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self-esteem

Are You Lost And Alone And Easily Rejected?

Recently I took one of those FaceBooks quizzes that was supposed to diagnosis blocks in your life (Mind Movies).  Mine were surprising; but not surprising:  rejection and fear of being left alone.

My biggest fear is the loss of all support in my life.  That when it comes to some issue on which I and my family or friends disagree that I will be “thrown out in the street” so to speak.  If there is a choice between believing and supporting me and themselves or someone else, I will lose. I also strongly fear being rejected and deserted with no support (physical or emotional).

The origins of these fears are being raised with love withdrawal as a primary form of discipline by a mother who wanted to maintain strong control of the family members and it seemed, “It was Her Way or the Highway.”  My mother wasn’t the only one doing this.  My father found my behavior to be very exasperating and once in the middle of an argument, said that he was going to move out.  In those days, dads were the bread earners and child support and welfare didn’t exist or at least I had never heard of it.

On top of this, in this very controlling family, the things that I could do (and there were several) were (it seemed to me) not often praised and sometimes, I felt not even noticed.  In grade school, one of my parents’ desires when grade cards came out was that I didn’t have a messy desk.  Children are very susceptible to believing what they hear and experience while they are young especially when the parents’ motto seemed to be, My word is Law and no other perspective on life is available.

Soon I learned to hide and not share things with my parents.  The worst were any notes from my teacher asking them to come to school to talk about my behavior which the teachers had frequent trouble dealing with (except for my second-grade teacher who was the only woman teacher I had in grade school).

Can I help it that sometimes I am very secretive, that I don’t feel appreciated for things that I really like to do, and in the family competition, I don’t usually win and family members feel that I shouldn’t ask for help even when I think I need it?  And if there is a choice to be made over who stays or goes, I am the one who will get thrown out.

Top that off with at times, I can feel that I have a hard time making and keeping friends.  I feel rejected, left out, and unappreciated.  Sometimes when a sense of some competition with me is felt by others, it seems to turn into jealousy and meanness from and by them.  Yes, I am intelligent and educated as I can accomplish things on my own and stick with something even if it is difficult.

I feel like I have a hard time increasing my likeability and acceptance by others.  I can feel alone in a crowd (not that I like it that way).  My exploration of spirituality has given me some experiences where I did not feel left out.  P.S.:  my mom was shy and always took me long to women’s things like baby and wedding showers to keep her company even when I was very young.

I also feel that if my family read this that they would have it all upside down and backwards and only use it to hurt me.  I love my family and consider it the greatest gift in my life although I initially did not think I would have one.  The contributions they want from me is for me to do things they expect a reliable housewife and mother and breadwinner to be.  Hopefully, this is not followed by love withdrawal if I do not meet their standards.

Finally, my family would probably dismiss my thoughts as all something that got cooked up in the many different therapies I have had.  The real me is reflected in my writings (of which I doubt that they have read many) and if they read any, they would be more likely to give me editorial comments rather than any comments reflecting understanding and acceptance of any of my ideas or experiences portrayed.  When I feel I am in an atmosphere that is open to new ideas and experiences, I can be very free to be me.  How about you?

Shame The Great Manipulator, The Great Trap Of Unworthness

I was raised on shame.   It was my claim to fame.  I was not recognised for what I did well, but for those things I did not do so well.  I was also convinced over time that I could not do them well and when that happened that people would give up on me.  I thought there were only so many things in life that other people would approve of and that I was not capable of doing them well enough to make other people proud of me.  I was recognised for what or where I could not meet up to other people’s standards and I felt like I was a great disappointment to my family so much so my relatives did not want other people to know that I was related to them.

I was so easily made to feel shameful that I was bullied, I was suicidal, and I was made to feel that I could never meet up to other people’s standards (of which there was only one set) and I would ultimately be rejected and thrown out on the street if that was possible.  There was only one person to blame and that was me and I didn’t know any different.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Worse yet I realized that in sexually inappropriate situations the victim (that was me) was always the one who should feel ashamed and had something to hide instead of the reverse.  Getting caught in a sexually compromising situation was something I should cover up, sneak out of, and pretend didn’t happen even though I now know it qualified as sexual abuse.   It was something to be covered up and forgotten if possible.

