4 PARENTING Styles & RESULTS (Part 5)

nationalities 

EACH CULTURE THINKS
their parenting style is correct

PREVIOUS:
 Parenting styles (Part 4)

SITE: “Gentle vs Mainstream’ Parenting Styles

ORIGINS – The most popular ideas about parenting styles – in the West – come from the work of Diane Baumrind (1960s), who was interested in the different ways parents tried to control or socialize their kids. At that time, to compensate for overly-strict ways, many parents went to the other extreme, putting very few demands on their children & avoiding any sort of parental control. Her ‘Authoritative’ style was the balancer.

Parenting in “The culture of American families”.
Recent research says families fall into one of four “cultures”, which trump any individual parenting style. parenting cultures“Each type represents a complex configuration of moral beliefs, values and dispositions – often implicit & rarely articulated in daily life – largely independent of basic demographic factors such as race, ethnicity & social class.”

Never mind helicopter moms or attachment parenting. According to a U. of Virginia 3-year study of American families, the next generation is being molded by:
• the “Faithful,” 20% of American parents, from traditional Christianity, Judaism or Islam, who adhere to “divine, timeless morality” to give them a strong sense of right & wrong.
• the “Engaged Progressives,” (21%), they are the least religious – morality is about personal freedom & responsibility, with few moral absolutes except the Golden Rule. They value honesty, trust what “feels right,” & allow others moral latitude.

— the “Detached“, (19%) let kids be kids – are equally skeptical of the “old certainties” of the Faithful & the views of the Engaged Progressives. They are primarily white, with blue-collar jobs, no college degree & lower income….are pessimistic & seem resigned about the economic future and their children’s opportunities. They say they believe in God, but don’t attend church, & religion is not an important part of their children’s lives.

— the “American Dreamers,” (27%) – the most common family culture among blacks and Hispanics – they are optimistic about their kids’ opportunities & abilities. Even with relatively low household income and education, they “pour themselves” into raising their children and giving them material and social advantages. They try to protect their kids from negative social influences and strive for strong moral character.

styles & %The goal of the VA study asks questions: “to distinguish the diverse moral narratives crafted in the daily inter-actions between parents & children. Summary CHART
— What are the treasured hopes, deepest fears, & most pressing challenges of today’s parents?  Where do they turn for support?
— What role, if any, does “character” have to play in the lessons children learn?
— Is contemporary life too fluid to anchor in stable, shared convictions?
— What does it mean to be a “good parent” or a “good child” in an era when moral sign posts point in multiple directions?

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
Although Baumrind’s ideas have been applied in places as varied as Brazil, China, and Turkey, the 4 basic types don’t always “map” onto local parenting methods – explain why some studies report different outcomes. Studies:
• Japanese-A. parents valued well-behaved children, whilhispanice —
• European-A. valued self-directed & tolerant children

• Hispanic parents were more authoritarian & punitive than Euro-A.
A-A shopping• African-A. families place greater importance on shared parenting responsibilities among their community, & use physical punishment more often than Euro-A. ALSO see : African-American Families (Querido, Warner, Eyberg)

• re. Korean-American parents, over 75% of the sample didn’t fit into any of the standard parenting categories (Kim & Rohner 2002).
• re. Chinese parents, the authoritarian parenting style, as defined by Western psychologists, doesn’t quite fit traditional Chinese practices (Chao 1994).
• re. Spanish adolescents study showed that kids from permissive homes were as well-behaved & adjusted as those from authoritative ones

Even so, there is remarkable overall agreement across many cultures regarding Authoritative parenting – which is consistently linked to the best child outcomes. (Gwen Dewar, PHD ) Scroll down

Steve Doughty (Daily Mail, UK) writes: “Taking a ‘tough love’ approach to parenting increases the chances a child will grow into a well-rounded, successful adult” a think-tank said yesterday.
Combining warmth and discipline means youngsters are more happy familylikely to develop skills such as application, self-discipline and empathy, according to a study.
The Demos report found “these traits were shaped during the preschool years  –  more often as the result of ‘tough love’ parenting  –  & regardless of whether parents were rich or poor.” (MORE….)

