Psychology Addict # 63 | Loneliness or Emotional Dependency?

2개월 전

Loneliness - BS.png

”I feel/am lonely” is a ubiquitous statement nowadays. It’s on social media, on blogs as well as in online and offline conversations. The kind of loneliness I am referring to here is not that which results from physical social isolation. It’s the one you feel despite having social connections, a job, family interactions and even a romantic partner. You know it because you’ve experienced it before, and I have too. Chances are that we’re both going to experience it again in the future. Psychologists and philosophers have a fancy name for it: existential loneliness.

I feel concerned (and bothered) about how this ubiquitous loneliness is discussed out there. First, because, I believe, this sentiment is oftentimes confused with emotional dependency. Secondly, because in the rare case that feelings of loneliness arise from reasons unrelated to approval or acceptance seeking, it is perceived as a curse from the gods. This is no surprise though, a quick internet browse will soon inform you that your existential loneliness is a sign of mental health problems, and in case you spend a few more minutes on it suicidal ideation will soon crop up on the webpages. No wonder why it feels like a curse. This is intimidating stuff indeed!

But it doesn’t have to be.

Fear of Disapproval.

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The first time Jacob experienced loneliness (or what he thought to be loneliness) was when his mother died. He was 19. He was the light of her life. In Jacob’s mother’s eyes he couldn’t do anything wrong. She always, always approved of what he did. He was, after all, a good boy. But when she wasn’t around anymore. He was hit by a harsh reality: nothing that he did appeased his father’s discontentment. Jacob felt worthless. Then he just stopped trying and hid behind books and video-games. He said that he was very lonely. But at least he was shielded from his father’s eternal disapproval.

It took him months to understand that for 19 years of his life his sense of self-worth was based on his mother’s admiration and endless acceptance. Now that she was gone, so was his self-value and self-esteem, which he then tried to compensate through gaining the approval of others. This is dangerous territory. Looking down on yourself every time someone disapproves of you makes for an existence of mood-rollercoaster. This sort of emotional dependency makes you very vulnerable to how others react to or say about you. No wonder why those who have such approach to life tend to hide away. It’s much less painful. But it’s also very lonely.

So, are you lonely or dreading disapproval?
Or, are you lonely because you dread disapproval?

Those who fear disapproval do so because they tend to resort to the following rationale: “That person disapproved of me. This means that everyone will. I’m no good!” Such overgeneralised mode of thinking poses an overwhelming threat to one’s emotional well-being. Plus, I trust you can see how irrational this notion is (Jacob did)! Obviously, there are situations when the disapproval of others surely reflects an inappropriate expression or behaviour of yours. Something which might require some self-evaluation from your part. However, in order to do so you need to have your sense of self-worth well established. Because only after overcoming your vulnerability can you bravely accept that people not only judge but also have the right to manifest their opinions about you. Just as you do about them.

Assuming your actions are constantly guided by genuine kindness and respect towards your fellow human beings, the inevitable, occasional disapproval of family members, partner, boss, friends and even strangers shouldn’t be a source of anxiety and fear. Like this, your emotional well-being should no longer be dictated by the way they negatively react to you. Of course, you might feel sad. Perhaps even disappointed. But your self-value will be preserved. Consequently, you’ll enjoy a much more stable mood, which in turn, boosts your confidence and interpersonal skills. You will naturally relate better to people and they will to you as well.

This sort of understanding is as powerful an antidote against loneliness as the realisation that you heavily rely on the companionship of others in order to feel good about yourself and life.

A Relationship Addict.

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My good friend Natan is addicted to romantic relationships (he is the first one to admit it). He leads his life under the firm belief that one can only be happy if one has a boyfriend/girlfriend. No matter how many times I gently point out to him how unhappy he was when he was dating X and Y, or even how many times I challenge his logic by reminding him that there is such thing as unhappy husbands and wives.

