COMMUNICATION Categories (Part 1)

THE MORE I KNOW
the better I can do

PREVIOUS: Dealing w/ disputes #2

SITE: Barriers to effective Communication & Skills needed

DEF: Communication is the process of passing info & understanding from one person to another – any behaviour that results in an exchange of meaning. Its the sum of all the things one person does when he wants to create understanding in the mind of another. It is a bridge of meaning. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding.

THERE are several ways to CATEGORIZE
 Communication (comm).
IF we are being appropriate – we will comm. differently in different situations. So – the way we verbally play while watching a game together is not how we behave in a religious setting. What we eventually confide in a good friend is much greater than what we let out at first.  Things we tell our mate aren’t usually things we tell co-workers, & things we say at work may not be appropriate for our children to hear. (Posts: Relationship Continuum)

It’s sad that many of us say we yearn for emotional connection & yet adamantly push it away – spending our days chit-chatting about trivial or pointless topics. NOTE: Small talk is appropriate – from time to time – to keep things ‘light’, when with acquaintances, or with people we know have very little depth. It is not a substitute for meaningful conversation with ’emotional peers’, no matter their age or level of self-awareness.

Instead, all healthy relationships – whether private or public – are based on Emotional comm. (Also for the 4 Qs to Ask Yourself Every Day). And at the deepest level is the realm of Spiritual communion – with oneself, others, nature & Higher Power.

However, as powerful & precious as the Emotional & Spiritual levels are, they’re too intense & raw to sit in for too long at any one time.
1. If our tendency is to get heavy too fast – we need to learn boundaries – with out Inner Child! It’s not appropriate to assume someone is ‘friend’ & jump into telling our deepest feelings – almost always our S-H & dysfunctional family history.

2. In general, many people are simply not equipped emotionally to go ‘deep’ at all, & it’s not fair to spring such comm. on someone without their consent, or on those we know can’t handle it. (from C. Gilkey)

3. Small Talk : ACoAs are notoriously reluctant (refusing) to make light conversation – sharing mutually interesting but not earth-shattering experiences tastes & opinions. This is a mistake – there is a time & place for the ‘heavy’ stuff. Seeing things light in many situations makes us much more approachable & likable!

We need to learn that we are in fact fundamentally like everyone else – we share the same needs & desires, & even many times similar experiences. It counteract our suspicion & isolation.
We also need a break from our own emotional intensity, which will help to balance us. And we may even learn something new!

1. Re. CONTENT
TEA: The greater the need to express (A) our inner-most opinions (T) & emotions (E), the more we risk – being misunderstood, ridiculed or rejected – the harder it is to do.
To minimize such risks, it’s imperative to move through the levels slowly, in the right order & one at a time, starting with the least personal (phatic), rather than trying to jump from Level 1 to 5 overnight – as ACoAs tend to do!

✳️ The normal, socially acceptable way to interact is for participants to match levels, so most people expect others will reciprocate from the same ‘intensity’. Sharing our most personal ideas & feelings should be reserved for those we’ve known well for some time & trust – a function of attention, confidence, commitment, experience & time

So if anyone starts out comm. at level 4 or 5, you may have a knee-jerk tendency to match it, sharing too much in return. This is not wise, since the other person is over-disclosing (& then so are you), which suggest they have weak boundaries & are trying to symbiose, i.e. not mentally/ emotionally ‘safe’. To comm. this way is pseudo-intimacy, & can’t form a healthy bond.

CHART below mirrors degrees of intimacy (Relationship Stages

1. CLICHÉ LEVEL – is freely given to everyone. It’s Polite Conversation, that helps put people at ease or just passes the time.
The shallowest & least risky (“nice weather, pass the sauce…”)

2. REPORT FACTS about OTHERS – re. info & events, said to people we’ve met more than a few times. It’s sharing about what someone else has said or done (“Fred bought a new car…”)

3. Share IDEAS & JUDGMENTS – expresses our thoughts & decisions to anyone around us. Relating opinions lets us check it others are safe to be with (“I like that brand of …..”)