NEXT: 5 harmful mothers

4 PARENTING Styles & RESULTS (Part 4)

neg introject MOM 

I CAN’T GET THAT WITCH VOICE
out of my head!

PREVIOUS: Parenting styles (Part 3)

SITE: COMICS (variety)

 

The SOCIAL GENOME Model (SGM) looks at Qs such as: Is the USA still an opportunity society?
Can people achieve the American Dream? How can we help more people reach the middle class?
The promise of upward mobility is a central tenet of the American Dream, one of our core civic values. The SGM tracks the academic, social, and economic experiences of individuals from birth through middle age in order to identify the most important paths to upward mobility.
(“The achievement gap…..” // “Social Genomics”)

Achieving the ‘dream’ depends on being born to adults who are ready to be parents, & then being able to succeed at sucess persentageseach subsequent stage in life.  5 benchmarks have been identified as good predictors of eventual economic success:
• being born to a non-poor, 2-parent family
• being ready for school at age 5
• mastering core academic & social skills by age 11
• graduating from high school with decent grades & avoiding risky behaviors during adolescence
• getting a post-secondary degree or the equivalent income before age 30.

This CHART clearly shows by % what we know intuitively & from experience:  (“Parenting Gap”)
— children of weak parents are consistently the least successful thru life
— children of strong parents are the clear winners, and
— children of average parents fall in between, but are closer to the ‘lucky’ ones in performance.
BUT – If the weak parents could become average, their children would have an almost 10% improvement in their success rate.

Composite RESULTS of Parenting Styles (cont)

MY child -2

Parenting styles & TEEN DRINKING
Many factors contribute to teenagers’ experimentation with alcohol and drugs. Genes play a significant role, as do peer relationships. And the teenage years can be adversarial – so it’s better to start talking to them about ‘using’ while they’re still young, as early as 4th grade.

Researchers at Brigham Young University have found that teenagers who grow up with parents who are either too strict or too indulgent tend to binge drink more than their peers. “While parents didn’t have much of an effect on whether their teens tried alcohol, they can have a significant impact on the more dangerous type of drinking,” says Stephen Bahr, Sociology at BYU.Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 8.27.29 PM

• Teens raised by indulgent parents, who tend to give their children lots of praise and warmth, but offer little in the way of consequences or monitoring of bad behavior — were among the biggest abusers of alcohol (about 3x more likely than peers).
• The same was true if parents were so strict that no decision was left to the teenager’s own judgment. “Kids in that environment tend not to internalize the values & understand why they shouldn’t drink,” says Bahr. They were more than twice as likely to binge drink.

• The parenting style that led to the lowest levels of problem drinking borrowed something from each of the extremes:
— from the indulgent end: warmth & support, AND
— from the strict end: accountability & consequences for bad behavior
CHART from “Successful Parenting

NEXT: Parenting styles (Part 5)

4 PARENTING Styles & Results (Part 3)

parenting result   

I WISH THEY HAD BEEN
more helpful & supportive!

PREVIOUS: Parenting styles, Part 2
cartoon
BOOK: “Parenting with Love & Logic” includes Drill Sergeant, Helicopter, Counselor/Consultant – Forster Cline, M.D. & Jin Fay

PERSONAL WISDOM
Obviously, different parental styles contribute to how each child turns out – their adapted personalities types – most often forming the false Persona of wounded people. It is a major factor in how well a child will succeed in life – whether they manage, achieve, meet & overcome challenges OR flounder, run from stress, fail to cope or give up.

