“KEEP the FOCUS on YOURSELF” means? (Part 2)

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POST:  Healthy Helping


KFY is NOT a justification for our narcissism!
Review Part 1

KFY may mean FACING the pain that YOU:
• had a traumatic childhood you’re afraid to admit & dealt with
• know it’s time to let go of some illusions, but are still hoping
THAT you :
• don’t like yourself very much, altho you’re ‘supposed to’
• feel like your life is way out of control, but don’t know how to fix it
• want to take risks, but sure you’ll make mistakes or be rejected
• think your friends only like you because you do so much for them
THAT you :
• hate your job, but afraid to change, holding on until retirement
• hate salads, even though you eat one every day for lunch
• want a divorce, but are afraid to leave & be alonesad woman
• want to change but don’t know how.
Your life is a mess.

It could also mean YOU’RE:
• depressed, & have been for decades
• exhausted, even though it doesn’t seem you’ve done much today
• ‘supposed’ to love parent/ mate/ child/ friend…. but don’t (or not anymore)
• terrified of commitment, but also terribly lonely
• not getting any younger, & have so many regrets……
Adapted from Karen R Koenig

“Keep the Focus on Yourself” (KFY) requires positive Self-honesty :
always looking for & admitting OUR motives & emotions that propel our thoughts & actions! (without shame, guilt or S-H).
They may come from the WIC, Bad Parent OR – UNIT.
So they’re not always negative. We can legitimately have ok motives, (not co-dependent), which must include our own needs & values

a. Mind your own business
KFY is mainly about staying out of other people’s lives (fixing, Rescuing other adults) – no matter how dysfunctional they may be, how much we think we can help them, AND no matter how much we love them.
In almost all cases, they’ve had many opportunities to get the help we think they need, but ignored or blatantly rejected every one. Stay on your side of the fence.

EXP – Unhealthy: A mother is ‘hele-hovering’ over her daughters’ actions & feelings because she feels guilty for the girl’s problems (not mainly from loving her & wanting her best)

b. Be your own Motivator
Make decisions, choices & take actions based on who you are – your needs.
ACoAs, Co-Deps & addicts use other people, substances or circumstances to give us a reason to function – or an excuse to withdraw from life. We work, go, help, risk…. only long as it’s for someone /thing outside of ourselves.

However, we DO have many of the skills needed to run our own life! We must use them to take care of ourselves first, before thinking of others.
EXP – Healthy: “I took that difficult course to learn more about my career & improve my performance” (not self-motivationto please my boss or make myself look good)

c. Be Responsible for yourself
Identify our Toxic Beliefs, & work on correcting them, so we can be in charge of ourselves & our actions in the world. We don’t have the right to expect anyone else to do that for us – our whole life can pass by while waiting for that.

Even if we find someone who would, it always comes with a high price – being controlled, kept immature, prevented from healing & expressing our potential.
EXP – 1/2 &1/2 : “I wanted that bigger car because it makes me feel important” (not just because my wife liked it)

d. Listen To Your Gut
Trust the True-Self Inner Voice. There’s a difference between being jerked around by our PP or WIC’s emotions & obsessions, steeped in anxiety from obeying and also trying to resist the Toxic Rules -vs- information provided by our Core self

It’s that still small feeling in the center of our body that won’t go away – telling us when somethings right or wrong for us. Trust “I know what I know”. Once we get quiet inside (low anxiety) we can hear it. We’ll be surprised how accurate it can turn out to be
EXP – Healthy : “I stopped being friends with that woman because I kept getting that ‘ICK’ feeling in my gut whenever we talked” (even though we had a lot in common)


Relationship FORM B. (Part 1)

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Can we understand each other better?

PREVIOUS: Relationship Form A. (#2)

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.




‘KtFoY’ = “Keep the focus on yourself!” (Read posts)
• We hear from many sources that to be mentally & emotionally mature, we need to take responsibility* for our own TEAs (thoughts, emotions, actions). Yet ACoAs were taught by our family & religion NOT to think about our own needs, tastes, ideas, values… only other people’s – which means we’re not allowed to KtFoY.
It’s considered:
selfish, because it takes attention away from them
arrogant, because we feel so worthless that we have no rights
disobedient, because we’re not allowed to think for ourselves – only what they said
was acceptable – no matter hoe contradictory or crazy

Can you hear the PP’s poisonous voice whispering: “Who do you think you are?”
And no matter how intelligent or accomplished, without training, many ACoAs actually don’t know what KtFoY means or how to do it.

REMINDER: *Taking Responsibility is different from Self-Hate, which tells us everything bad / painful that happens to us and others – is our fault.
Responsibility is not about fault, but rather ownership. It acknowledges what we have or have not thought, felt or done (T.E.A.) – period. S-H adds to that :”Yes I’ve done/ not done —- and therefore I am bad!” This is not KtFoY.

•  Taking responsibility without S-H allows us to determine who did what – if anything – & if there is anything we can learn or correct for next time – without shame or recrimination.

NEGATIVE USE:Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 6.16.44 AM
• Some ACoAs will use KtFoY to justify being selfish, thoughtless & inconsiderate – coming from their narcissism. Like, promising to do something important for another person, & then flaking. When confronted, they may say “Oh, I just needed to take care of myself” – without considering the consequences to anyone else.

• Other ACoAs think they’re being righteous when they use their version of KtFoY – but only to point a finger. Like: “I feel that you…. should be more… are being stupid for staying with… don’t know what you’re talking about… ought to do…”

•  Identify the thoughts & emotions YOU are having about a situation, leaving out as much reference to others as possible. That may take some soul-searching, but a good way to find our what’s going on inside is to ask what the the Inner Child or the PP is going on a about. Either one is having some old emotional reaction – the direct result of our thoughts – wrapped in a cognitive distortion & Toxic Rule “If it’s hysterical it’s historical”.

•  Then, if appropriate, state what you’re thinking & feeling. Of course you’re reaction is in response to something or someone else, but it’s YOUR response, regardless of that they do or say. focus on self
Such as:

— Re. Es: ‘When you talk like that it hurts my heart!’ or  ‘It’s very painful for me to watch you harm yourself’  or ‘I get so angry when you disappoint me, over & over!’
— Re. Ts:  “I simply don’t agree with your assessment of the situation” or “I don’t understand why you keep …” or “I know I didn’t do that, even if you don’t believe me”….

➼ Notice that these are all “I”  statements. It’s the best way to communicate, because it eliminates blaming or trying to control.
It also stops most people in their track – it doesn’t give them much  they can use to escalate. They can of course divert your attention by changing he subject, or just make fun of what you said.
Hopefully it greatly cuts down on defensive, angry & resentful responses

REMINDER: Don’t wait endlessly before saying something appropriate about an annoyance or a serious problem. Otherwise you’ll just be in a rage & any communication will be short-circuited.

SO, back to these forms – regarding something another person has done over & over that bothers you a lot. Notice:
— Form A. was about a future event that worries / angers you
— Form B. is about recent but ongoing past actions, you wish would stop. Examples in Part 2 &3.

NEXT: FORM B. (Part 2)