OUTGROWING Co-Dep Niceness (Part 5b)


IT’S NOT EASY
to heal old wounds

PREVIOUS: Forgiving others #—

SITE: 15 things Forgiveness DOESN’T mean….

 

RECOVERY from “Too Nice Syndrome” (TSN) cont.

Tool 5a.
FORGIVING
OTHERS
(
DEF. in Part 4a)

Forgiving others is either:
1. about repairing relationships, to re-instate broken or lost trust, OR

2. letting go of the relationships because it cannot be repaired

NOTE: Forgiving in no way implies trusting the other person, nor does it guarantee the continuation of the relationship.

To repair a broken connection, both parties must be willing to participate.
• In some cases only one person has caused the problem – which they must own up to, & the aggrieved person will have to be willing to forgive. But forgiving a wound (letting of anger & resentment) does not guarantee a reinstatement of trust. That has to be earned by the wounder, & that takes time.

Some relationships CAN NOT be fixed & some shouldn’t be. This is especially true when someone has persistently acted badly. Do not ignore this!
There are situations where it’s not worth the effort to repair a relationship. No matter how hard we try, it’s not going to work, because the other person is won’t to meet us half way, unwilling to consider what motivates their disruptive behavior. Without that willingness, they will not change.

TOXIC people must be avoided whenever possible. If we were exposed to one or more for any length of time, we need to get away from them as soon as possible, & then heal the aftereffects – on our own, using all our tools – so they don’t keep hurting us (inside) even once they’re gone.

• In other cases two people have butted heads, each hurting the other – reacting from unhealed damage. If the relationship is worth salvaging – to both – then each will need to go to their separate corners to figure out what in their own background set them off. Then eventually come together to share their awarenesses, using only ‘-I-‘ statements.

This too is usually a slow process. Sometimes it will allow the relationship to continue – maybe stronger, maybe not.
OR – it will serve the purpose of each one knowing their side of the street is clean, but may force them to see they’re really not compatible going forward. Then the parting can be sad, but it eliminates residual guilt & regret.

GROWTH
Letting go of anger (Es) & resentments (Ts) is internal, which must then be expressed externally by changing old patterns into healthy ACTIONS (As).

++ CHOICES – We’re responsible now for choosing to surround ourselves with people who are self-caring, positive & kind. Then there would be a lot less to forgive!  Recovery means being much more discerning about who we trust. Since people tell us about themselves all the time – believe them! So it’s not actually them we should trust, but ourselves. We can work our way out of denial by carefully listening to & observing what others put out & then admit what we see & hear – especially when there is a persistent pattern to someone’s erratic /cruel /narcissistic / unavailable behavior

++ SPEAKING UP – As we outgrow P-P we can be much less ready to automatically forgive & forget’ indiscriminately. It’s not in anyone’s best interest. Repeatedly overlooking bad behavior in others not only harms us, but can also seriously effect our loved ones, friends & co-workers who are around the acting out, to everyone’s detriment. Being emotionally mature includes holding people accountable for their inconsistencies & incompetence, for not keeping their agreements, for damage they create, for abusive or disrespectful things they say…..

++ SELF-PROTECTION – At the same time we can avoid blaming others. In the present, if someone hurts our feelings or injures us in some other way, we must ask them to stop. We are not responsible for their reactions to that.  If they won’t stop, we can remove ourselves or at least keep our distance. We are not responsible for what the other person did or did not do – only for our Es & the way we handle it (As).
EXP: If someone steps on your toes, that’s on them. Definitely say OUCH! & move your foot.  If they keep stepping on it, that’s on you, for staying close enough for them to do it again & again.

NEXT: Accepting ourselves – in Childhood

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Anger – CATEGORIES (Part 1

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 4.22.27 PMBEING ANGRY IS LEGITIMATE
but hurting others with my anger is not

PREVIOUS: Anger – Styles #4

POSTS: What about anger? // ACoAs & Anger anger Pendulum

SITES: Use Pendulum & chart to identify anger style

Anger-EXPRESSIONS
Most people tends to use some or all of these mis-management styles at some point, depending on the situation & people involved. However, each of us chooses one preferred style (unconsciously & by family training) as our dominant pattern in daily interactions. So just switching styles is not the answer – except for the HEALTHY form of expression.

In addition to the standard list, now we’ve added:computer anger
COMPUTER: Anger/rage at either software or hardware that’s not working or too complex
INTERNET: Flaming emails, being flooded with SPAM, abusive texts….
TRANSPORTATION: Road-rage & drive-by shootings

NOTE: The following ancient story has to do with the harm we can inflict on others by our angry verbal & physical actions – NOT the harm in the emotion of anger itself.