A 1994 study found that “good adjustment” in adolescence was overwhelmingly associated with parenting style. (Steinberg, Samborn, Darling, Mounts & Dornbusch, in ‘Child Development’),
Of interest is what helps or hinders the development of wisdom, which involves being flexible – the ability to use different kinds of behavior when circumstances demand a change in response.
Whatever the reason or circumstance, when parents stick to only one style, a child will only learn that way of dealing with conflict & uncertainty. When parents are inability or unwillingness to vary their way of interacting, they stifle the kind of flexibility needed to develop wisdom in later life.

RESULTS of Parent Styles (short form)
Autocratic (authoritarian) parents tend to produce children who are “dismissing” of others. Other people have no intrinsic worth but must prove themselves worthy of respect and attention, just as the child had to do with his/her parents. This is commonly referred to as “conditional regard.” You are only worth what you earn.

Indulgent parents who give their children free rein, tend to create adults with a “preoccupied” relationship with others. As adults they want to reproduce with others the same indulgent, ‘unconditional regard’ they got from their parents, forever chasing a lost childhood.

Indifferent parents who are cold & fitfully controlling, create an atmosphere of uncertainty & doubt for their children. An absence of affection, rules or emotional support sets a child adrift in a chaotic social world without a built-in compass. This creates ‘fearful’ adults who usually find the social world extremely difficult & so try to limit or avoid relationships.

Democratic parents produce a more ‘secure’ adult, from receiving warmth & affection, but within a set of rules for behavioral guide-lines.Result of P styles
However, if these parents are too supportive without letting the child know when something is ‘off’ in their thinking or behavior, they may grow up to be overconfident about their ability to engage with & persuade others, the same way they were able to do with their parents. Without any sense of uncertainty /insecurity, these adults may form delusions of grandeur, with the belief that they’re capable of greatness, without the actual ability.

LONG FORM – composite

MY child -1

4 PARENTING Styles & RESULTS (Part 2)

2 bad momsYEAH – I HAD ONE OF EACH
no wonder I’m confused!

PREVIOUS: Parenting styles (Part 1)

SITES: How the Tigers, Dolphins & Jellyfish Parents Differ
TIGER MOM – Cultural differences (+ cartoon by Keith Knight)

QUOTE: “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21)

TWO-WAY process
Even tho adults have most of the power & control in a family, family relationships are indeed reciprocal – parents have an effect on their children, & children have an effect on parents.
Most parents’ psychological patterns are ‘fully set’ by the time their children are born, no matter how young or dysfunctional they may be to start with. While some actually grow & improve over the years, which will benefit the family, most parents don’t make significant changes in the way they think, feel & react – which comes from their own upbringing & personal characteristics.

This is why all children have to adapt to their environment – which they do as much as they can, based on their personal innate qualities. However, since each child brings their own undeveloped personality-potential with them at birth, they also influence how parents treat them, related to gender, birth order, personality, physical reciprocal parentcharacteristics, disabilities or limitations, similarity to the parent’s original family members….
They’re treated well if parents are healthy, & very badly if not.

While the literature often concentrates on the effects of parents’ characteristics on child outcomes, the reverse is also being considered.
A study from the U of Pittsburg PA says that Authoritative parenting (best style) creates the greatest social competency & self-reliance in children. However, it can’t determine if these characteristics causes parents to use this particular style, or if the parental responses cause the child’s self-reliance. Whatever the causes, the Authoritative style preserves self-esteem, & therefore encourages socially competent behavior in children. (See chart)

Other research suggests that parental behavior may promote or discourage the development of inhibited behavior (shy, reluctant, withdrawn…). A combined East-West study used 125 US & 100 Korean 3-year-olds, who were evaluated for this behavior. Video of the 50% most inhibited children in each group were rated in terms of parental responses which:
1. encouraged the child to approach the stimuli in question (toys, dolls….)
2. accepted and/or encouraged the child’s withdrawal
3. discouraged the child’s withdrawn behavior.
Analyses revealed that:
— child effects on parenting were more pronounced than the reverse
— mothers were more affected by child inhibition than fathers
— surprisingly, parents who accepted/encouraged child-withdrawal ALSO
encouraged approach, thus discouraging child shyness
— the greater the child’s inhibition, the more parents encouraged approach behavior, encouraged/accepted withdrawal & discouraged withdrawal. (MORE….)