4. Share FEELINGS or EMOTIONS  to a trusted few, revealing what’s under our ideas & judgements (#3), telling how we feel about PPT  (“I was so happy when…..”)

5. UNGUARDED FREEDOM to be COMPLETELY HONEST with another. We can legitimately self-disclose to 1 other or in a safe group, & they reciprocate. We share our deepest dreams, fears hopes & emotions, because the risk factor is no longer an issue. Each side have proven to be available & caring & reliable, so it’s OK to trust. (“My deepest secret is….”)   From John Powell

NEXT: Comm. Categories #2

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ACoAs – Dealing with Disputes (Part 3)

EVERYONE TELLS
you who they are!

PREVIOUS: Disputes #1
SITE: 10 Ways to Handle Disagreements Effectively

⬅️  IMAGE designed & assembled by DMT


RECOVERY Awareness (cont.)

5. What did I notice about the other person (job, group, teacher….) from the very beginning that I promptly ignored?
This goes to the pervious point. While we may not always know the specific characteristics of Narcissism, Emotional Abuse, Co-dependence, Victimhood…. we do get mental & emotional hints when something is off in the way we’re being treated. Do you have a feeling of discomfort, wondering “What the hey??”, not liking something they’re doing/not doing, afraid to upset or disagree, fear of losing them….. all the red flags we ignore so we don’t have to leave the PPT we’re attached to

6. What is my Enneagram, MBTI, numerology/ astrology charts.vs. the other person’s – ie. how are we different & how are we similar?
Most of the time we won’t know someone else’s Type or chart, but knowing our own is crucial. At the very least we always have to keep in mind that other people have their own personality traits – usually different from ours.
(IMAGE designed & assembled by DMT ➡️)

• How they view the world & what’s important to them…. may be so unfamiliar or opposite to ours that we can’t come together. What kind of wounding they’ve experienced, whether or not they have any genuine self-awareness will also make a difference. What’s important is to keep these realities in mind – always – & ASK Qs whenever possible, to find out where others are coming from. Don’t assume!

7. In spending time with this person, job or group, how do I feel
Before (anticipation) – am I excited & happy, assume acceptance, look forward to having fun, learning something & gaining from the encounter?
OR fearful & worried, anticipating rejection or being ‘invisible’? Do I spend a lot of time worrying about what to wear, what to talk about, what uncomfortable or painful things are bound to happen? (usually with family events)…..

During – am I feeling safe, comfortable, respected – or not?
After (hangover) – do I come away with a pleasant feeling, having been re-energized OR drained, depleted, angry, lonely, frustrated? (Emotions lists)

8. Am I prepared to respond to an accusation or hurt feelings?
I do not have to respond right away (if at all). Most often I’ll need :
• To take the time to process what happened & how I feel about it
• To ask: “Do I agree with the other person’s assessment of the problem or situation?”
— If YES, am I willing to face it head on without shame or S-H?
— If NO – do I know what’s wrong with the ‘picture’ the other person presented?
• In either case – I need to figure out what I want to say – sticking to the point & speaking from my Adult
• If I’m confused or ambivalent, it’s appropriate to go to others I trust to process the event & think thru the best way to proceed. I may also need time to gather factual info to back up my legitimate points

9. If it’s an inappropriate relationship
 for me – what price am I paying for staying?
Emotions & functions: depression, anxiety, S-H, obsessing, loss of sleep, isolating, trouble concentrating, over-reacting, ever-sensitive….
Actions: over-spending, over-eating, using drugs or alcohol to dull the pain, starting fights, constant complaining, escaping with TV / porn /internet, cheating on mate, being controlling….

10.What dysfunctional behavior gets triggered in me from being with them?
↘️ Raging, co-dependent, passive, people-pleasing, rescuing, dissociating, being demanding, procrastinating, sabotaging myself, passive aggressive ….

