The other extreme is to become overly detached in relationships. This also originates as a self-protective measure, usually against an intrusive, controlling other. It often begins in childhood and develops as the person matures and enters adult relationships. Some detachment and ability to set boundaries is healthy. It is important to let the other person in your life accept responsibility for feelings and choices. It is appropriate to protect yourself from someone who might abuse you. It becomes problematic when it results in a pattern of disengaging in every relationship. When you perpetually disengage, there is no real connection – therefore, no real relationship, emphasis here on relating. Just two people co-existing in a very superficial way. An overly detached person finds it difficult to ask for help. It implies weakness. Attempts to allow closeness and intimacy provoke a lot of anxiety. Someone who can’t connect has difficulty feeling or expressing emotions. As a result, the emotions get bottled up and come out in inappropriate ways over (often) unrelated matters. Distance is maintained by keeping conversation superficial, finding reasons to frequently go or stay out alone (work, manufactured obligations to friends or family, etc.), or inability to commit to a long-term relationship. These behaviors come from a deep fear of being trapped or suffocated. There is fear of loss of the self, loss of choice, loss of independence. Ironically, an overly detached person often chooses a controlling, needy, clingy person to become involved with. The two then push each others’ buttons and bounce off each other like crazy till they light up like a pinball machine, and the relationship self-destructs. From an on-line article by Katherine Rabinowitz, LP, M.A., NCPsyA http://www.therapycanwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=99
Real hope combined
with real action has always
pulled me through difficult times.
Real hope combined with doing nothing
has never pulled me through.
Making small sacrifices for your partner when you don’t feel like it could be damaging your relationship, according to social scientists from the University of Arizona. Men and women offering to take on a chore normally done by the other may make them seem like the perfect partner. Yet when these sacrifices are done by a partner who is feeling stressed, it can make the stress worse, the study found. Doing chores to help out a partner may seem like the right thing to do, but if you’re in a bad mood, these sacrifices can do your relationship more harm than good, claim researchers from the University of Arizona. This in turn can lead to an increase in arguments and partners feeling taken for granted. Research scientist Casey Totenhagen and her team at the university carried out daily surveys among 154 married and unmarried couples. The length of relationship ranged from from six months to 44 years. The couples recorded all their activities from time spent with friends, to child care and chores. They were then asked to record which activities they considered to be ‘sacrifices’. Sacrifices included those they had done that were usually done by their partner. Alongside this, everyone filled in details of how well their day had been, the hassles they had experienced and how it had affected their mood. And finally, a section was reserved for them to rank their feelings towards their partners on a daily basis, including how close, committed and satisfied they felt about the relationship. The kind of sacrifices made were small and not significant in terms of how it could change a relationship but generally carried out to show ‘niceness’, said the researchers. Carrying out such good deeds while in a good mood made the person doing it feel more committed to their relationship. However, it appears to have little effect on the other partner who, in general, felt no different about the relationship after the nice act than they did before. The key to a long and happy relationship is sharing chores, instead of making sacrifices and doing your partner’s chores for them, claims research from the University of Arizona. From A Daily Mail article by Victoria Woollaston http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2317712/Being-MORE-selfish-key-successful-relationship-claims-research.html#ixzz2ezLEFZDV
Almost every sinful action ever committed
can be traced back to a selfish motive.
It is a trait we hate in other people
but justify in ourselves.
A codependent relationship is one in which someone else’s needs are met before your own. Everything becomes about looking after the other person, at your expense. The term arose from situations of living with an addict, typically a substance abuser, but over time it has come to encompass a much broader population. It means chronically seeing in someone else the need to be “helped.” And helping develops into control – control of someone’s choices, behavior, even feelings. It tends to be learned behavior, starting either as a coping mechanism to survive painful experiences in a severely dysfunctional family, or in imitation of other family members in your generation or the one above you, who are caught in the same trap. It is a coping mechanism gone to an illogical extreme and has become maladaptive. It’s carried through to your own relationships, making them difficult and unsatisfying. The “co” in codependent implies that each person is dependent on the other. The one being taken care of obviously depends on the caretaker for exactly that. But the one doing the caretaking is also dependent. Implied here is not basic needs like those of a child or a sick person, but just about anything you can imagine from being the exclusive scheduler of your mutual social events and vacation plans to choosing the other’s clothing to deciding what “we” ought to do about… This person doesn’t do well alone. Self-esteem is evaluated by how well you’re pleasing the other. Often neither person sees a problem, at least not initially. It feels very “giving.” You’re working so hard to please the other that whoever you are gets lost. The one being catered to is so well taken care of that the self of that person gets lost as well. In accommodating someone else (or being accommodated to) you ignore your own wants and needs. Eventually, resentment develops on both sides, and problems arise. From an on-line article by Katherine Rabinowitz, LP, M.A., NCPsyA http://www.therapycanwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=99
...worrying about people
and problems doesn’t help.
It doesn’t solve problems,
it doesn’t help other people,
and it doesn’t help us.
It is wasted energy.