Naturally, the negative is also of interest. Since child behaviors influence parenting responses, then unpleasant / difficult ones wear parents down, who may eventually give up providing appropriate empathy & discipline.

This study examined reciprocal relationships between ODD chartparenting functions – supervision, communication, involvement, timid discipline or harsh punishment – and child disruptive disorder symptoms (ADHD, OCD, ODD, chart + MORE).
The results support the idea of a coercive process (parent using threat &/or force), showing that child behaviors have a greater influence on parenting action & reactions than the reverse.

Another question is whether parents’ physical discipline leads children to become more aggressive, or aggressive children elicit more physical discipline from their parents. Reports were derived from both parents & teachers. Environment, genetic factors played a role in complex outcomes, but not gender or ethnic factors. (MORE…)
Generally, in the sample of boys and girls aged 6–9:
— higher levels of child visible ‘bad’ behaviors in a given year were definitely related to more frequent parental physical discipline in the next year
— more frequent parental physical discipline in a given year was significantly related to more frequent child anti-social behaviors in the next year.

CHART CONTINUED from Part 1

MY parenting -3

MY Parenting -4

HUMOR: Not A Tiger Or Helicopter Mom? Maybe You’re One Of These
— Parenting Quiz (Slides 7-8)

NEXT: Parenting styles Part 3

4 PARENTING Styles & RESULTS (Part 1)

4 styles

I LOVE OVERVIEWS! – They provide perspective

SITES: 10 Parenting Styles  // Other STYLES (slides 16-17)


DEF: Parenting styles are techniques that parents use to take care of their children.
Categories: Authoritative, Autocratic, Permissive & Neglectful (1 healthy, 3 unhealthy), with –
Degrees of:diagram of parenting styles
– Nurturing: Warm to Cold Affection
– More or less Demand & Control
Dimensions that are essential: Communication styles / Disciplinary strategies / Expectations of maturity & control / Warmth & nurturance (Diana Baumring – 1967)

Our basic identity is modified & shaped by our experiences with our parents – forming the structure of our adult personality. What we learned then is deeply implanted in our most primitive, powerful emotions as young children, when we were totally vulnerable to being molded.

Each of us is unique – different from everyone else, both as individuals & in relation to our family structure (gender, birth order, looks, interests….). And each parent has their own pre-set core Self & personality style. The mix & match is complex & not always harmonious.

Finding actual cause-and-effect links between specific parental actions & children’s resulting ‘personality’ is not simple or easy. Some children raised in dramatically different environments can later grow up to have remarkably similar personalities. Conversely, some who share a home & raised in the same environment can grow up to have astonishingly different personalities. (This will be due to the same or different Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, Astrology….) However, researchers have found correlations between the 4 categories & how children turn out.

Realistically, the Parental Style used is the one that each child experiences, not the one the adults ‘think’ they’re working from, or wish they could work from. Actually, most parents switch between all 4. The length & intensity of their interactions with children are based on emotional states, motivations, engagement, levels of stress, feeling fresh or tired…. at any given moment. But most parents always default to a favorite style, while only a few aspire to / work at living more in the healthy one (Authoritative).

The next 2 composite charts outline the 4 main types (Part 1 & 2)

MY parenting -1

MY parenting -2
3 Parent Types: Consultant, Helicopter, Drill Sergeant (chart)

NEXT: Parenting styles (Part 2)

ACoAs & PROJECTING (not Projection)

projectingTHE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! – or it will any minute now!

