SAYINGS that MISREPRESENT (Part 3)



I’M NOT SURE
what to ask for!

PREVIOUS: SAYINGS…  (#2)

SITE: Aphorism looong list

See ACRONYM page for Abbrev.


REVIEW Intro in Part 1 if needed.

Be careful what you ask for – you may get it”
YES – said as a warning
if you’re superstitious, self-destructive, have a habit of choosing badly….

A different YES not as a negative, but can be stressful at first. This is when we determine to change something in our life, & perhaps ask HP for help – to be released from a bad relationship & find a good one, be provided with a new job/career, to live in a bigger, safer, more suitable location …..
And then it comes our way, not magically but because we did the foot-work and were in the right place at the right time.
BUT – if we’re not fully prepared to receive these blessings, we can feel uncomfortable, scared, unworthy…. That’s OK. If we ride it out & get validation from the right people, eventually we’ll be able to relax into it.

NO – As ACoAs, we don’t want to be so ‘careful’ that we don’t ask, since many of us have a poverty/deprivation approach to life. It’s imperative that we give ourselves permission to ask for what we NEED, first & foremost. This requires knowing who we are + knowing what our human rights are + being able to deal with the risk of not getting. Also it requires that we never go to people who have already proven – a hundred times over – that they’re not capable or willing.
THEN we can begin, slowly, to ask for bigger & better things, healthy things, fun things….. and when we get them – take them in, be happy, be grateful. Enjoy!

“I deserve.....” is a YES if you’re rewarded for earning a living, getting a good grade, winning at a sport or climbing a mountain….
It’s a definite NO when speaking of our rights as a person. We’re not supposed to deserve them. They’re ours no matter what.
Explanation in Outgrowing Co-dependent niceness #3. UPCOMING post.

“Well, at least you’re alive” / “You’ll be just fine, you’re strong”
YES – of course. We want to affirm life & let people know we care about their existence.
❤︎ However, without making this a NO, there is a way in which these phrases are a kind of insensitive throw-away. With many people it’s just a polite standard.
But if you just had a devastating loss & may even be injured – like a serious accident with a death, a full-scale house fire, a near drowning, a severe physical assault, a major illness…. You’re in pain, in mourning, in shock! so those comments are not comforting or uplifting.
Without looking for pity or to be rescued, some indication of empathy or sympathy would be welcome, rather than a glib pat on the head.

Forgive yourself”
YES for harmful things you did as a result of your damage
NO for being damaged in the first place!
Comments: “Outgrowing Co-Dependent Niceness #4” – UPCOMING post

“A good beginning makes a good ending”
NO –
in most instances for ACoAs before Recovery. We may start out a job, relationship, an exercise class or diet. If we start by marrying an alcoholic &/or other addict, it’s for-sure going to cause years, even decades of great stress & terror. It’s not uncommon for these to end with a bang. SeeFirst Impressions (idealizing) #2″ for details.

Also, if we start exercising, a diet, an advanced degree, a recovery book, a 12-Step program or therapy…. all with the best of intentions, it often peeters out with a whimper.   “Anxiety & T.E.A.” for info.

YES – if we pick the right kind of job/careers, or healthy & suited-to-us friends, mates, therapist, doctors….. then it’s likely that a good beginning would predict at least a neutral if not a good ending – when appropriate or necessary.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”
YESif it’s short-term & it’s someone you actually care about. So, if there are strong family ties, with spouses, siblings, children …. AND there’s a known time limit to the separation, then with Skype, texts, or phone calls, it’s manageable & the connection survives, or indeed grows stronger.

YES – but less healthily, for anyone with deep abandonment issues, a separation of almost any length – even a week – can intensify the longing. However this is not about a love connection but rather the WIC’s narcissistic desperation to not experience another loss. 

NO – long-distance relationships don’t usually have a great track record. People miss affection & sexual availability. They get caught up in daily life, & look for company, comfort & conversation wherever they can.  It’s easy to grow apart.

NO – In another sense: close family & very good friends (twins, siblings close in age or temperament, BFFs, war buddies….) can be separated for long periods & live far away, but whenever they talk it’s as if no time has passed. They may not grow fonder, but the original bond holds.

“Feelings aren’t factsis not about our emotions, as most people assume. The confusion comes from the reality that we use the word ‘feeling’ in 3 completely different ways: As physical sensations, as emotions AND as thoughts.  See POST

NEXT: Angry ‘nice’ people – Intro-a

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4 thoughts on “SAYINGS that MISREPRESENT (Part 3)

  1. I like the idea of the middle way which involves holding the tension at times between two opposites and these sayings may be an example of this. I’m looking forward to the upcoming posts because codependent niceness is definitely an issue for me. An awareness of this in me has been freeing though uncomfortable and I still find it hard to risk abandonment or rejection. However, my awareness that I have this tendency has lessened my need to project anger out there and given me a deeper understanding of how others have been affected by my ‘niceness’.

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