ACoAs: REBUILDING Trust (Part 1)

when I’ve been disrespected

PREVIOUS: Being Trustworthy

QUOTE:To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” ˜˜George MacDonald, Scottish novelist

Because ACoAs have been let down again & again by our family, as adults we continue the pattern of feeling unsupported:

1. BY assuming we have an understanding with a friend, lover, boss…. that they will treat us with respect & reliability – without actually talking to them about our needs & hopes, nor getting an agreement from them!

• We expect people to be able to read our minds – the way a small child legitimately needs their parents to be able to do – showing that we’re still functioning emotionally from the WIC

• So when someone doesn’t come thru for us the way we expect (but unsaid by either party) we feel betrayed .
BUT what has actually been betrayed are our own hopes, illusions, fantasy & assumptions about the other person!  In these cases others have not betrayed us, since they did not make the commitment we imagined, whether emotional, physical, financial or verbal

2. BY keeping people in our life who DO continually disappoint, while longing to be with someone we can truly depend on.  To change who we choose we need to continually work on S & I

• When we catch someone actually messing up, they can react several ways: apologize insincerely, make excuses, withdraw or attack us.

These tactics are meant to deflect responsibility from themself
, while underneath they may be:
• puzzled as to what they did wrong, because they’re shut down (Es) & in deep denial (Ts) about their character defects, so they can’t change what they don’t understand
• indifferent, insensitive, narcissistic – don’t care about you
• may feel self-hate, shame, guilt, fear, anger, but can’t own them, so they need defenses (character defects) as protection

There are MANY WAYS to be betrayed, and not just by a cheating spouse or lover.  Itstay or go can be by paid professionals, family members, friends, colleagues, bosses or clergy
•  If you’ve been hurt on many occasions by someone you believed in, you have to decide if you can continue, or need to end the association.
Choosing between the 2 is rarely easy or fast, but in most cases leaving is ultimately the best for your PMES health – if possible. At the very least you can put some distance by using healthy boundaries.

• If you want to continue the relationship (or not), you need to & have a right to ask for a ‘talk’ to clear the air, but they may not be able or willing.
You can’t force someone to admit to flaws in the way they treat you, nor change the way they act, no matter how hard you try!

As the Violated person, you need to:
• identify & deal with painful emotions of betrayal (shock, anger, hurt, disappointment, fear…) – instead of excusing the other by minimizing their bad behavior, the practical consequences & emotional distress

• ask for total transparency – no more lying or double-dealing. They need to be forthcoming without always being prodded
• going forward, believe the person’s actions not their words

• adjust your expectations to what’s actually possible in this situation. Evaluating unrealistic hopes or demands you have of the other person
• be respectful, positive & kind (not punishing or vengeful), but stay awake

• look at yourself too, for any way you may have contributed to the problem.  You did not cause their behavior but may have helped create a climate which made it inevitable or too easy for them to acting out – including things you did NOT do or say

• decide if you can forgive. This does not mean white-washing or overlooking bad behavior. Work to understand the reasons behind it & having some compassion for their weaknesses – knowing the choices made are from their WIC. But the actions are unacceptable, so letting go of hurt may take time

NEXT: Rebuilding Trust (Part 2)

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