PREVIOUS: Criticism (#2)

ARTICLEs: “Mistakes of projecting your future” (AlcoholicsFriend.com)
Things My Dog Taught Me: Don’t Project Negative Outcomes”
Hope Vs. ‘Realism’ – Challenging the Negative Assumptions of our Fears

DEF: PROJECTING (a CD=cognitive distortion) – Imagining one or more bad / painful / disastrous things will always & inevitably happen in the future, in general or re. a specific person or situation (victim mentality / ‘learned helplessness’ / scapegoat).
NOTE: This is not the same as correctly knowing who someone is & what to expect of them. EXP: “My whole life my mom has said mean or insensitive to me or about me. She’s never changed, so I know any time I talk to her in the future it will be the same.”

Not the same as Projection – a defense mechanism (via Freud), in which a person:
a. Unconsciously rejects one or more unacceptable qualities they have – or believe they have – AND attributes that same quality to another person, animal or situation. Often the other does not have that quality.
b. Attributes actual negative characteristics of their dysfunctional family members on to others, who may not have those characteristics.
EXP: My father was a mean abusive so-&-so, therefore all men are bad
Psychological Projection” // “Projecting Self-doubts on Others”

Positive OR Negative scenariosbiz projections
In business it’s called forecasting, looking at all possible outcomes based on previous performance, a “what if” exercise that is done at a higher level of abstraction, with a ‘what is hoped for’ & “what could be” perspective. CHART

disaster forecastHowever, ACoAs almost never project that things will work out, that we’ll be happy, that we’ll get what we asked for, that our relationships will be beneficial, that we’ll get the job we want…. No-o-o-o! We assume the worst – only projecting negative outcomes – pain, disappointment, suffering, disaster.

WHY? Because:
a. our childhood was filled with endless suffering & deprivation
b. we have unconsciously, but consistently been reproducing that original chaos & abandonment in our adult life. (Repetition Compulsion). Unfortunately, it’s the WIC’s way of staying loyal to the family system, even tho’ it was harmful to our parents & continues to harm us.

WHAT is the underlying belief / assumption?
• That we have no choice but to be trapped in bad situations (Toxic Rule: “If you don’t like it you have to stay”)
• Therefore we have to figure out all the bad things that will for sure happen – could be to us, or to a loved one, a family member, a beloved pet, the new job, house, neighborhood….
• the more we prepare for the inevitable, the more we can protect ourselves

Secondary assumptionbased on S-H, also a defense mechanism:
Since everything bad that has happened & is happening to us (or our loved ones) is our fault, we have to figure out how to correct the problem in order to stop the pain
• If we fail, it just proves how worthless & stupid we are, & therefore unworthy of anything good

We are in a Double Bind when: (see post on ACoA Double Messages)
A. we think that if we’re prepared for the worst, it won’t be so painful, we’ll know how to fix things, be able to manage, won’t be so effected….
At the same time:
B. we aren’t allowed to make things better (Toxic Rule) AND therefore can’t even imagine viable options, much less implement them, can’t ask for appropriate & useful help, much less to leave an unsuitable person or bad environment

Always keep in mind:
• it’s the WIC who is doing the scary projecting, based on actual childhood (& many adult) experiences, and who still believes the PP voice (negative introject), & its cruel family Rules: “Life is only hardship, You can never be happy, You have to keep struggling, You can never ‘get there’, You have no choices, Don’t ever risk...”

• the difference between Feeling & THINKING. Negative projections are always CDs (cognitive distortions), which are the beliefs (Ts) of T.E.A.  Scary projections DO fill us with painful emotions (Es), such as anxiety, hopelessness & despair, but are generated by the negative thoughts. See post: “Feelings aren’t facts

NOTE: Projecting is NOT the same as Planning Ahead. Planning ahead starts with the assumption that things are possible, & that we have options. It can be: evaluating a current or potential relationship, a new job or living space, picking a pet, a diet, a doctor, a vacation…..
• It includes having or getting enough information so we can do a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis (pros & cons), and making an inventory of our assets or liabilities – in order to fill in what’s missing (if possible).
• It does NOT include unrealistic expectations, denial about what is not possible, nor narcissistic entitlement (to what’s not rightfully ours.)

