PREVIOUS: “What just happened” (#2)
POST: Types of “THOUGHTS” (re. T.E.A.)
PURPOSE of the INVENTORY cont. (Part 4)
1. Ourselves // 2. What
3. WHO you’re dealing with – what do we know about this person, or this type.
The more we know about damaged people in general, the better prepared we are to deal with them – BUT coming from our Healthy Adult.
✶ People tell us about themselves ALL the time! We just have to pay attention!
• Point # 2 is about us (previous post), while #3 is about the other person – whether we’ve seen them before, actually know them, or not at all.
• Are they very rageful, passive-aggressive, sadistic, narcissistic, manipulative, people-pleasing, needy, controlling, withholding….? Read, learn, know – about each. We likely grew up with people just like this one!
THEY CAN BE:
a. person we don’t know very well, or at all – a one time event
b. family member, with similar recurring painful episodes. We keep going back for more abuse because we still don’t have enough self-esteem & good boundaries
c. spouse or mate, with whom we have periodic flareups. It’s someone we want to keep them in our life, or we really should leave but aren’t ready to
d. long-time friend who’s like our damaged family in many ways, likely not in any kind of recovery, OR has not done their FoO work. They’ve been there for us in some ways over the years, but the relationship is co-dependent, where we’re wither the people-pleaser / rescuer or their victim
** This is not to ignore the fact that we may indeed love some of these people, & will continue a relationship with them. What kind & to what degree will depend on how well we’re able to protect & defend ourselves around them.
Don’t be fooled by the Positive Psychology crowd who try to convince us that everyone “did the best they could”, which is rarely true!
• That message makes it too easy for us to white-wash bad behavior. The reason this saying is so insidious for ACoAs is that it reinforces our denial AND it teaches us not to hold others accountable. The combination feeds our S-H. Just because someone doesn’t ‘mean’ to hurt us doesn’t exonerate them from being responsible for their actions & words.
• At the same time we need to help the WIC get it that very little said & done AT us is about US (about our personality, our identity). We don’t cause how others react to us, even when we’re ‘at fault’ in some way.
We know this because a different person will have a totally different reaction to the same behavior from us. The more we understand & believe that, the easier it’ll be to stand up against the thoughtless, the insensitives or aggressors.
4. HOW we can be more empowered
a. (T) MENTAL – Practice, over & over, words/phrases to be used when under stress. New pathways in the brain need to be formed, so we won’t automatically repeat old reactions & behaviors
b. (E) EMOTIONAL – In general, stay awake for our emotional reactions to every situation we find ourselves in – pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. This does NOT mean being on guard, self-conscious, or rigid with ourselves.
Just be gently aware of what’s going on inside, whenever possible. Always come from a loving, patient place!
c. (A) ACTIONS – Learn appropriate responses we can use in the future, prepare in advance for some situations, practice with safe people (friends, healers…), do Inner Child writing, repeatedly visualize new behaviors…. to de-sensitize the triggers we carry from old trauma
NEXT: 30 Qs