11. What are the negative benefits for staying in a situation I know is unsatisfactory or harmful? See those posts for some ideas.

12. What am I willing to give up / change in order to have something better? What actions will I need to take?
This will include using your 4th Step inventory, & then actively work to make changes in thinking & behavior.  (12 Step ACoA Inventory Workbook)

13. How have I already begun making positive changes in my own behavior, & in my choice of work or personal relationships?
✳️ Make a list of all the growth you’ve achieved so far – no matter how small you think it is. Give yourself kudos & share the list with everyone you trust to give you validation, admiration & encouragement!

NEXT: Communication categories #1

ACoAs – Dealing with Disputes (Part 2)


ARE THE DIFFERENCES

between us too great?

PREVIOUS: Disputes #1

SITE: Resolving Neighbor Disputes

⬅️ Designed & assembled by DMT


HEALTHY Responding
✥ On the other hand if you & one other, or you & a group – who are in a specific disagreement – are willing to work things out, everyone must be able to communicate their side reasonably, using their Adult ego state. Strong emotions will always be part of those situations, especially from everyone’s WIC (most people have one), but must not be the driving force

Then there is usually a way to resolve the dispute without losing oneself or losing face. It includes the ability to identify the current issue causing the friction, for EACH side to admit if they were wrong (the 10th Step), to apologize for any ‘bad’ behavior & to explain what was really bothering them in the first place. Only then can you begin to rationally negotiate a limited compromise or figure out what’s beneficial to both sides.

Naturally, for this to happen, the person or group we’d be dealing with would have to have enough mental health so they can participate in this type of solution. One-sided efforts never work – where we are the only one always trying to be respectful & logical, or just giving in. (MORE….)

AN ASIDE: We’re familiar with the people who absolutely refuse to bend even a little on any point in dispute – the “Right-ists“.
⁉️ More confusing: When both parties do own their part in the dissension (a P-A put-down, angry comment, a snubs, gossip….), identify where they’re coming from & apologize, BUT then realize they really do not want to continue their association. Both parties can be satisfied they’ve cleaned up their side of the street, but the difficulty highlighted an incompatibility already present.

RECOVERY Awareness
For things to work out well – as much as possible, we need at least some awareness of each of the following points:

1. What are normal human needs / rights?
Coming from abusive & neglecting families, most ACoAs concluded that we don’t have any rights, & that we wouldn’t deserve them is we could imagine any! However, these are characteristics (in all 4 PMES categories) common to all human & also apply to us, absolutely

2. What is Mental Health vs. what are ACoA / narcissistic / dysfunctional patterns ? For the latter, we can review the posts: ACoA Laundry List  // Are you an ACoA , & for the former Character Traits & contrasts // Emotional Maturity…. as well as many books & websites.

3. What are my specific needs, wants, & BUTTONS?
This takes time & work – to identify needs, wants, dreams…. specific to us.
It includes doing family & personal inventories, & getting thoroughly acquainted with both our healthy & wounded Inner Children.
EXP of buttons:
🚺 Being accused wrongly / having to wait – for anything / not being understood / stupidity….

CHART: “Choosing relationship priorities… ” 


4. Is what’s bothering me a recurring pattern of behavior?
• New or brief acquaintances: If we thoroughly understand some dysfunctional way of thinking &/or acting and we’ve learned to trust our instincts, we can easily & quickly identify it in someone when we see it, even if we’ve just met or only known them a short time.
🎼 In case you doubt your ability to do this, CONSIDER: If you know a song very well, someone only needs to hum a few bars – for you to recognize it!