RECOVERY
Whether you’re having trouble with a person or situation OR going to try something new / different, OR making a change:
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! – in general, as well as specific to the issue (posts: My Rights // Healthy Rules // Recovery Thoughts // What Recovery IS)

• Develop the ‘UNIT’ to be in charge of the WIC, correcting the CDs as they surface. Set a healthy boundary with the Bad Voice: “Stop scaring my kid!” (posts: What just happened? // Noticing painful events”)

• Comfort & talk to the Inner Child, correcting the beliefs & soothing the fear (posts: “Our Wounded Inner Child”, Bookending with the IC”)

• Use Positive affirmations. Come up with your own – they work best. They need to be directly opposite the specific beliefs your WIC is holding, or a replacement (“No one can ever love me” becomes “—– & —– & —– & me & HP already love you”)

• Get help (if you need it) TO:images
— identify what you really want & need in a situation
— figure out the most useful opposite beliefs
— learn what legitimate options there may be
— list realistic pros & cons
(See charts in Why are you stuck?, and What to Do when confused)

• For anyone with a spiritual bent, read healing literature, meditate & pray for guidance – for ‘right thinking’ & to heal the underlying terror all ACoAs carry from childhood.

NEXT: 4 Parenting styles

ACoAs – Dealing with CRITICISM (Part 2)

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

THE LESS SELF-HATE I HAVE
the less criticism will bother me

PREVIOUS:
 Criticism (Part 1)

SITE:  “Varieties of criticism”(Aesthetic, Moral, Practical….)

Managing CRITICISM
Even when we are dealing with actual criticism (not just thinking we’re being judged, nor when our essence is being attacked, but rather just a comment about our ideas or actions), we need to understand what we’re hearing, & be able to distinguish between legitimate vs. negative ‘feedback’. Are the comments being presented constructively or destructively? Any form of criticism challenges our thinking, behavior or skill, so it’s normal to feel uncomfortable.
Are we receiving:
Hurtful criticism? This is most likely a form of thoughtlessness, not consciously meant to injure, but can nevertheless be insulting & insensitive. It’s usually ‘perpetrated’ by garden-variety narcissists who are not trying to be hurtful but are simply expressing their point of view, as if it’s a given that others will see the world in the same way. (“That’s a stupid thing to say” // “I can’t believe you didn’t know that”…..). They’re generally unaware of other people’s emotions & sensitivities, since only their own feelings & ideas are real to them.

Destructive criticism? This type is a direct attack on someone, generally given with the intention to harm, belittle & destroy their creation, prestige, reputation &/or self-esteem. It’s malicious & hurtful without adding any suggestions for growth or improvement. It’s meant to show that the person or object has no worth or validity, so no practical advice or consideration is included. Naturally, this can do a lot of damage, & in some cases trigger verbal or physical retaliation.

While anyone is capable of this kind of attack – occasionally, & under great stress – here we’re talking about people who use this style as their main way of communicating about anything they don’t like or don’t approve of. They are generally the angry & controlling narcissists, who may or may not acknowledge other person’s feelings, but don’t care. They want everyone to be like them & can’t stand anything that isn’t. They are insecure Under the facade of superiority they are deeply insecure, so bringing others down boosts their False Self, & temporarily boosts their ego.
EXP: “You’re wrong. You’re always wrong! // You shouldn’t dance – you’ll just embarrass yourself // You have lousy taste”……

OR are we being offered:
• Constructive criticism? This type also points out faults, but without attacking the person, AND includes practical advice on how something can be corrected. That way the Receiver can choose to improve – if they agree with the solution AND if it suits their personality. Often using gentler language, constructive criticism aims to help the Receiver do better in the future, by kindly suggesting what to work on, & without being controlling (as in “do it my way or you’re stupid”).
Therefore, it directly or indirectly allows the Receiver to have a choice.
EXP: “Your painting looks nice. Would you consider adding brighter colors?” // Your Math grades would improve if you let a tutor help // Practice keeping your back straight so you’ll feel stronger & more confident….”

