I HAVE TO TRAIN MYSELF
to be self-aware!
PREVIOUS: Confident People #6
SITE: “(Not) Keeping the focus on myself” ~Al-Anon
REVIEW: “Keep the Focus on Yourself” (KFY)
Many sources say to be mentally / emotionally mature we need to be responsible for our own TEAs (thoughts, emotions, actions). This is confusing for ACoAs, because on the one hand:
• we were taught by family & religion NOT to notice our own needs, tastes, ideas, values… only focus on others, which means we’re can’t KFY
AND on the other hand —
• ACoAs take on too much responsibility, for things others are doing or have done (abuse, neglect, carelessness, selfishness….), as well as blaming ourselves for imperfections (limitations, lack of knowledge, mistakes, EVEN good things like emotions, ambition, normal human needs….)
SO, no matter how intelligent or accomplished, without Recovery growth, many ACoAs actually don’t know what KFY means or how to do it. We’re all familiar with the PP’s poisonous voice whispering: “Who do you think you are?”
But that’s exactly the point: In order to KFY, we have to know who & what WE ARE!
But since we didn’t develop that as kids, we have to work on it now – every day. With persistence, eventually it does become the new normal
NOTE: The key to KFY is telling the truth about what motivates our thoughts & actions, which comes from the freedom to BE & express True Self. EXP:
“I’m upset because I’m disappointed …..” said without anger
” I yelled because I’m really scared…. “, without excuse or justification
EXP of not KFY
Joey forgot to bring home the milk Sarah asked for. She gets angry & calls him a few choice names. The REAL reason she’s angry is not that they need the milk so badly, but she interprets his neglect (T) as meaning that Joey doesn’t consider her important – as a person.
That leads to feeling hurt (F), but she doesn’t say that. it’s easier to attack than be vulnerable
KFY is NOT a justification for our narcissism!
• saying things like “I think that you should____, If I were you I would/ wouldn’t____” & then proceed to tell someone who we think they are, what they should do or think…. instead of finding out who they actually are, what they want, what they’ve already tried….
• expecting / demanding that others fulfill our needs, just because “I want it” – without considering if they want to help, what state they’re in, if they’re available, what they’re legitimately capable of, what’s appropriate to ask of others….
• an opportunity to attack, dismiss /negate or point a finger at others & then excuse it by saying: “It’s just my opinion”
• manipulating others to take care of us, because we don’t want to do it for ourselves
• doing whatever we feel like (jerk others around, lie, attack, be insensitive, undependable, withholding…..), because we’re afraid of being controlled, or want to get back at the whole world for what our family did to us
• convincing someone to go out of their way for us & then change plans at the very last-minute, just because we have something better to do or just don’t feel like it
• use other people to get what we want, to get ahead, to vent our rage
• trying to get someone to be/do what WE want – so we don’t have to deal with ourselves
Al-Anon’s “Courage to Change”, (pg. 29 ):
“I am learning to be honest with myself. I will not use my Recovery as an excuse to justify my efforts to change other people’s thinking.
Trying to control others only gets me in trouble. Instead, I will promptly admit such mistakes & put my energy back where it belongs – by focusing on myself.”
NEITHER would “Keeping the focus on Yourself” mean we’re :
• selfish & arrogant, because it takes attention away from ‘them’ (the narcs)
• disobedient when we KFY, because we were taught to only think what ‘they’ tell us to
NEXT: KFY (Part 2)