Natan feels so desperately lonely when he’s single that his greed and need for romantic love make it difficult for him to attract someone, and when he does (he is a smart-looking man) his greed and need impede him from maintaining the relationship. Why Abi? He sighs. Well sweetie, I repeatedly tell him ”until you become more emotionally independent, the love you believe you’re entitled to receive from your other half will never be enough. You’ll always feel deprived.”

Lonely or Emotionally Dependent?

Natan is taking his time to understand that the void he claims to exist within him may be a product of his deep emotional dependency. Of course, emotional dependency is innate to us humans. After all we’re ultra-social animals. So, when I discuss this aspect of our nature, I do not do it in a dichotomous manner (emotionally dependent Vs. emotionally independent). Instead, I discuss it in a dimensional way (e.g. from 0 to 10). The reason why it’s to your advantage to be independent to a certain degree (no to that of indifference, please!) is that you will be more confident and secure in your relationships.

The amount of love, desire and attention your partner can give you throughout your time together varies in intensity and quality for a thousand of different reasons that aren’t necessarily negative to you personally. If you lack confidence all it takes for your world to collapse is for your other half to miss your phone call. Then your neediness goes up a couple of notches and there you are demanding from another person that thing which only you can find in yourself: inner-piece and calm. And here is something else about human nature I’ve observed, people resist to do what they feel pushed into doing. This is surprisingly similar to when an individual is actually physically pushed and immediately tenses up as not to lose balance.

Isn’t this some law of psychological physics? Newton’s! No? Ok.

Keeping Yourself Balanced.

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One thing that those who share beliefs similar to that of Natan’s (alone therefore lonely) have in common is that when they find themselves single they lose all motivation to engage with life. For example, when they have a partner they throw dinner parties, organise getaways, go to the cinema … but, when they’re single, they turn into a couch potato. ”This is why you can’t bear being single!” I exclaim in exasperation to Natan. ”look how you treat yourself!”. Sadly, when I offer him suggestions of how he could spend his nights and weekends he rebukes by saying ”you just want to distract me from my loneliness.”

A couple of weeks back a fellow Steemian, @holm, wrote a most touching post : What I learnt from cycling over 12.000Km alone: A story about loneliness, in which he tells us about the mental disturbances, negative thoughts, self-defeating impulses and physical pain he endured during his journey. At one point he confessed: ”Not only did I feel like the loneliest man in the world, but I also could not even fucking bike.” I guess we can all metaphorically relate to this!

Learn How To Be With Your Self.

Yet, @holm didn’t give up. How did he manage to keep on going? My husband would say: ”he ploughed through it”. Well, sometimes that is truly the only way. But, first and foremost having a goal in mind really helps. @holm had one, and a very clear one. So, he went for it. Along the way, something happened. A change in thinking, in attitude, mental clarity: ”I was feeling alone because I just didn't know how to be on my own in a journey like what I had embarked on.”

One evening Natan asked me with a bored look ”what is my goal then?”. Then I replied with seriousness: “to enjoy higher levels of emotional independence and, consequently, emotional stability.” Obviously, for Natan as well as for you and me at this point it becomes a matter of whether we want to achieve this.

The reason why this is an important decision is that our chances of meeting our goals are much, much greater when we understand what they are and how willing we are to achieve them.

Existential Loneliness.

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Now, if the above scenarios don’t apply to you - namely, you don’t seek the approval and/or romantic love of others in order to enjoy moments of uplifted mood – the type of loneliness that you may be experiencing is termed existential loneliness. Some like to describe the feeling as being on a desert island.

From where I stand, I see that there are two ways of facing your visit to that island: (1) you either focus on the distance that separates you from mainland. Or, (2) you turn to look inwards. Option 1 can be a rather alienating choice. It gives rise to despair as you just become weakened by the acute awareness of how impossible it is to make an escape. One ends up just sitting at the shore of the island staring at the void and feeling sorry for oneself.

