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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?

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”?

The Little PEOPLE

happyoldercoupleEvery time I think that the Little PEOPLE are getting ahead, I realise they aren’t.  I was very happy with the recent election because I felt that the new administration was supporting the middle class that was no longer the middle class under the current, soon past administration.

grandparent-and-grandchildWhat I have recently realised is that I have joined the lower class (once working class or even middle class in many situations).  We are squeaking by on social security and disability payments (which have been borrowed from to pay other government expenses)  and have to seek help like free food from The Master’s Hand locally.  Also in this area, if you have farm income (that counts against you as it is considered income before farming expenses are taken out) in terms of getting any extra government help.farmgrandchild

Most of us would contribute something to the economy if there was a way we could.  Most of us would like to have a voice in the new administration.  For example, most of Illinois voted for the new administration except for the heavily populated urban areas.  But where is our voice?  No one campaigned in our areas and we feel that no one has listened to our concerns.  What do you think?  Are there other areas of our country in the same shape?

Expert-Full-NYC-3Also who is the voice of the forgotten little people?  On the network that supported the election of the new administration, we are not represented.  They are again relying on experts who have no real life experience or it is so far in the remote past that they don’t remember it or so far removed from it, it doesn’t matter anymore.

rp_362536218_150_150.jpgAlso, there is pressure on these experts, especially women, to conform to certain standards not representative of the men and/or do not reflect what ordinary people look like.  It is nice for some of us to remain “young” and look youthful but is not the way most people look and it is easier to see the standards for men are less stringent than for women.rp_376403644_150_150.jpg

For example, most woman experts on this network look like they are ready to go to a cocktail party instead of a business occasion.  Yes, the men are nicely and appropriately dressed but they don’t have to struggle as much as women do to appear appropriately presentable, youthful and beautiful.rp_374315433_150_150.jpg

When are the Little PEOPLE going to be represented?  The overall wearing, wearing second-hand clothing, or in “high style” Wal-Mart,  but often foreign made, clothing?  We have a lot to say and we don’t have a lot we can do about our situations but suffer.  Welfare often misses us and as our social security or retirement checks do not raise, but inflation and the cost of living does and as things cost more and more, we have to get by on less and less with little or no representation in or help from society or the government!empty pockets

The Little PEOPLE do have something to say!  We have learned something through experience.  We do have “philosophical” discussions.  We can see things others more fortunate and potentially more powerful don’t.rp_228552603_150_150.jpg

Certainly how Little PEOPLE experience life has something to say about the type of life we are promoting for all!  Often as people do better and better economically, they tend to put people down who haven’t and consider their opinions useless and their motivations feckless!  Also other people who have done well often think the same way and might make fun of those who don’t.  How many Little People do you see in certain churches or certain social groups like the Elks?  Nuff said.rp_AVaP8ps9-q4L3Kdb3ETm_150_150.jpg

Children Are Our Most Precious Resource, Don’t Waste Them

rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpg Children are our most precious resource.  Don’t waste them.  This subject is worth repeating.  They need love and affection to thrive.  Good self-esteem is a must for all children to have.  Nor should they lack support.  Enough food and drink so they can grow and be healthy and not be hungry.  These needs are often not met during weekends or in the summer.  For some kids, all the food they get is in school.  How can one study and learn when they are hungry?  Security and safety are another need.  Children should not be afraid or the innocent victims of crime.  Adequate housing helps meeting these needs. Don’t forget adequate schools that can meet these needs too. 
rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg

Finally and still important is an education on the rights of people,  the rules we need to respect so that we can all get along, and the development of an inner sense of right and wrong.  History is a necessary  part of education so we don’t make past mistakes and so that we can also learn from past successes.  Children also need protection so that they are not used only to satisfy other people’s needs when it is not in their best interest.rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg

Parents or parent substitutes can be valuable assets to our culture.  Those who take on the responsibility of providing for  their or other children’s needs.  Support is often provided for those parents who fail but not for those who want to succeed at doing this.  Laws should be created and adjudicated with the child’s rights in mind.  Children are not property and are individuals with innate rights.  Custody determinations often forget this.  I know of one county court system that penalizes the worst of their judges by having them do custody cases.  Yuck!!!  Children are not property!