• Longer-term acquaintances: Being around someone for a some prolonged  time allows us to observe their characteristic ways of thinking, gesturing, behaving, talking…..
The problem is not in our ability to ‘see’, but rather our childhood training to be in denial, & a current unwillingness to acknowledge anything we think is too painful to accept.
EXP: 
If they — often or always over-react, treat us unfairly, are verbally & emotionally disrespectful, always late, often cancel…..–  it’s important to:
a. see these behaviors as the damage & abuse it is, and
b. not ignore what we see & feel, by pretending it’s not happening

NEXT: Dispute #3

ACoAs – Dealing with Disputes (Part 1)


THERE ARE SOLUTIONS
to many disagreements
 

PREVIOUS: Being Right #5b

SITE: “Side Taker. You fight – we decide who’s right.” FUN site

 

REVIEW
When there is a difference in taste, opinions, needs, goals…. between you & another person (or group) – it doesn’t automatically mean either you or they are wrong. Each one feels their version of events is the right one, & for each person it may be. YOU do not have to give up yours – just to keep the peace.

But ACoAs tend to hang out at the extremes – of everything – including disputes:
↘️ either thinking others are always right & we never are, discounting our own point of view altogether (co-dependent), OR
↗️ that our way of thinking & feeling is the only right one, discounting everyone else’s altogether (narcissist)

In the previous set of posts we’re reminded to acknowledge & accept that everyone has their own angle on life & it’s never exactly like ours. So at the very least – we should consider what others have to say, seeing if they have a point – with can include something good we’ve never thought of! Then evaluate it in light of our experiences & personal preferences, & maybe agree with it – or not.

But when you express who you genuinely are & what you need / want —
— AND a parent / spouse / ‘friend’/ adult-child / boss…. gives you a hard time : strongly objects, tries to change you, tries to prevent you from pursuing or reaching a goal / attacks….
— you may feel angry, but deeper is sadness, frustration & loneliness.

UNHEALTHY
However, unless we’ve done a lot of our own FoO work with a sense of our True identity, then having an intense disagreement with someone – where they’re angry with us (we’re hurt & angry too), & especially if they’re using narcissistic ‘logic’ to prove their point, we ACoAs will buy whatever they’re selling – outright.

● We’re left with the painful obsession about what just happened, which can go on for hours or days. We’re torn between outrage, fear & S-H. Was I right? or were they right? Should I apologize? What if it’s my fault? I can’t stand having someone angry at me…..
This kind of mental self-torture comes from not being clear about who we are (True Self) & fear of separation (abandonment), but most of all not knowing that we’re being abused & that we didn’t cause any of it !

If we stick around such people, without a strong UNIT (adult & good parent), our WIC is intimated & continually re-traumatized. If we engage, we’ll alternate between dragged-out verbal fights & folding in childish helplessness. (Excellent Article : “Gaslighting & Spite“).

🔶 Dealing with unhealed people is always very frustrating & painful. Even more so if you do have a modicum of mental health:
If you have the courage to object to any form of emotional abuse, or to something not done that should have been – usually because of passive- aggressiveness (insult her appearance, lie about where he was, forgot to buy an essential staple – again, didn’t pick up the kids, didn’t —– as promised)…..

……AND the problem-person refuses to admit any responsibility – or even a valid explanation – for their behavior, but always makes it your problem, putting all the blame on you…… (See post: “P-A comments“)
– you will find yourself greatly frustrated, but mostly aware of being powerless to get your needs met from such a person.

OUR unhealed REACTIONS
Holding in hurt & frustration, letting it pile up, & then exploding. ACoAs are afraid of conflict, but blowing up makes us feel worse than dealing with an issue while it’s still relatively small

• Blowing a small hurt or slight way out of proportion, & then reacting to that. Many times “Message received was not Message sent”. ACoAs hear some things thru the lens of family & school insults & bullying, so a casual remark can sound like a major insult

• Being defensive (over-explaining, denying, lying….), instead of considering the possible validity of the other person’s objection or point of view about us. ACoAs hate being caught in an imperfection, error or mess-up

• Refusing to even discuss a dispute, even if it’s presented in a reasonable way. Negative: because of feeling shame, guilt or arrogance (“not me!”)
Positive: from knowing that no matter what you say, you’re not going to be heard, they’re going to get nasty, or you’ll always be made wrong.