Suggestions & alternatives is offered without the Sender being superior, manipulative or insistent – as if only they have ‘the answer’. How something is said is just as important as what is said. This usually makes it easier to accept, even if it still hurts a little.
As a Sender:
— FIRST, be sure it’s appropriate for you to put your 2 cents in
— if you feel the need to tell someone the harsh truth, be sure it’s not offensive
— make it clear that it’s your personal taste, & just your opinion – even if it’s based on first-hand knowledge or hard-won experience
— if you’ve tried your best to be respectful, but it’s still taken badly, then it’s not your responsibility to fix their hurt feelings or pride

As a Receiver:
a. If you do NOT get positive criticism, you can say “Ouch, that hurt, now say it nicely” OR “Thank you for sharing” OR just shake your head, change the subject or walk away. Do NOT get into a fight or try to convince them they’re wrong. It never works
— If the comment is simply not relevant to who you are – just say “Thanks for the info” & then move on

b. If you DO get constructive criticism:loving help
— always take it positively. Think about it & if it applies, use it to improve yourself. Remember that anyone willing to be careful in how they talk to you are reasonably healthy, & likely care about you as well, so take it as a sign of good will or love

Whatever the style of communication ‘sent’, remember you’re not responsible for what others say, but only for how you react. Using our Adult ego state, we can have our internal feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, confusion…. but it’s more self-esteeming if we don’t express anger & cause a scene. If we challenge the other person, it may escalate into an unnecessary & possibly damaging argument

Getting value from Criticism
Ultimately, if the criticisms are in fact judgmental, attacking our character, controlling, manipulative…. then it’s wisest to walk away, or be very brief in our response (See “Effective Responses” & “Useful, Clever responses”) .

Suggestion :) No matter what – it’s not self-empowering to defend our position, over-explain or try to ‘make them see’…. which all comes from the WIC. (see ‘ACoAs & Anger’). This is especially important when dealing with family, a mate, friend or boss – if those people are in the habit of being emotionally abusive.

However, if the person offering criticism is reasonably fair-minded & genuinely wants to be helpful, you can :
1. Think of the criticism as a ‘suggestion’ rather than a condemnation or a command. Consider what you’ve been told carefully, turning it over in your mind & looking at it from different angles.
KEEP in MIND: If you’re having a rage or S-H reaction you’ll need to process that first (in 2-handed writing, therapy, Program….). ASK:
— is the criticism accurate & I’m ashamed of being exposed?
— is it similar to what I heard a lot growing up?
— is the event being criticized related to a deep need or longing in us?
— is my criticized behavior the result of my damage, a disability (ADD, dyslexia), because of a recent trauma, a change in meds?…..

OR are you being misjudged / accused wrongly & you just want to kill?

2. After due consideration, decide if you agree with the critic’s ideas.
a. If you do not agree, either wholly or in part, take the time to form your reasons, based on intuition, experience & positive information. You may or may not choose to express this to your critic, depending on how important it is to your well-being or to your work (assuming the person is not dangerous to your livelihood or health)

b. If you do agree, hopefully you’ll have dealt first with any negative fallout from you WIC or PP. No one can be perfect – it’s not human! Agreeing with the other person’s point is not an admission of failure or worthlessness!
— Consider how you can apply the offered suggestion to your actions or way of communicating. Whatever you choose to change must be suited to your personality, abilities & current circumstances.
— Once you’ve made a change, note how it has helped or hindered you. Was it a good or bad? How does it feel?
— If one revision didn’t work very well, don’t give up. Try others.

REVIEW posts:What to do when confused” / / “Victims or not?
Noticing Painful Events” ……..> “Positive Responses to Events 1-5”
Actions – Healthy opposites” / /  “What just happened?”

NEXT: ACoAs Projecting (not projection)