I ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ‘GOOD’
or no one will like me
PREVIOUS: Dealing with criticism #1
NEGATIVITY : Basic SOURCES
It is the “bad things” that grab our attention, stick in our memories & often influence the decisions we make.
1. Fearful ACoAs – overtly terrified ACoAs think everyone is dangerous, laughing at us, shutting us out, shunning us….
ACCIDENTAL ‘abandonment’- some people may in fact not be there for us because they’re just living busy lives, or are depressed or not feeling well, narcissistic or otherwise dysfunctional, from another culture where relating styles are different….
‘DELIBERATE’ – if we’re in fact being mistreated OR ignored, it may be that we’re :
• with ‘people, places & things’ that are definitely unhealthy, OR simply not appropriate for us, but we stay & complain
• so full of fear & S-H that we make ourselves invisible, so others can’t connect
• depressed, needy, whiny, negative… OR bossy, controlling, micro-managing, angry or secretly superior – so others stay away
2. Angry ACoAs – oppositely, who are constantly rageful, assuming everyone’s an idiot, out to get us, aren’t doing the right thing (by us) so we just don’t like anyone, we’re better off alone….. but we hate that too!
We’re very angry that:
• we can’t seem to get away from trouble
• others have ‘entitlement’ – to good things that we don’t
• we can’t seem to get it together to have a life when everyone else is moving forward
• everyone gets ‘away with murder’, sometimes in general, sometimes at our expense, & it’s not fair
• we’re convinced everyone’s thinking about us & it’s all bad…
NEGATIVITY in Angry & Scared ACoAs comes mainly from:
• projecting what our parents did to us (& maybe still doing) onto ‘innocent’ people in our environment
• choosing & staying with unavailable or unkind people
• constantly disappointed by our unrealistic expectations of others
• NOT asking for what we want / need or don’t want
• not having permission to pursue our goals & dreams….
Both types need to :
• identify & acknowledge our CDs
• take back our projections (own our damage)
• learn what healthy vs unhealthy behavior is
• learn & accept our Human Rights
• identify who is genuinely safe & who’s not!
‘Spiritual’ – At the OTHER EXTREME are the ‘good girl / good boy‘ ACoAs who can never allow themselves to think (much less say) anything bad about others – no matter how rotten someone treats us! It’s fine for others to abuse us but we can’t even think they might be wrong, much less be upset with them! If we do, we feel ashamed, guilty & berate our lack of compassion
We believe that if we let ourselves think badly of others (who have earned it) that it would make us just like our parents who were mean to us & we don’t want to be anything like them!
So we try to be ‘above that’ by excusing others’ bad behavior, while judging our negative thoughts (& anger) by saying :
• it’s not nice, it’s not being fair to them, they’re hurt too
• it’ll hurt their feelings, they didn’t mean it, they can’t help it
• it’ll come back on me (like a boomerang), it’ll cause bad karma …..
🙏🏼 There are plenty of religious & self-help teacher who reinforce these distortion. It’s called ‘taking the High Road’, BUT …
✶…. for us – it’s just used as a form of denial, a way to not acknowledge & accept that there are inappropriate or unhealthy people we need to stay away from
Ignoring the selfishness, rage, abuse & disrespect we experience from others keeps us from leaving them as soon as we first notice it. We stay attached to abandoners & abusers, validating our victim status & adding to our pain
👎🏽 This type of being ‘positive’ thinking is harmful to us because it ignores a huge chunk of our reality. It actually white-washes mistreatment.
✶ Clearly seeing and naming toxic people & situations is not a form of NT! It is what mentally clear / emotionally healthy people do, automatically & easily. It doesn’t always need to be said out loud, but it does have to be acted on – by staying at arm’s length or staying away.
NEXT: Being Negative #3