NEXT: Dealing with disputes #2

ACoAs being ‘RIGHT’ (Part 5c)


I’M COMFORTABLE WITH MYSELF
whether I’m right or wrong!

PREVIOUS: Being Right #5b

SITE: “Why always having to be right can poison your relationships”

 


STEPS to changing the pattern of aBR
(cont.)
🙀 Every so often admit WHEN you’re actually wrong about something (but not if you’re not! If someone insists you’re wrong about something, & you’re sure about the specific issue, you can say so clearly with our anger OR just smile).
If that’s too scary to contemplate right now,
• you don’t have to say you’re wrong out loud, but consider admitting it some other time – when you feel psychologically/emotionally stronger / safer, OR
• maybe try admitting an error when it’s not about something important to your sense of yourself, & only to someone you know won’t judge you – ever
AND:
• notice how often you get upset when someone doesn’t agree with you by implying you’re stupid or wrong). Take a breath, understand it’s either your WIC or PP reacting, & know that insisting on being validated is ‘off’
• if by any remote possibility you conclude you’re truly wrong about something OR triggered by not being acknowledged, just sit with it
do NOT judge yourself & get angry if you are being reactive – just let it be an opportunity to learn more about your Wounded Self

ALSO, saying things like:
“I think I was mistaken about that // Yes, you were right about this // I got that wrong, my bad”…..
….. may come as a shock to you, & to others 🙂 It takes integrity, & is a character-building experience

• Letting go of the BR compulsion is about having the serenity that comes from knowing what you are absolutely sure about & what you actually have control over , as well as accepting that others are in charge of what they think & do.
Remind yourself they have the right to believe what they want, because they have their own point of view & experience. Work on being OK with the fact that not everyone will admit you know more than them or that you’re right – when you are. Maybe they really don’t understand, feel threatened &/or are just being contrary

IMP: Allowing others the right to be whoever they are doesn’t mean going along with whatever they say or do. IF their way of being is unsafe or simply incompatible with you – you don’t have to make them wrong – just keep your boundaries & maybe even keep your distance!

People in good (but always imperfect) relationships don’t worry about Being Right
Our scientifically-oriented society values BR over almost everything else. But then if one person feels they’ve ‘won’, the other will feel like a loser

😱 Ironically, when we correctly focus on our own happiness via self-care (not narcissistically), some needy people will accuse us of being spoiled or selfish, which tells us where they’re at

However, if we co-dependently give in or always say “Yes dear”, we will feel bad & progressively become dis-empowered.
🚦 A recent Australian experiment in couple’s counseling asked a husband to agree with everything his wife said to avoid arguments – for 2 weeks. The effort was a disaster & quickly called off because the man began to feel terrible about himself, & ironically the wife became hostile, because she knew he wasn’t always being honest.
They found that agreeing –  just to agree – doesn’t work. There are many variables to consider if both partners are to feel good about themselves & each other.
MAIN requirement: Believe in what you’re agreeing with!

In GOOD relationships – partners have the ability:
• to see the “bigger picture” when making decisions, by deciding what’s truly important, what’s less so & what not at all
• to make their partner’s needs & feelings as important as their own (but not more so – except in dire circumstances, like a severe illness, death of family, loss of job….., but only temporarily!) Then you the support person needs to take your stress to Al-Anon, therapy, church, Massage, good friends…..)
• to experience joy when their partner is happy

● Even for couples wanting to make things work, joint decisions about marital or family issues can be difficult – so it takes willingness to make mistakes, apologizing & trying again
✳️ Keeping the focus on yourself (your hidden agenda, real motivation, emotions, needs….) instead of pointing fingers – is the only way to keep things on an even keel

The next time an argument is beginning to heat up, ask yourself:
* Am I just wanting / demanding to be right in this situation?
* Can I let go of wanting to fight-to-be-right?
* Can I be OK with disagreement – even if I’m legitimately in the right?
* Can I simply admit my error, and then ask for what I need?
* Can I choose to be happy instead of “dead-right?”