Brene Brown with her doctorate in Social Work found that we have three shields that we can use as shields against shame.  We can forget or not talk about what we see as a shameful situation.  Men will tell you that they are not comfortable talking about certain things that happened to them as they were growing up or even later in life such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and even had pushed these things so far out of mind that they did not remember them.

Another shield against shame mentioned by Dr. Brown was appeasement.  If someone is dissatisfied with you or something you have done, you try to make it up to them or make them so happy or satisfied in another way that they will forget that you did not or might not make them happy.  Another word for this might be “brown nosing”.

Another possibility would be going towards or against the person or situation that makes you feel shameful and take it out aggressively toward them or it.  This is the third shame shield mentioned by Dr. Brown.  Could the liberal Democrats’ behaviour after the election of President Donald Trump be an example of this?  Are they ashamed that their candidate did not win over such an unlikely candidate?

Sometimes our entire life can be motivated by shame and others can get what they want us to do by shaming us and can feel better about themselves by winning over us in this way.  I have often felt that being a woman, especially a woman professional, made me a target for this sort of thing.  If a woman can do it (what I did) it must be something easy to obtain and therefore not worth much.  The step between someone with a Masters degree and a Ph.D. must be pretty easy if she can do it.  I did not attend the graduation ceremonies when I received my doctorate (because it was not such a big deal)?

FINALLY I AM FREE TO BE ME!

My happy face anyway!.

Finally I am free to be me.  Are you free to be you?

I just discovered in my old age (where I have found that insights blossom) I am no longer bound by what others think.  I don’t have to judge myself by people who are successful in my field or in any other field.  I am free to be me finally.  Instead of withering on the vine, I am growing again in new and different directions.  I grant that I have had difficulty with the judgments of me made by others.  I may not be the world’s expert on a subject, but more than likely they aren’t either.

Be on your guard as you may be greeted by the anger of others if you do assert yourself.  Attacking what is the most defended by others may reach the highest rewards.  Who am I?  Am I what I want to be and can be if I only let go of others’ past influences?  Make way for ME!  I am discovering things that were lost or discarded as not achievable.  Now can I trust my own judgment?

Would you, if you were a man, wear a suit that was tailored to fit some other man.  I had a husband who was very particular about collar sizes and sleeve lengths in his shirts.  I have discovered I only like music that is sung a certain way and any other versions can offend me.   (Am I right or wrong? )  Or have I discovered music for myself?

Failures do not always define you.  Whose judgment are you relying on?  Come home to the person you should know ( yourself) and glorify that.  This is not permission to clobber other people so you can have your own way, but you might make some people unhappy because they can no longer control you.  We all do not have the same tastes!

You probably can no longer be the peacemaker just giving in because someone with a louder voice is used to making a group’s decisions.  For example, such a person then picks the restaurant for a group to eat at which then decides what you can have to eat.  Avoiding conflict does keep the level of the drama down but at what price to you?

I am becoming well-defined as I age and have lumps and bumps that may not please others or that may interfere with what they (not I) want.  Who am I actually?  Do I have undiscovered talents and interests that I can use to shape “my world”?

Bullying The New Sport

(Rough Draft) As a victim of bullying, I have felt like the bull in the ring at a bullfight. Poked and prodded until he is exhausted, extremely angry, and unable to do anything about it but die.  There have been attempts to outlaw bullfights for humanitarian reasons, but they never get it done.