Option 2 is, by far, more promising. Primarily because it’s foolish to try to fight and resist an aspect that is innate to us humans. Existential loneliness is an unavoidable consequence of being a self-conscious, intelligent being. It comes as a psychological byproduct of all that we are unable to share with others for fear of rejection, of all the things that we left unsaid and unexpressed throughout our lives, through our relationships. But, perhaps existential loneliness is above all what echoes from that part of ourselves that we never dared to explore.

The Utility of It.

You can see how this inner-void is not necessarily a symptom of a psychological disorder. The psychological pain it brings is probably due to you having opted for the least productive option (1) of how to handle it. But, like I said right at the beginning of this post:

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Through braving to turn inwards you can achieve greater levels of mind clarity and order. For, you’re able to think about your life choices and values. What are the notions you hold about life’s different domains? Do they stand up to reason? Or are they pre-fabricated concepts of what relationships and wealth, for example, are supposed to be? How much of what you do in life you do in order to conform and feel accepted? Doesn’t that bring a sense of disconnection?

In loneliness you can truly experience yourself and who you really are. Of course, as humanist psychologists observe, individuals are never a finished product, because they’re constantly undergoing transformation. And this why through the course of your life you’ll pay various visits to that desert island.

So, each time you find yourself there, make it an opportunity to rediscover yourself.


Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Reference List:
Mearns, D. And Thorne, B. (2007) Person-centred approach in action, London, Sage.
Gilbert, P.(2007), Psychotherapy and Counselling for Depression, New York – London, Sage.


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Thank you my dear reader, for taking the time to read my lenghy post. I'd like to let you all know that due to my tight schedulle, from now on I will be posting every other week. But, I will do my best to keep up with your writings here on the platform <3

All the best to you all :)

We live as we dream: alone.

J. Conrad, Heart of Darkness

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Now I'm suddenly part of your analysis!

Without much research behind my statement I would claim you need to be happy alone before you can be happy with somebody else. "the cookie jar" methapor is my favorite one:

If you have a empty cookie jar, you cannot hand out any cookies, but only take from your partner. Just like if you are not happy and do not love yourself, nobody else is gonna be able to completely fill that void without sacrificing their own.

I actually think the fact I learned to be on my own also have ment my partner can worry if I even want anything from her, I never ask much from her except for us being on good terms. A bit boring and not very romantic I guess :-)

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Hey @holm :)

Well, both your post about you cycling journey with your girlfriend as well as the one you did on your own fascinated me :)

I like analogies like the one you mentioned here. They are very efficient in conveying deep, serious messages in a lighthearted way. Not expecting much from one's partner other then a peaceful relationship is a promising starting point for a life of calmness and mutual understanding together.

I think, in general, as a society we have been sold the wrong idea of what romanticism should really mean ;)

All the best to you two !

Dear Abigail,
Thank you for this post. So many thoughts, so many associations came to mind. You described the challenge each of us faces: as members of a social group with an interdependent structure, how do we become self reliant and not need approval in order to feel worthy.

I very much liked your reference to @holm's bicycle journey. This reminded me of the rites of passage many cultures require of adolescents--often these rituals include seclusion. The rituals are supposed to be journeys of self discovery, and lead to self reliance.

When you described existential loneliness, I couldn't help thinking that, to a certain extent, this may be a symptom of modern times.

Option 1 can be a rather alienating choice. It gives rise to despair as you just become weakened by the acute awareness of how impossible it is to make an escape. One ends up just sitting at the shore of the island staring at the void and feeling sorry for oneself.

I think perhaps in cultures where all answers are provided by an ethos...call it a mythology, religion, world view...the sense of a void is less common. If a moment of wonder or doubt arises, these are usually assuaged by referring to a comforting set of beliefs.

Of course, this blog was personal for me, as are all your blogs. I won't share details, but I am heartened by your assertion that, no matter how old we may be, we are works in progress :)

Thanks again for giving me food for thought, for expressing profound ideas in a way that each of us can find relevant. We come away enriched by your insights.