The goal in any discussion & plan is for both people (or members of a group) to be respected & heard. ALSO – Kindness helps! Successful interactions add to feeling loved & valued, creating even more happiness. (More…)

NEXT: Dealing with disputes Part 1

ACoAs being ‘RIGHT’ (Part 5b)

I GET SO MUCH MORE
from careful listening

PREVIOUS: ‘Right’ #5a

SITEs: “You don’t always have to be right” (hypnosis) = Purchase downloads

⬅️ IMAGE designed & assembled by DMT

Being Right (BR) the RIGHT WAY IS:
• keeping an open mind & heart, curious, willing to learn something new
• being open to the uniqueness of any given situation & drawing conclusions from other perspectives (but not from angry, unhealed people!)
• seeing what’s in other viewpoints that might have a degree of validity
• looking at the big picture rather than the immediate issue or situation
• learning to listen to what healthy & knowledgeable people have to say
• staying ‘present’, being conscious & available for what the world has to offer us, which will help us recognize where our next opportunity is coming from

☆ We may still end up sticking to our Truth – the best part of our core knowledge (“I know what I know”) – as well as revising damaged beliefs (CDs), thus finding saner ways to think about ourselves & the world

• Daily practicing open-mindedness, paying attention & humility (NOT humiliation) makes all our relationships work better.
But this can really be hard for those of us deeply attached to always having to be right (aBR). For ACoAs, being caught in a mistake, an oversight or a lack of info can bring up shame & perfectionism – a form of S-H 

✳️ Letting go of this compulsion requires legitimate validation of our painful experiences so we don’t always have to prove something. It also includes having permission to be seen. Most of us never had the right to disagree with our parents’ perspective, much less being allowed to have good things.

😮 While ACoAs who are afraid of saying the wrong thing need to speak up more (it’s OK to not know something or even be wrong sometimes!) —
🤔 — those of us who always have something to say (whether useful – or not), can benefit from truly listening

In either case, no matter how genuinely smart we are, if we ASK for info (“What did you mean when you said —?”….), we may be surprised by what’s going on in someone else’s head. Usually something we couldn’t have guessed!

NOTE: Our addiction to BR is another form of being controlling – rather than being in charge of ourselves. Healthy control requires knowing that there are options – to almost everything.
But with aBR – there are no option, no choices, no variations. It really is about not having ‘the right’ to think & feel – our own way – fueling the need for constant validation – from everyone else!

IDEAS for changing the aBR pattern
• Identify your aBR control beliefs (Use CD posts )
• Why are they so important to you? Where do they come from?
Ask : “What do I gain from trying to control everything?”
With those answers, continually check to see if you really do get what you assumed you would – by using aBR (usually not!)
Write down & correct ‘control rules’

When you feel the urge to force your way on a person or situation, decide not to – just this once (each time). Go with the flow & see what happens
Also notice whenever something is actually out of your control.
How does it feel? What can you learn? How can you make it an advantage?? HINT: You can relax more often!
Accept that there’s no such thing as control over PPT, only yourself.
(Modified from ‘Simple Life Strategies‘)

AND
modified fromFocused Attention’
1. Emotions are your Guidance System
When you’re uncomfortable, or anxious or angry – it could be that:
• something in the present is pushing your old buttons, so your wounded child is being reminded of past abuses & abandonments, OR
• they’re a warning signal that someone is mistreating you – no matter how subtle or indirect, OR
• something deeply important to you is missing from the situation

2. Identify what you DO want
Start by noticing what you’re thinking – usually about what you don’t like – & then state the reverse. You may think:
• “If they really cared about me they wouldn’t act that way!” So what you do want is acceptance, belonging, consideration, respect
“I hate when people lie to me!” So what you do want is being told the truth & reliability, so you can depend on others (feel safe)   ….etc….