This seems to be the same way with bullying as the victim continues to suffer and is expected to fight back in his or her own defense against a more powerful foe or gang of bullies.  This seems to be shameful.  Where does it seem fair to gang up on someone like that who has no defenders and is seen as weak by his or her foes?

rp_300px-Anger_Controlls_Him.jpgBullying hurts.  It is not funny.  Doing this to a person who is already down.  If a group demands that you join them in bullying.  Remember it is a hate crime.  It can result in vicious mob behavior.  Sometimes persons who should be supervising this group, egg it on and join the “fun” instead.

Sometimes people create a separation between what they call just teasing and bullying.  They say it is all in fun and that the victim is thin skinned and needs to toughen up and to learn to take it without being a wimp.  These people do not see or care that the person’s self-image is being reinforced as negative when teased or name-calling.  Is it just in fun when the victim is being degraded and starts to carry around a nickname that is not flattering and really not funny to the victim?

rp_Send_It_On.pngHas overreaction to bullying and teasing that is not funny led to creating safe places and even offering play therapy where persons can go and take part if the behavior of others upsets them even though it is the right of others to have differing opinions and to share them in public.  Now have we created wimps like these?

Taking responsibility in dangerous or difficult situations can create a type of toughness and self-pride that does the person well in future situations where they must take charge of things or do something difficult.rp_1753458_5bbf0fa664_m.jpg

Related articles across the web

I Am Free Of Judging Myself By Others

rp_374315433_150_150.jpgI just discovered in my old age (where I have found that insights blossom) I am no longer bound by what others think.  I don’t have to judge myself by people who are successful in my field or in any other field.  I am free to be me finally.  Instead of withering on the vine, I am growing again in new and different directions.  I grant that I have had difficulty with the judgments  of me made by others.  I may not be the world’s expert on a subject, but more than likely they aren’t either.

Be on your guard as you may be greeted by the anger of others if you do assert yourself.  Attacking what is the most defended by others may reach the highest rewards.  Who am I?  Am I what I want to be and can be if I only let go of others’ past influences?  Make way for ME!  I am discovering things that were lost or discarded as not achievable.  Now can I trust my own judgment?

rp_362536218_150_150.jpgWould you, if you were a man, wear a suit that was tailored to fit some other man.  I had a husband who was very particular about collar sizes and sleeve lengths in his shirts.  I have discovered I only like music that is sung a certain way and any other versions almost offend me.  Am I right or wrong?  Or have I discovered music for myself?

Failures do not always define you.  Whose judgment are you relying on?  Come home to the person you should know ( yourself) and glorify that.  This is not permission to clobber other people so you can have your own way, but you might make some people unhappy because they can no longer control you.  We all do not have the same tastes!

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgYou probably can no longer be the peacemaker just giving in because someone with a louder voice is used to making a group’s decisions.  For example, such a person then picks the restaurant for a group to eat at which then decides what you can have to eat.  Avoiding conflict does keep the level of the drama down but at what price to you?

I am becoming well-defined as I age and have lumps and bumps that may not please others or that may interfere with what they (not I) want.  Who am I actually?  Do I have undiscovered talents and interests that I can use to shape “my world”?

When Is A Compliment Is Not A Compliment? When Is Criticism Not Productive?

rp_7276688008_157c6001e4_m.jpgCriticism disguised as a compliment can be deadly as well as just plain mean and “snarky”.   Many a fainting flower has sub combed to the projected hatred of others even when he or she doesn’t deserve it.  One way is when a “put down” is disguised as a compliment.  Such an act can permanently damage one’s life.  How many people have stopped going to church when this is done by a “well-meaning?” individual?  “My, that is such a nice outfit.  Do you dress like this every day?”

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

Churches are supposed to be places where well-meaning individuals want to bring more individuals to Christ.  Or are they?  Some people in churches like to think that they are God’s chosen “elite” where only those properly initiated into the ways of the church are allowed to belong.  Membership seems to be by invitation only for those who will appreciate the selectiveness of their invitations and will protect and obey their canons.  If looks could kill, some people could die when they enter churches like this.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgSome church people feel that their criticism of others is well- meaning and will make others better Christians and they are only being helpful; but often there is an underlying current of hatefulness,  righteous anger, and  severe judgmentalism.  When this is coupled with a victim’s underlying current of self-condemnation and guilt, it can be extremely damaging and make him or her feel unworthy of being a Christian and keep the person from ever going to that church or sometimes any church again.