Self-critical over-achievers are not the only ones that lack self-compassion. Some of the kindest people do as well. (Associate professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas, Kristin Neff’s) work confirms this observation: There is no correlation between the trait of self-compassion and feelings of compassion towards others. Many people, women in particular, are far more compassionate and kinder towards others than to themselves. Fortunately, self-compassion can be learned. It is a practice that can help us all become less self-critical and, by preventing the stress and turmoil thereof, allow us to be happier, more successful, and of greater service to others. Self-compassion does not mean we stop working hard and aiming for success. Instead, it is a change in attitude and is linked with greater well-being as well as superior performance outcomes. Nor does self-compassion imply self-indulgence. For example, a parent who cares about her child will insist on the child eating vegetables and doing her homework, no matter how unpleasant these experiences are for the child. Similarly, taking it easy on yourself may be appropriate in some situations, but in times of over-indulgence and laziness, self-compassion involves toughening up and taking responsibility. When you are motivated by self-compassion, you understand failure not as a painful indicator of defeat but as a learning opportunity from which growth can follow. Whereas self-criticism leads to painful and self-defeating emotions in the face of failure, Self-Compassion therefore embraces challenge. People with higher self-compassion are therefore more likely to improve their performance after failure! Moreover, by preventing the defeating effects of self-criticism, self-compassion allows us to maintain peace of mind and thereby retain our energy. By remaining calm and understanding in the face of rejection, failure or criticism, we develop level-headedness, strength and emotional stability which allow us to have higher well-being and to be more productive and successful. From “Overcoming Shame: The Powerful Benefits of a Little Self-Love” by Emma Seppala, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/feeling-it/201211/overcoming-shame-the-powerfulbenefits-little-self-love
Most men lead lives
of quiet desperation
and go to the grave
with the song still in them.
Henry David Thoreau
As more adults are being diagnosed with ADHD, mental health professionals are learning that the major problems faced by these adults occur in their interpersonal relationships. The primary reason that adults with ADHD have poor interpersonal relationships is that they have underdeveloped social skills, the major one being empathy. The way the spouse of the ADHD partner often copes with this lack of empathy is to become codependent. Codependence is defined as a state of mind where you put your needs and dreams aside in order to help the other person have a life. Kindness is doing these kinds of things sometimes and having a balance of give and take in a relationship. In a codependent relationship, no matter how much you give, the other person does not return the favor. Yet you keep on giving, getting more fatigued, frustrated and resentful. Codependence leads to micromanaging the ADHD members of the family. Because the ADHD members are doing everything they can to quell the busy brain in their heads and to manage the main duties of life, everything else gets dropped. The codependent person picks up what is dropped along with managing his or her own life. The codependent eventually burns out. To get beyond codependency, you need to explore self-care. The codependent person needs to recognize that he/she counts just as much as the people they are protecting. By breaking the cycle of codependence, you are giving back, to your spouse and to your children responsibility for their behavior. The first step toward your recovery and theirs, is accepting responsibility for your behavior and your life and letting them accept responsibility for theirs. After all, how can they develop responsibility if you do it all for them? From an article by Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S. http://www.addresources.org/?q=node/267
Codependents are reactionaries.
But rarely do they act.
They react to the problems,
pains, lives, and behaviors
of others. They react to their
own problems, pains, and behaviors.
Do you want to rescue others? Does it hurt you to see others in pain and helping others relieves the sympathy pain you feel? Do you help to feel needed or fulfill something within yourself? Do you want others to view you as helpful? Is it more important to have a helpful image than to truly benefit another? What am I getting out of this unhealthy dynamic of rescuing, enabling, or encouraging something not helpful for me or the other person? The reasons why we help others can be endless. After reading this, you may get the impression that it’s not good to help others. That is simply not true. It is good to help others, it is not good to rescue others or create a dependence with another person. So how can we help others in a healthy way? The key to helping in a healthy way is setting boundaries or setting limits. Understand what you are able to do for someone, what they can do or start to do for themselves and set up the “rules of helping” early and continue to reinforce it. It is not about pleasing or attempting to not disappoint someone else. It is about protecting yourself and empowering the other person. When helping, your main goal should be to help someone help themselves and become a stronger, more independent person in the future. The support/assistance you provide needs to become the inspiration that compels the person to adopt their own plan to manage their lives and create their success. The hardest part is once you realize your assistance is doing more harm than good, you will need to stop. There will be times when not doing is the most helpful thing you can you do. http://sueb.hubpages.com/hub/Helping-Too-Much
God loves us the way we are,
but too much to leave us that way.
It’s perfectly normal to be self-conscious at times and to a point it’s part of a balanced and healthy view of one’s self. However, for many who bear weak esteem issues, self-consciousness sometimes becomes an almost paralyzing preoccupation. On those occasions an avalanche of thoughts can bury a person: “Am I dressed right? My hair looks bad doesn’t it? Are my clothes OK? Will they be able to tell how uncomfortable I am? I have no idea what to say. What if I made a fool of myself? Maybe I’ll just stay home and not go out.” Casually thinking one or two of those thoughts from time to time is normal. Thinking them all (and more) at the same time is not. A saying that helps me when I get all stirred up with that type of stinkin’ thinkin’ is “what you think of me is none of my business”. It’s not an instant cure but used regularly it can help push away overly self-conscious thoughts.
Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
No doubt crept in,
Forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day,
you shall begin it well and serenely…
Ralph Waldo Emerson
One strong symptom of codependence is when a man feels his life would be great if others would only do what he wants them to do. Trying to control others is CODEPENDENCY in capital letters. There is only possible way to influence change in others: change yourself. Then by your example others may be inspired to better themselves as they have witnessed you do, but it must be without any coercion. Ultimately every adult’s life is theirs to live as they choose, and should be respected no matter how misdirected their choices may appear.
You will become as small as your controlling desire;
as great as your dominant aspiration.
Beating yourself up over things you’ve done that hurt another can go on for years, decades or even a lifetime. But feeling bad changes nothing. Your guilt will not help the other person and makes you feel bad for no good purpose. If you have corrected your behavior and apologized (assuming you can without causing more harm doing it), you have done all you are responsible for. Forgive yourself and move on. Remember; forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.
Forgiveness is choosing to love.
It is the first skill of self-giving love.