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

Once a child forms an attachment to an appropriate parental figure, it should not be broken unless abuse occurs.  Natural parents should not be allowed to slip in and out of a child’s life threatening his or her security and sense of trust.  Often such unattached children will attach themselves to anybody almost instantly as he or she is so needy.

 

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”?

Some Beliefs That Keep You Down

  1. control freak That you have to control others or they will control you.
  2. . That others can make you feel bad.
  3.   That many people in this society (including you) are of little value.
  4.    That only a dope gives to others not expecting to get anything in return.
  5.   That you have to be what you have been conditioned to be from birth.
  6.  That what  you see, hear, or perceive in any way must be the same as everybody else.
  7.  That the theories about life and the universe that others have are the only ways to view them.
  8. Sheep go where they are told to go, eat what is provided for them to eat, and ultimately give their lives so that somebody else doesn’t have to.
  9. That you are destined to be alone and you are lucky if you capture anybody’s attention, no matter how little and no matter how long.
  10. That those who think that they are supposed to control us, know more than we do.

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!

 

 

Feeling Beat Down And Worn Out?

Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke.  Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions  and/or wishes of those being put down.  The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.

Anger Is Often Used To Control

Anger Controls People

Nagging can result from such interactions.  If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument.  Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.

Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope.  Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.

Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is.  Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer.  Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are.  Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You

For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types.  Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences.  For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”).  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.

It often boils down to a whole issue of control.  If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like.  In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.

Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship.  The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”.  This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.

 

 

Men & Women? Or Women & Men?

amygdalaEver wonder about the differences (if any) between the sexes in childhood and in adulthood?  Sometimes I wonder if my husband is blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.  What strikes me constantly when I pull in the drive or come in the back door is what needs to be done.  There is trash in the yard and trash in the house that needs to be picked up and/or disposed of!  There are things that are completely worn out and that need to be replaced.  Things that need to be finished that were started several years ago before they completely deteriorate and fall down and have to be torn down and probably never replaced.  A lot of wasted money and energy have gone into those things.  I never miss seeing these things and it frustrates me every time I see them.  It is like I have a huge “to do” list that I can never even start let alone finish.

Don’t think that men don’t notice things.  They are always noticing things that you have done to cope with these problems that they don’t like and complain about and threaten to tear down or throw out.  Some men (oh, my) even cuss about these things as though you really deserve a cussing out rather than some appreciation for trying to do something about the problems.  Doesn’t it seem here that there is some attempt to not take responsibility for all the problems you have to live with and cope with everyday and to shift the blame onto you.

rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGThere is an idea going around that men are more able to focus on things and ignore what is not relevant.  The idea is also that women are more able to multitask and get more done because they can’t as easily let things go.

Men also can also divert themselves by horsing around and talking about what other people, not them, are doing or not doing.  Men also can pull pranks on each other and then forget about how awful they were to each other and even laugh about it.  Women take things more personally and like an elephant they can never  not forget.

For example, I remembered being pranked by my room mate’s future sorority sisters who tried to throw me in the shower clothes and all I fought them like a wildcat.   I still am mad at them for tearing up the room including dumping out my things and attempting to haze me as well as my roommate.  I was not a pledge of theirs and didn’t deserve that. Now if it had been guys they might have forgotten it and /or even thought it was funny after the fact.

Guys can get angry at each other, even fight each other physically, and apparently forgive and forget the next day.  When in training for something that they must complete and reach a certain standard of excellence, they expect to be treated badly and brag about surviving and even plan ahead as a group how to outwit their trainers attempts to subdue them.  To them, it is part of the game.   Is the mistreatment of women trainees partially because they don’t understand this or can’t or don’t want to participate in this?  It’s a guy thing?  Do men think “Why doesn’t a woman think like a man?” like in the musical, “My Fair Lady.”

rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgThe next part of the problem is whether or not men think of it as a problem that they should have to do something about?  Or do only women do?  Do they find it is more impossible to live with than women do?  Or do men think they have already done something about it when women can’t get them to notice the problems let alone do anything about them?  Do they feel that hurt feelings don’t count and should be forgotten as easily as they forget them and/or don’t acknowledge them and/or pass them up as not counting for anything.  I guess if you can forget about a guy socking you in the face the next day and go on about your business with him as if nothing has happened, you can do it.  As a woman, I may still have a bruise or injury that reminds me of what that person who hurt me owes me and which can not be forgiven easily if at all?