 

Keep Your Comments To Yourself Or When Criticism Is Not Productive?

rp_366761818_150_150.jpg

Well, Shame On You! (Not All Nuns Act This Way)

Either I already know them or I don’t want to hear them.

Oh, you were just being nice or you wanted to set me straight?

You wanted to be sure I knew something so I wouldn’t embarrass myself or you!

You wanted to show off your superior knowledge and I was a willing victim.

Stop and think before you say something like that because you might reveal more about yourself  than you may reveal about me.

Truly meaningful and loving comments build me and you up at the same time.

Next post will be, “When A Compliment Is Not A compliment.”

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Judge Not That Ye May Not Be Judged, Condemn Not That Ye Not Be Condemned (From The Bible)

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgThe Bible warns against condemning others, but it also tells you not to condemn yourself.  We create so many problems when we start having so many expectations for ourselves, things that we have to live up too.  Do we bully ourselves?  Do we criticize ourselves before somebody else, including God, does it to us?  Then when we err we don’t give ourselves any slack. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.  We judge ourselves before somebody else can judge us.  Of what use is self-condemnation and judgments from others?

rp_300px-Emotions.GIFSometimes our conscience is too well-developed.  We do this to avoid judgments from others.  Maybe we stop and look in the mirror before we go out so that no one can surprise us with an unfavorable remark.  Compliments are often few and far between even those they may be deserved.  Sometimes when someone says nothing it is as close to a compliment as we can get.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesWe need warm fuzzies, not cold pricklies.  I guess the latter at least reassure us we have been noticed.  Have you ever felt that you might be invisible when everybody in the room at a party are busy talking to each other and they don’t seem to notice that you are there?

Stop! Think…Could A LadyBug Be Self-Actualizing?

rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg(Work in progress.  More to come.  Including the essay that was the idea for this post.)

The epitome of personal achievement in Humanistic Psychology is the self-actualizing person who only reaches that point after overcoming the hurdles of satisfying basic needs: physical, security, social, and self-esteem ones.

It is not the person you might expect him, or is it her, to be?  ( Don’t we generally think of ladybugs as female?)  Fame and wealth aren’t necessarily the highest goals and meeting the needs for these self-aggrandizing or often other-exploiting objectives often can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth and a sense of “Is that all there is?”

Then what is a self-actualized person?

Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualized people:

1) Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

2) Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

3) Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

4) Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

Now what has a ladybug got to do with this?  This description of a ladybug that was brought to my attention by one of my honorary “sisters” (as I only have brothers) fits most of the description of a self-actualized person quite well.   To be continued…

Part of the Lady Bug series

Part of the Lady Bug series

A ladybug in the essay is a very realistic person who knows where she stands, what she can contribute, and what those around her need.

A ladybug has a sense of what is right and wrong and endeavors to follow this self-created code no matter what others think or try to tell her.

After achieving the ability to do what others consider to be correct and being able to conform to the desires of the world, the ladybug develops a sense of individuality and what makes her “tick” and begins frequently marches to the sound of her own drummer inside.

Yes, a lady bug has her own drummer and a need to follow her own beat.  The determining of which is her own private goal and often involves some inward searching which does not always require the presence of others.

Earlier a lady bug was described in “The Self-actualized Lady Bug”as a necessary part of the garden  of creation and often overlooked in the scheme of things but as very necessary for the maintenance and growth and health of the plants there in.

She contributes to the welfare and well being of others and can be very industrious even considered insignificant until she is no longer there to do the work.  Sometimes she stands out by her choice of bright wrappings which may be even considered frivolous by others.

She is self-motivating and concerned with the needs of others.  She also knows the “right” things to do and is motivated to do them.

Could there be Gentleman Bugs?  Of course!