OUTGROWING Co-Dep Niceness (Part 5b)

to heal old wounds

PREVIOUS: Forgiving others #5a

SITEs: 15 things Forgiveness
DOESN’T mean….

• DECONTAMINATING ‘forgiveness

How to Forgive with NLP





RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome” (TSN) cont.

DEF. in Part 5a)

1. for repairing relationships – to re-instate broken or lost trust, OR

2. letting go of the relationships because it cannot be repaired

NOTE: Forgiving in no way implies trusting another person, nor does it guarantee the continuation of the old relationship.

To repair a broken connection, both parties must participate.
• In some cases only one person has caused the problem – which they must own up to, & the aggrieved person will have to be willing to forgive. But forgiving a wound (to stop obsessing on the resentment) does not guarantee a reinstatement of trust. That has to be earned by the wounder, which is slow, & sometimes impossible.

Some relationships CAN NOT be fixed & some shouldn’t be. This is especially true when someone has persistently acted badly & continued to do so. Do not ignore this!
There are situations where it’s not worth the effort to reconnect. No matter how hard we try, it’s not going to work, because the other person is not willing to /capable of meeting us half way, not willing to consider what motivates their disruptive behavior. Without that, they will not change.

TOXIC people must be avoided whenever possible. If we’ve been exposed to one or more for any length of time, we need to get away from them as soon as possible, & then heal the aftereffects – using all our tools – so they don’t keep hurting us (inside) even once they’re gone.

• In other cases two people have butted heads, each hurting the other – reacting from unhealed damage. If the relationship is worth salvaging – to both – then each will need to go to their separate corners to figure out what in their own background set them off. Then eventually come together to share their awarenesses, using only ‘-I-‘ statements.

This too is usually slow. Sometimes each taking responsibility for their part will allow the relationship to continue – stronger – BUT it maybe not. While it means both know their side of the street is clean, which eliminates residual guilt & regret, the may rightly conclude they’re really not compatible, going forward. Then the parting can be sad, but prevents further hurt.

Letting go of anger (Es) & resentments (Ts) is internal, which must then be expressed externally by changing old patterns into healthy ACTIONS (As).

++ CHOICES – We’re responsible now for choosing to surround ourselves with people who are self-caring, positive & kind. Then there would be a lot less to forgive!  Recovery means being much more discerning about who we trust. Since people tell us about themselves all the time – believe them!

So it’s not actually them we should trust, but ourselves. We can work our way out of denial by carefully listening to & observing what others put out & then admit what we see & hear – especially when there’s a persistent pattern to someone’s erratic / cruel / narcissistic / unavailable behavior

++ SPEAKING UP – As we outgrow P-P we can be much less ready to automatically forgive & forget’ indiscriminately. It’s not in anyone’s best interest. Repeatedly overlooking bad behavior in others not only harms us, but can also seriously effect loved ones, friends & co-workers who are around the acting out, to everyone’s detriment.
Emotional maturity includes holding people accountable for their inconsistencies & incompetence, for not keeping their agreements, for the damage they create, for abusive or disrespectful things they say…..

++ SELF-PROTECTION – At the same time we can avoid blaming others. In the present, if someone hurts our feelings or injures us in some other way, we must ask them to stop. AND their reactions are their alone!
If they won’t stop, we can remove ourselves or at least keep a distance. We are not responsible for what the other person did or did not do – only for our Es & the way we handle it (As).
EXP: If someone steps on your toes, that’s on them. Definitely say OUCH! & move your foot.  If they keep stepping on it, that’s on you, for staying close enough for them to do it again & again.

NEXT: Accepting ourselves – in Childhood #6a

POSITIVE Responses to Painful Events (Part 4)

Sfloral 4 LET’S SEE –

what’s the best way to handle this?

PREVIOUS: Positive Reactions – Thinking (#3)

REVIEW Parts 1-3 — Events, Emotions, Realistic Thinking

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


First: Let’s THINK, take a minute to breath, grab hold of our kid – if he or she is getting overwhelmed.  Being healthy does not mean we won’t periodically react in old ways, which will depend on how deep certain wounds are – like the depth of our childhood abandonment pain.
It does mean we can develop better alternative responses to difficult situations that get stronger than the pull of our damage

Second: Check in to see what emotions are being stirred.  Our actions will be based on how well we understand ourself in that moment
Third: Check mental files for a ‘pre-recorded’ words or phrase we’ve practiced for stress occasions. We can draw from the list of “Effective Responses – they really work
• Talking or being silent are both a kind of action – active or passive.  What matters is which Ego State they’re coming from

EXP: Gina was sitting in a 12-Step meeting, listening to the thin, angry blond woman in all black leather go on & on for 5 minutes about how she HATED EVERYBODY! Gina’s immediate thought (from her WIC) was to go over & sooth the woman, be a friend, commiserate….
but this time Gina’s inner Good Parent took over & said to the kid: “NO WAY! Didn’t you just hear her?? She said everybody – that includes you. You’re not exempt just because you care, & you’re not going to change her to make yourself feel safe from her anger!”

a. Say Nothing – there are times when the only thing that makes any sense is to be quiet. We can give someone a quizzical or angry look, or just a smile. A genuine laugh may be called for when something ridiculous or outrageous has been said, & no other response is possible! BUT NOT from anger or derision. Rather – with humor, perhaps a sense of irony, even identification. Who hasn’t said something stupid or insensitive?

Some reasons to not do or say anything:
• it’s not a safe time or place
• it’s not worth the effort
• others are around & you’d do yourself some harm
• you know the person or situation can’t be corrected or improved OR
• it’s someone you know, & they’re having a bad-hair-day
you need time to process what just happened

➼ LETTING GO of being heard, of being right, of getting what you want, of fairness… is sometimes the ONLY possibility, & takes a level of emotional maturity to handle

EXP: Sandra’s sponsee asked if she’s be at Friday nite’s meeting & she said yes.  That day she developed a cold & decided to stay in bed.  Sat. morning the sponsee called very angry: ”Why didn’t you show up last nite? You said you’d be there & I brought you flowers for your B/day! You’re so unreliable, I can’t believe you stood me up….”

Sandra told her she was sick, but the woman didn’t care. A week later, when they saw each other, the sponsee started up again, berating her.  Sandra just stood there & listened. She decided that, knowing this person, nothing she could say would make a difference.  So after a few minutes she said: “OK, bye” & left.  That was the end of their association.

✶ Sandra was aware that by not making the effort to convince her sponsee of her innocence, the other woman believed Sandra was agreeing with her & admitting being at fault!
It was something Sandra had to ‘swallow’ & help her WIC live with. But she’d learned from painful experience that trying to justify herself to someone with a closed mind only made a fool of herself!
It’s especially painful for us to be accused wrongly – at any time – but in this case she’d never be believed anyway, so why try doing the impossible? (“Serenity Prayer – backwards“)

NEXT: Positive Responses – Part 5 (more actions)