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from others (#2)
RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome” (TNS)
Undoing our TNS isn’t accomplished by becoming a nasty bully or resentful isolate. Instead, we can apply the wisdom which the Snake of fable had not understood – that occasionally it’s necessary to hiss! Emotional maturity is about balancing between being well-behaved & putting our foot down when needed.
The following TOOLS are: 1. Facing FEARS // 2. SELF-WORTH // 3. ASSERTIVENESS // 4. HAVING RIGHTS // 5. FORGIVE OTHERS // 6a. HEAL our T.E.A.s // 6b. FORGIVE OURSELVES (as adults) // 7. BE FORGIVEN
Used together, they can move us along in the right direction, but if we’ve been a life-long people-pleaser (P-P), it’s going to take time, patience & perseverance. Think ODAT & never give up!
We can go: From Damage —–>——>——-> to Wellness
TOOL 1. Facing FEARS
++ It’s normal for Co-deps to be fear-based, given our history. That fear may never go away completely, but can become much less intense. As we thaw out emotionally we can experience our feelings quicker when something hurts us – instead of registering months or years later.
Intense painful emotions are a signal that you’ve either tapped into childhood trauma-pain, &/or you’re torturing yourself with cruel self-talk, causing terror.
Feeling old pain & other emotions that come up from a current event, will free up a lot of psychic energy we use to hold them down.
☁︎ T.E.A. = Most people combine Thinking (mainly Left brain) & Emotions (mainly Right brain) into one big messy hodgepodge.
If someone asked (or you ask yourself) : “Are your/my fears realistic?” they are not referring to the emotion of fear, but rather to the toxic rules, projections, S-H….theTs that cause the fear (E).
Fear is just fear – it’s neither realistic or unrealistic, which only applies to thinking. (Post: “Feelings aren’t facts”)
Years of early abuse & abandonment created our fear – accumulating every hour, every day that we lived with those people (family, school, religion, neighborhood….). That feeling is an absolutely normal, appropriate emotional response to those events. We carry that pile of terror in our body, which we now attach to thoughts & current events – adding to the pile, keeping P-P in place (“Anxiety & T.E.A.s”)
REVERSED – As Co-deps we often get both our mental & emotional reactions backwards. In terms of fear:
• we ignore or underplay emotionally damaging effects caused by actual people & situations that are inappropriate or outright harmful to us, but have a real effect on us even so, & yet —
• we can over-react emotionally with S-H & FoA to PPT that are either not dangerous at all, or are those uncomfortable pain-in-the-butt “that’s life” situations which seem overwhelming, but actually are fairly easy to smooth out, once we come to see them in proportion, & learn how to manage them
💚 So don’t let others keep confusing you. Be clear whether you (or they) are talking about Thoughts/beliefs OR Emotions – or Actions, & know how they’re related – or not! Es can be a response to an As, without causing harmful Ts:
EXP: I can be very frustrated & angry (E) about a situation I truly have no control over, such as ‘being laid off from a job/ loss of a relationship/ illness of a loved one….’ (A), yet still have a positive mental attitude about myself, my life, even my future, such as “It’s not my fault / I know I can find something or someone else / I’m actually better off now / I pray for them….” (T). (See many posts re. EMOTIONS)
To outgrow People-Pleasing (P-P) we need to stand up for ourselves. And for that to be effective it has to come from our Adult Ego State, & not as a knee-jerk reaction from the WIC. This includes knowing when to be silent or walk away, which will depend on recognizing whether a situation is hopeless or not, especially when dealing with Personality Disordered people.
Ironically, being too nice also does others a disservice – preventing them from being their best, by giving their Inner Brat opportunities to come out & play whenever they feel like it – on our head!
NEXT: Outgrowing P-P #3