With admiration, respect and affection,
Your New York friend,
AG

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My dear @agmoore2 :)

I've finally found time to reply to your beautiful comment. It's been one of those weeks! :) I am quite fascinated by the observation you made here concerning rituals aimed at self-discovery in certain cultures. This would be an interesting topic for me to look into. I think it would be quite curious to compare what self-discovery means for such cultures, and possibly learn from them further reasons as to why it's necessary.

It's so satisfying when readers say they have been touched in a way or another by what I write. And of course, even more so, when those are the ones I hold dear in my heart. Thank you for your consistent support and encouraging words towards what I do here on the platform my dear friend <3 Thank you so much :)

With infinite affection all the way from across the ocean :*
Your friend,

Abigail

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Thank you, Abigail, for that gracious response.
I know you are busy and appreciate very much the time you give to your readers (especially this reader).
Wishing you peace and fulfillment in the busy days ahead.
With affection and appreciation,
Your friend from autumnal New York (a lovely season here),
AG

I very much appreciate that you distribute that "existential loneliness" is something healthy and normal to experience.

I think existential loneliness is a feeling that is very important for everyone to get over the pain that this loneliness causes.

After my mother's death, I experienced such loneliness, and at that time it was almost unbearable to witness the daily activities and concerns of others and "pretend that everything is normal" (which I did but tried to meet).

People think that "sadness" is something like the immediate tears shed by someone over someone else's death, that "being sad" must be something that should pass quickly. Like cutting your finger and someone saying, "Oh, that will heal. Don't think about it so much."

How complex grief can be was something I experienced when, in the year when my mother died, I thought about and researched the topic of "consciousness-expanding drugs" and watched various lectures from different disciplines. I was looking for exchange of views and insights from people who had dealt more deeply with death and psychic experiences and I hoped for something I didn't yet know exactly what it had been. Only that I had a special interest in the subject, right after I buried my mother.

A friend asked me what I was doing right now, so I told her about it. She immediately started to scold me and what an irresponsible person I was and if I wanted to use drugs and such. I felt like I was hit by a truck and didn't understand her anger at all. After some back and forth we ended our friendship.

This episode had further increased my existential loneliness instead of reduced it and my longing to find a spiritual message in the explanations and experiences of people who hadn't been involved with mind-altering substances for fun, but also had a profound intention, attracted me for that very reason. Any ethnologist or anthropologist knows from his research that people have always used substances to follow a spiritual path. My attempt to approach this was denigrated, ridiculed and dangerously exaggerated by my friend.

People like to confuse their own fearful projections with attaching them to others.

Today I know that I had reached a low point and once again felt the pain that had occurred in previous encounters with my friends. Nobody of the two had touched on the subject just a few months after my mother's death and I felt an oversized malaise. It was an almost physical pain that my presence at my friends house this summer overwhelmed me. It was also because I didn't dare to touch on the subject myself, but I didn't know that at the time. That was the tragedy of it. I just walked around with the confusing feeling that something was not right at all. Afterwards, when I realized why I was so bad, I felt guilty because it hadn't been me who had raised the issue of "my mother is dead" and shared my grief with my friends.

I felt double and triple punished. Once by my friends at the get-together, once by the other friend who confused my interest in mind-altering substances with my "party-ego" of yesteryear, and once by myself after I realized what had actually been going on with me.

Existential loneliness arises when one desperately wants to find wisdom in others and is very needy. But it is always the retrospective that makes it clear that you always reach the ground of loneliness alone and from there you can find your way back to life.

People are usually very busy with themselves, clumsy, careless and egocentric. They only stop being that way when they are struck by an existential loneliness that can be such a good teacher for them that they don't look for culprits afterwards. Your last quote is therefore carved in stone :)

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Hi Erika <3 :)

Thank you for taking the time to out down in words this most touching, insightful personal experience. I can relate to the acute sense of loneliness brought by grief, as I experienced it after my father's death 16 years ago. Have you written about grief in your Steemit blog before? It would be wonderful to hear what came out of all the research you did and lectures you watched about it. Personally, I managed to overcome the sadness prompted by the loneliness resulted from my father's death when, similar to what you said, I stopped being angry at the world for being so unfair for "giving" a terminal illness to such a decent man. Culprits were replaced by acceptance. Of course, I believe this to be a byproduct of a certain level or self-understanding.