3, Take Actions
Focus on specific things you can do or say each day that will create more of what you want. It will help if you improve what you say to yourself & how you behave. BUT mainly –
💗 If you want trust, caring, fun, intellectual stimulation, reliability, ‘sanity’, sobriety, spirituality…… look for people who already have those qualities & want to share them with you – without you having to rescue or fix them!

NEXT: Being Right #5c

ACoAs being ‘RIGHT’ (Part 5a)

KNOWING MY RIGHTS
makes it OK to not always be right!

PREVIOUS: Being Right (#5a)

SITE “Being right without being rude”

QUOTE: ”The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. ~ Proverbs 12:15

Being Right (BR) the RIGHT WAY
Each of us have a unique DNA, so our brains are wired differently. Along with the differences in our family & social background, how each of us thinks & feels is not like anyone else. Some of us may have similarities, but ultimately we can’t be in anyone else’s skin, nor they ours.
So, healthy BR is about :
• ownership of knowledge & wisdom, for the benefit of ourselves & others
• our responsibility to find our True Self, learn about dysfunction & about how the real world works
• standing by our personal wisdom, & defend all our rights, especially in any unhealthy environment.

We can verify “I know what I know” by using supporting evidence, usually based on positive experiences & education. But sometimes ‘existing knowledge’ can hinder us from opening our mind to possible alternatives & solutions, thus curbing the creative process. So having to be right – all the time – is overrated.

NOTE: We know that brain chemicals are triggered when reacting angrily to strong upsets (scroll to ‘special case’). They make us feel better – temporarily.  If ‘have a fight – feel better’ (aBR) is constantly repeated, it will set up an addictive cycle without dealing with the underlying problems.  CHART

• Instead – There’s another hormone that allows us to feel just as good as adrenaline, which is oxytocin*.  It’s activated by positive human connection, opening up networks in the executive brain (prefrontal cortex), increasing our ability to trust & be available for sharing.

* Studies now show that oxytocin (the ‘love hormone’) interferes with the release of cortisol, a hormones responsible for stress, so it reduces anxiety-raised blood pressure. It makes one feel affectionate, calm, generous, relaxed & trusting. It also improves sociability, reducing the feeling of isolation.

HUGS release oxytocin :). This chemical plays a big role in promoting & building lasting relationships, strengthening marriages & reducing conflicts, even building warmth & connection between strangers. (More…)

Opposite of being self-righteous (aBR) is NOT —
– saying we’re always wrong /stupid /a fu–up
– berating oneself for all the years of unhealthy superiority
– having to always know exactly what’s true or accurate
– assuming we don’t know anything, or should just shut up
– throwing out all the information we have in our mental data bank

🚧 🚦 NEITHER is it co-dependent people-pleasing, where we deny or ignore our own opinions, needs, emotions or desires! The only people who will tolerate that kind of communication are other PPs, P-As & other control freaks.

Instead – gaining Mental Health includes gently detaching from to our compulsive need for ‘Right-ness’. This will come from having our many painful experiences validated, knowing our true rights, & learning to identify harmful behavior in others – so we don’t keep trying to convince the unconvinceable.

We don’t always have to push our own agenda or always get our way. Al-Anon asks: ”How important is it?” – in the big scheme of things. Will we remember this incident 10 years from now? Some things are simply not worth the effort – such as being right all the time.
And some people will never agree with us anyway, or even understand our point of view.

Review EXP: Sarah is on a blind lunch-date in a fancy east-side restaurant, where the tables are 2′ apart in a small space. When the man tells her he’s an engineer she suspects the meet isn’t going to be successful. (He’s clearly an ST & she’s an NF = MBTI oil & water). Sure enough when she tells him she’s an astrologer – he begins to berate & belittle the profession.

Sarah is hurt & angry – her work has helped herself & many others. She wants to lash out & set him straight, but remembers the Al-Anon Q. So to not embarrass herself & not waste time justifying, she quickly asks him to say more about his profession – & then stops listening.
Instead she comforts her WIC & explains why saying anything is useless.
It’s the best self-care, & a win for her self-esteem!

NEXT: “Right” – #5b