defending self




NOTE: One of many effects of not having direct guidance, not being taught skills or appropriate socialization is a very deep belief that anything we figured out for ourselves was at best wrong, at worst absolutely worthless.

An antidote to this is to have at least one person who is knowledgeable in our area of activity & whom we respect – to review what we’ve accomplished or created on our mentoringown. They can validate it’s accuracy, skill level & value.

If that ‘mentor’ is fair & respectful, they can let us know the truth about our action or accomplishment. If the ‘verdict’ is less than stellar, we can look for ways to improve. If positive, the WIC part of us will be satisfied, & we can continue to flourish in whatever medium we’re best at.

BROAD categories of Questions (Qs)
a. Negative: to attack, to challenge, to embarrass, to stir things up
b. Positive: to connect, to encourage, get info, make you think, to teach

2 Inappropriate forms
From Narcissism
• Qs that are controlling (“Why don’t you do it THIS way?”)
• Qs from the WIC, in the victim position, if asking for info about things we DO know, as a way of feeling taken care of

• Qs coming from the assumption that others are like us
— PP: “Why would you even consider that?” or
— WIC: “Don’t you think this color is the most?”
symbiotic• Asking (insisting) others to go with you or do something that only you like, or that you know they dislike

• Qs that are rude &/or insensitive, because we don’t think about other people’s feelings – just impulsively ask whatever comes to mind without considering the consequences. This is a copy of our parents, who never acknowledged our emotions, so we act the same way

EXP: At a church dinner, teenage Jane notices that Sarah (in her 30s) is not wearing her engagement ring. Across the table, in a rather loud voice she asks about it but Sarah doesn’t answer, so Jane asks again – twice more before giving up. She doesn’t get the hint that her Q is not well received, although it’s obvious to everyone else.
Some know that Sarah’s engagement has been called off, so the Q is painful. Jane hasn’t gotten the 411 yet, but that’s not the point. Her Q is insensitive & intrusive – especially in such a public way – being in total immature mode, oblivious to another person’s reaction, especially after the initial rebuff.

With Anger
Qs with an attitude, which puts people off. Ironically, it’s always because the Abandonment angry QWound got bumped. We feel disconnected, which scares the WIC, which makes him/her angry. If we lash out we create more distance, which is the opposite of what we want.

Anger Qs are:
• in the form of accusing, blaming, shaming (“Who took my pen?”)
• an attack on an authority figure (“Why don’t you do something about this problem?”)
• challenging someone’s belief system (“How can you believe in that mythology?”)
• showing someone up (“You didn’t know that?”)

UNHEALTHY: ASKING Qs from the WIC – in the present
• whining, begging, bugging, not taking no for an answer
• talking from emotions: “I feel like I can’t trust her”, instead of: “ I can’t trust her”. The former implies you have a feeling, but aren’t sure – even tho you do actually know that person is not trustworthy – from experience
• talking around an important subject, rather than ask a direct Q

• not using “I” statements, when trying to get info. EXP: “Why can’t you be more attentive?”, instead of: “I’d like you to pay attention when I’m talking. Would you be willing to do that?”
• asking for what you need from the wrong person or venue, specially when you already know they’re not able or willing (like: going to an unavailable parent for comfort // trying to get emotional support in a school or business setting…..)

NEXT: ACoAs & Qs Part 3

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