WE SEE THINGS VERY DIFFERENTLY.
Can we understand each other better?
PREVIOUS: Relationship Form A. (#2)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
‘KtFoY’ = “Keep the focus on yourself!” (Read posts)
• We hear from many sources that to be mentally & emotionally mature, we need to take responsibility* for our own TEAs (thoughts, emotions, actions). Yet ACoAs were taught by our family & religion NOT to think about our own needs, tastes, ideas, values… only other people’s – which means we’re not allowed to KtFoY.
— selfish, because it takes attention away from them
— arrogant, because we feel so worthless that we have no rights
— disobedient, because we’re not allowed to think for ourselves – only what they said
was acceptable – no matter hoe contradictory or crazy
Can you hear the PP’s poisonous voice whispering: “Who do you think you are?”
And no matter how intelligent or accomplished, without training, many ACoAs actually don’t know what KtFoY means or how to do it.
REMINDER: *Taking Responsibility is different from Self-Hate, which tells us everything bad / painful that happens to us and others – is our fault.
Responsibility is not about fault, but rather ownership. It acknowledges what we have or have not thought, felt or done (T.E.A.) – period. S-H adds to that :”Yes I’ve done/ not done —- and therefore I am bad!” This is not KtFoY.
• Taking responsibility without S-H allows us to determine who did what – if anything – & if there is anything we can learn or correct for next time – without shame or recrimination.
• Some ACoAs will use KtFoY to justify being selfish, thoughtless & inconsiderate – coming from their narcissism. Like, promising to do something important for another person, & then flaking. When confronted, they may say “Oh, I just needed to take care of myself” – without considering the consequences to anyone else.
• Other ACoAs think they’re being righteous when they use their version of KtFoY – but only to point a finger. Like: “I feel that you…. should be more… are being stupid for staying with… don’t know what you’re talking about… ought to do…”
• Identify the thoughts & emotions YOU are having about a situation, leaving out as much reference to others as possible. That may take some soul-searching, but a good way to find our what’s going on inside is to ask what the the Inner Child or the PP is going on a about. Either one is having some old emotional reaction – the direct result of our thoughts – wrapped in a cognitive distortion & Toxic Rule “If it’s hysterical it’s historical”.
• Then, if appropriate, state what you’re thinking & feeling. Of course you’re reaction is in response to something or someone else, but it’s YOUR response, regardless of that they do or say.
— Re. Es: ‘When you talk like that it hurts my heart!’ or ‘It’s very painful for me to watch you harm yourself’ or ‘I get so angry when you disappoint me, over & over!’
— Re. Ts: “I simply don’t agree with your assessment of the situation” or “I don’t understand why you keep …” or “I know I didn’t do that, even if you don’t believe me”….
➼ Notice that these are all “I” statements. It’s the best way to communicate, because it eliminates blaming or trying to control.
It also stops most people in their track – it doesn’t give them much they can use to escalate. They can of course divert your attention by changing he subject, or just make fun of what you said.
Hopefully it greatly cuts down on defensive, angry & resentful responses
REMINDER: Don’t wait endlessly before saying something appropriate about an annoyance or a serious problem. Otherwise you’ll just be in a rage & any communication will be short-circuited.
SO, back to these forms – regarding something another person has done over & over that bothers you a lot. Notice:
— Form A. was about a future event that worries / angers you
— Form B. is about recent but ongoing past actions, you wish would stop. Examples in Part 2 &3.
NEXT: FORM B. (Part 2)