I ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ‘GOOD’
or no one will like me
PREVIOUS: Negative Thinking (Part 1)
Negative Thinking (NT)
• Anyone reading this blog & other self-growth material, going to 12-step meetings & therapy – knows this category of NT is a core issue for ACoAs. It’s called self-hate (S-H) – powerful, deadly & tenacious! If our parents were unable to love us unconditionally OR not at all (no matter that they said), we concluded it was because we weren’t worth it.
✶ So, our WIC is sure that if the family didn’t make us feel wanted, safe & accepted, why would anyone else? We think cruel things & say them to others about ourselves, while secretly being smug about being victimized by the whole universe! Playing the role of the victim allows us to not be responsible for our own life, in the present, while protecting the illusion of coming from a loving (or at least an ok) family.
Re. OTHERS – ACoAs still living primarily in the WIC – ego state get most things backwards – we’re emotionally dyslexic! What is generally safe in the world we ignore or think is dangerous, while being drawn to what is actually dangerous or inappropriate, often considering it acceptable, exciting or ‘feel good’.
• Identifying what is & isn’t NT regarding others must be considered very carefully because ACoAs weren’t given a realistic picture of the world by our childhood experiences & so we now live in extremes.
SCARED – overtly terrified ACoAs think everyone is dangerous, laughing at us, shutting us out, shunning us….
● On the one hand, people may in fact not be there for us because they’re just living their busy lives, are depressed or not feeling well, narcissistic or otherwise dysfunctional, from another culture where relating styles are different….
● On the other hand, if some of these things are being ‘done to us’, it may be the result of us:
— being with ‘people, places & things’ that are definitely not appropriate or suited to us, but we keep staying there & complaining!
— being so full of fear & S-H that we make ourselves invisible to others, so they can’t connect to us
— being depressed, negative, needy, whiny… OR bossy, controlling, micro-managing, angry or secretly superior – that others are uncomfortable around us
ANGRY – in an opposite form are the constantly rageful ACoAs who assume everyone’s an idiot, out to get us, aren’t doing the right thing (by us) so we just don’t like anyone, we’re better off alone….. but we hate that too!
● We’re very angry that:
— we can’t seem to get away from trouble
— others have ‘entitlement’ to good things in life that we don’t have
— people everywhere get ‘away with murder’, sometimes in general, sometimes at our expense, and it’s not fair
— we can’t seem to get it together to have a life when everyone else is moving forward
— we think we know what everyone is thinking about us & it’s all bad….
● These Angry & Scared NTs come mainly from:
— projecting what our parents did to us as kids (& maybe still doing) onto ‘innocent’ people in our environment
— choosing & staying with people who are unavailable or unkind to us
— expecting people to be & do more for us than is realistic
— NOT asking for what we want / need or don’t want
— not having permission to pursue our goals & dreams….
● Both type of ACoAs need to :
— identify & acknowledge our CDs
— take back our projections (own our damage)
— learn what healthy vs unhealthy behavior is
— learn & accept our Human Rights
— then, identify who is genuinely safe & who’s not!
‘SPIRITUAL’ – AT THE OTHER EXTREME are the ‘good girl / good boy‘ ACoAs who can never allow themselves to think (much less say) anything bad about others – no matter how rotten someone treats us! It’s fine for others to abuse us but we can’t even think they might be wrong, much less be upset with them! If we do, we feel ashamed, guilty & berate our lack of compassion. We believe that if we let ourselves think badly of others (who have earned it) that it would make us just like our parents who were mean to us & we don’t want to be anything like them!
So we try to be ‘above that’ by excusing others’ bad behavior, while judging our own angry thoughts by saying:
● it’s not nice, it’s not being fair to them, they’re hurt too
● it’ll hurt their feelings, they didn’t mean it, they can’t help it
● it’ll come back on me (like a boomerang), it’ll cause me bad karma …
There are plenty of religious & self-help teacher who reinforce these distortion. It’s called ‘taking the High Road’, BUT …
✶…. for us – it’s just used as a form of denial, a way to not acknowledge & accept that there are inappropriate or unhealthy people we need to stay away from. Ignoring the selfishness, rage, abuse & disrespect we experience from others keeps us from leaving them as soon as we first notice it. We stay attached to abandoners & abusers, validating our victim status & adding to our abandonment.
➼ This type of being ‘positive’ thinking is harmful to us because it ignores a huge chunk of reality. It’s actually white-washing mistreatment.
✶ Clearly seeing and naming toxic people & situations is not a form of NT! It is what sane (mentally clear / emotionally healthy) people do, automatically & easily. It doesn’t always need to be said out loud, but it does have to be acted on – by staying at arm’s length or staying away.
NEXT: “Being Negative (Part 3)