ZEN STORY: There was once a young man who was as tired of his fits of rage as were those around him. He’d get mad at the most trivial things & then later apologize. The apologies stopped having any meaning because his behavior didn’t change. He was convinced that anger was ingrained in him, out of his control, & wondered why his loved ones couldn’t see that & accept him the way he was. Finally one day he pleaded with his guru for help & enlightenment.

“Take a wooden board. Every time you get angry, drive a nail in it. Come back and let me know whenchinese story the board is full.”
The man followed the advice religiously. Before long, in just a few weeks, not a bit of space was left on the board – it was full of nails. He looked at it & felt ashamed. He went back to his master to report.
“Now, make a conscious attempt to control your outburst and each time you succeed, take a nail out of the board. Bring back the board here when there are no more nails in it.”

He agreed, but this took much longer – many months in fact – to clear the board. Eventually he experienced a sense of control over his anger & felt relieved on seeing the plank cleared of nails.
When he went back to the guru with empty board, he was told:
“Ah! I see you have cleared the board, but how dearly I wish you could restore it to its original state by somehow making these gaping holes disappear. The damage done in anger may be withdrawn like first nailing and then pulling them out, however, it can never be undone. A mark will remain forever.”

1. HEALTHIEST : ASSERTIVE anger
This form is realistic because it’s in response to genuine offenses or injuries in the present, rather than a cover-up for old wounds & projected grievances onto other people or situations. We’re able to respond in the moment, in whichever way is appropriate to the present situation.
Being in our Adult Ego State allows us be in charge of our behavior (no matter how strong the emotion). Not afraid to admit when something bothers us, we can think of a rational, constructive, respectful approach before saying or doing anything. Also, this gives us time to listen with an open mind to another’s point of view or explanation, and we can talk with confidence in a non-threatening way,& help in deal with the situation.

• Constructive anger is not held on to but released, allowing us to act in a positive way to remove obstacle from our path. It comes from a persistent attitude to push forward to solve a given problem.
The underlying belief is: “I have a responsibility to protect myself & my rights. IScreen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.21.15 PM respect others as fellow human beings, but not always how they behave. This belief is expressed by being honest with others about how we feel – direct & self-respecting, making ‘I’ statements, rather than blaming or attacking. EXP: “I feel angry when you …”

BOOK: “How to BE ANGRY (for kids & teens) – and ACoAs??

• Assertive anger can actually help relationships grow & be more intimate, because it doesn’t get buried & come out in distorted, abusive ways. It allows others to know who we are, & when there’s something they can do or change, to help improve the connection. Constructive anger is also a key factor in moving people to join political & social groups, marches, crusades….. It’s the feeling of being fed up with how things are going & the need contribute to positive change.    (MORE….. read, and  Scroll down to: “Anger as a ‘Safe’ Way to Attach in Intimate -ie. Vulnerable- Relationships”)

• Being able to express anger appropriately comes with mental & emotional maturity – an aspect of self-respect, confidence & personal integrity. It includes being able to evaluate a situation without family-driven CDs, knowing our rights, thinking before we speak, being patient, not raising our voice unnecessarily, & really trying to understand what others think, need & are experiencing. It shows we care about ourselves & our relationships. Ultimately the (ideal) goal is to achieve a WIN-WIN experience for all concerned.   EXP: Being Self-PROTECTIVE

Anger is PROACTIVE
• When we are trying to disconnect from an abusive narcissist (N.), anger is absolutely necessary to successfully escape. Anger overrides fear…. so allow yourself to feel angry. Show that anger. That does not mean being abusive or resort to name-calling, but it does give us the impetus to take action. Anger, unlike depression or despair, is a proactive emotion that helps us take a stand, fight back, and get away.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.21.04 PM• If you’re trying to go ‘No Contact’ with your N., feel your anger. Wallow in it. It could save your sanity and maybe your life, as well as those of your children, if you have any. It will motivate you to do what you need to do.
IMP: Put your empathy on the back burner:
Eventually we can developed a level of empathy for narcissists because they have an illness, & they do suffer. But when you’re trying to disconnect, it’s better if you hate them, even seeing them as monsters or demons. Save any empathy for later on, when you’re stronger and safely away from your abuser(s). You cannot afford to have empathy for a narcissist WHILE you’re trying to get out of their clutches.   (Modified from – The Lucky Otter’s Museum of Narcissism)

NEXT: Anger categories (Part 2)