thank you that I am not all alone.
So, I’ve been "celebrating" for the last 10 years already. But that was mostly an I-invite-a-couple-of-friends-and-we-talk-and-eat-what celebration .
At times of my ex-husband it was quite bad, because his relatives always celebrated big (also so absurd like: we celebrate 150.! 60+60+30years married . ).
My current husband sees it the same way as I do – what is the point of celebrating?!? As a child it is still exciting and you are happy to get something as a gift etc., but as an adult you don’t want to get the umpteenth Dekoplunder as a gift or a Douglas voucher or what I know.
To my 30. 3 years ago we were just not there. My husband and I at beautiful weather in the Palmitos Park on Gran Canaria. No more and no less and it was great!
We now keep it that way we celebrate "round" birthdays (30,40,50..) especially want to celebrate and on all other birthdays will be at most with our friends couple go out to eat.
By the way, we don’t give each other presents within the family anymore (birthday, Christmas etc.).).
Unfortunately, I am with this attitude only recently again angeeckt..
Hello dear fellow sufferers!
I want to go a different way from now on:
My gut, my feeling says NO to birthday parties (and all other forced, date-bound celebrations!) Why fight against your own feeling? FEELINGS ARE ALWAYS TRUE!
My approach I want to try: stand by myself, and what my feeling (=dislike of festivities) tells me.
It seems to me that the list of 10 reasons why one should force oneself to celebrate anyway is unfortunately a purely mental list, a desperate attempt to somehow talk oneself out of the feeling of dislike.
I think all of us with birthday celebrations& Co have a problem, probably also have a "problem" with superficiality! No desire for small talk, rather profound conversations under 4 eyes? No desire for party mood at the push of a button instead of meeting someone when you really feel like it? And of course, no desire for the mega-effort, which every celebration, no matter whether the own or a to visit brings with itself?
I’m also turning 40 soon and it’s finally time to live MY life. I mean I will take ALL COURAGE together, stand by myself, and make my environment friendly but determined clear "I have no more desire to birthday parties". Please don’t be mad, I’m not going to celebrate my own birthday (yes I am, but just make it a real feel-good day all to myself anymore!!) nor will I ever enter a birthday party again. I won’t send birthday SMS anymore either!
On my last birthday I really regretted that I didn’t get in the car, go to the spa or shopping, just made a nice day for myself. Instead, I stressed myself out 2 days before to shop, make rolls, a cake…..Just because I assumed that this was expected of me. Then I swore to myself: NEVER AGAIN. It is my life. I decide whether I want to celebrate or not.
I think, if one has made it once for the birthdays, this can be transferred without problems also to all other annoying celebrations
Then I also see right away who really belongs to me.
Because he/she will continue to be in my life even without celebrating
Since my birthday is coming up soon, I have now just once spontaneously googled the topic. And I landed here. Frankly: I find myself in the article so not at all again. Yes, I don’t really care that there is a lot of fuss about my birthday. From me or others. In my opinion, this has nothing to do with a lack of self-esteem in general or at least in my case. On the contrary: one’s own esteem or that of others is simply of a timeless nature, i.e. not bound to a single day. My goal is rather to create as many "honorary days" as possible in the year. For myself or for my fellow-me-people. Do good and get good. To live consciously every day and to be happy about the little things. Say, every day at least briefly treat yourself to something sensual or meaningful. My tip: Do not worry, spend "selfishly" the birthday the way you like it. Without any bad conscience. The birthday belongs naturally to the birthday child alone. And "your" people understand that exactly right, if they understand you also otherwise well.
How I will spend my next birthday? As I often spend the, this time, Saturday: Long sleep out. Great breakfast. Later indulge in my passion for sports. The rest also results after desire. And, admittedly: For my girlfriend I choose a nice restaurant for the evening and we go out for a good meal. A contradiction to what was said before? No. Because that’s what we do (almost) at least once a week! Life is what you make it. Every day!
This article hits me more than I would like, it is very similar to me.
Every year the same theater I do not want, my wife tries and wants to make me a nice day and I can not even fake a smile by now. I try it but it is so bad, I don’t know why.
I think the topic of self-worth is a good start, that was never very high with me and the older I get the less I have it. I feel like a failure and no matter how many times I see the pos. Lining things up in life, how often I hear you’re a good dad, hey you’re doing a great job……… all worthless, can’t they see I’m a failure? The rest of the year I get along fine but birthdays……. so my…………. please don’t. I get really grumpy because people congratulate me, for what, I have achieved nothing what should I celebrate. I know that I definitely don’t want to give this attitude to my daughter, she should be happy and grow up with a healthy self-esteem. I also like to celebrate other birthdays but I simply don’t need mine. Maybe I still manage to get out of this cesspool of self-hatred and if not also OK but I don’t pass on this stupid attitude, this self-little plague, that has to stop with me.
Well birthday parties I always see as a big burden. I myself never feel like doing it. Constant stress, you have to give a present, you have to go to your parents’ birthday, you have to celebrate your own birthday, etc. So what unnecessary I just say to myself. Being important to someone has only the slightest thing to do with it.
You hear from most people but the whole year zero, nothing at all and then suddenly these rags come on the birthday and think you have to congratulate. It absolutely makes my skin crawl. Who really cares about me, who gets in touch with me between now and then! He also goes with me spontaneously for a coffee if one has time or something like that. But not such a bullshit, that only shows maximum indifference.
It is every year always a huge outcry when I say that I will not celebrate again, because I have no bock on it. My parents don’t see it at all, my grandparents even less. In the end it’s my decision, then they always think they want to blackmail me "emotionally" with such sayings as "Yes, then there’s no gifts"
Since it’s hard for me to keep my composure and not get abusive. As if I needed alms or do it only because of some gifts. Especially since all this is mostly just knick-knacks from some 1€ store that nobody needs. With my 27 years I earn enough to be able to buy myself what I want. Above all I don’t see why I should be the bad one when it is supposed to be my birthday or it is "my" day. Then it was up to me to decide whether I wanted to celebrate, whether I wanted calls, congratulations or not.
Especially if one takes it nevertheless exactly I, on my day of the birth have accomplished nothing at all. Except that I would be squeezed out of a small orifice from my mother. So you would have to be more of the opinion that you congratulate your mother for it, instead of me as her child. All totally imposed bullshit of society..
Tomorrow is my birthday. I am already dreading it very much. Actually already since one week. I am actually always away over my birthday. Alone. Only unfortunately that does not work this year because of Corona. My friends, family and colleagues have more or less invited themselves or would like to make my day at work beautiful. That is very great… but I am quite sad and want to leave this day behind me as soon as possible. I have depression again at the moment that no one knows about.. and that’s why it’s hard for me to let someone get close to me and be the center of attention. Your lines helped me a little bit. Now I try not to think so much anymore. Thanks for listening. Love, Tanja.