We all have had unpleasant encounters with horrible and rude people and while some of us have found a way of dealing with them, the majority of us prefer to avoid confrontations with mean and insulting people. A few of us are so scared of conflict that we will rather allow the other person to talk to us in a disrespectful manner or even verbally abuse us than call them out on their behaviour. Some of us might go to great lengths to avoid argumentative situations and we might leave our jobs every time we face a rude co – worker or move houses to elude a face-off with a terrible neighbour. However, avoidance is not a solution and sometimes we might find ourselves in a situation where dealing with obnoxious people is unavoidable.
The idea of putting ourselves first is still considered to be selfish in our culture. Some of the major reasons for this attitude towards the concept of prioritizing ourselves is that some of us might not value ourselves enough to put our needs first and we might believe that the only way to get approval from other people is to do what they say. Moreover, many of us have been raised to put others first and we may have been told that prioritizing the needs of others will make us better people.
We all hold certain expectations in our lives about who we want to become, what we want to achieve and what we want our future to look like. However, we not only set expectations for ourselves, but also for our family, partners, friends and strangers.
Over the years, I’ve worked with clients who have been abused by their parents, either physically, emotionally or sexually. This ill-treatment has affected both their physical and emotional health, as well as relationships with people round them. They might have grown up since the abuse happened, however, mentally and emotionally they are still very damaged.
Emotional neglect can be defined as a parent’s failure to notice and respond appropriately to a child’s emotions. It can be challenging to identify due to it being invisible. Unlike physical abuse, emotional neglect doesn’t leave bruises or any other visible signs that would tell the children experiencing it that something is wrong. More importantly, people usually don’t realize that they were emotionally neglected by their parents until many years later, when they become adults and the symptoms of emotional neglect start to appear.
We all have different ways of dealing with our unpleasant emotions, however, one of the most recurrent ways of dealing with them that we all use are defence mechanisms. They are so common that they have become a huge part of our everyday life, without many of us realising how many different forms of self-deceptions we engage in at least some of the time.
Chronic blaming is a form of emotional abuse. Being in a relationship with someone who constantly blames us for their behaviour, their actions, their moods and their failure means being in a relationship that is full of verbal abuse and emotional manipulation. Moreover, this relationship is defined by conflict, constant fighting and lack of forgiveness.
As I mentioned in my last week’s blog, happiness is a choice; choice that only we can make. We therefore shouldn’t expect others to make us happy as it’s not their job to do so. Moreover, do we really want to give another human being total control over our emotional state?
Every human is different and we all have different goals that we’re striving to achieve. However, one goal that we all have in common is that we all want to be happy. Our desire for happiness is the driving force behind our effort to achieve something in our lives.
Have you ever paid attention to your ‘self-talk’? What words do you use when you have that internal conversation with yourself? Are the words that you use to describe yourself largely negative or positive? Do you focus mainly on your failures or do you celebrate your achievements?