Your way of attempting to cope with your mum's death reminds of that of a friend. After losing her son she turned to psychic readings and hallucinogenic experiences. Her other two children reacted very much like your friend and, understandably, that just alienated her even more. It took us months to understand that she was terribly afraid of having her son's memory forgotten, or undermined. Once we arrived to that conclusion it was easier for her to come to terms that now he would exist in the family's life in a different way. That realization immensely helped her to deal with her own afflictions and, in turn, to live peacefully with the loneliness caused by her son's physical absence.

Thank you once again for stopping by Erika. It is always wonderful reading your insights and reflections. I wish you, as always, all the best in life.

A tight hug to you all the way from rainy Portugal :*

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Thank you, Abi, for your kind response.

It is easier for us people to trade guilty for accepted when we see that others around us are doing it that way. I am glad that you were able to do it. Thank you for your example with the mother and her children, it is very helpful to know such things. People always have good reasons for their actions or omissions, often it is difficult to see the background if you don't ask.

I have not yet written directly about grief on my blog, only indirectly. The lectures and other sources are mostly in German, I only remember two doctors - I'm not sure if you haven't already mentioned the one - Rick Strassman is his name, if I remember correctly, who does research with LSD. The other is Gabor Mate, a Canadian doctor.

I think the most important thing is to have confidence in each other, that if someone has a death to lament, that he may take unusual measures to deal with grief and not be alienated by it. Sometimes it's not possible to ask them why, unless you're very sensitive and open, because people can't always give reasons because they're still in the middle of processing them.

I hug you too, my dear. Receive my best wishes to you and your family :)

While growing up, I used to think that the word "loneliness" was associated with lack of people around. But when I grew older and through the experiences I've accumulated over time, I've come to realize that many factors can lead to loneliness.

As a matter of fact, it is even lonelier to be surrounded by the wrong people than being left alone (my thoughts though).

Here's another thought: "Tech awareness" in this era has left young folks with addiction to social mediarism that they lay less emphasis on the traditional face-to-face relationship with friends. What can be lonelier than that? No wonder the rate of depression among young folks is on the increase.

Wonderful piece again Abbey. You did an amazing job here.
Much love from Nigeria.

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I do agree with your thoughts Sammi. When it comes to social settings like parties and gatherings etc ... I much more prefer to spend time on my own than with people who impose their values and views on others.

As for the role technology plays in individual's loneliness nowadays. Yep, in many, many cases it does feel like it is a means of escapism. Either because they cannot deal with their own thoughts, or because they prefer to lose themselves in other people's lives than engage in self-evaluation.

I am very glad you liked this post Sammi.
And here we go with our little project ;)

Much love from Portugal.

in life the most that one has to appreciate is our life but a meaningful life where we know how to give ourselves our position of human value, how essential it is that our self-esteem is good to do what we want in this life. Thank you I congratulate you beautiful word that brings emotional well-being to many.

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Thank you @manueltorrealble :)

You get it! Self-esteem has a lot to do with our well-being, for sure! In many different domains :)

This is a great post. What you've written is so important in today's age. I think a lot of us (I know as a mental health professional I was certainly like this) thought that the social interconnectivity that came with the new technology back at the start of the millennium would really change this... instead it's made it worse!

Well, seemingly anyway. What I think has happened here is that its made it worse and also highlighted the prevalence of it, so now I think practitioners are looking at it in a different way, and being a little more effective in their approaches.

This post would have a welcome place on the Natural Medicine Tribe platform, and including the #naturalmedicine tag on your posts would earn you LOTUS for quality psycho-therapeutic content such as this.
☯️
You’ve been visited by @metametheus on behalf of Natural Medicine!
Did you know that Natural Medicine now has it's own token, rewarding natural healing and health wisdoms? You can check out our front end, naturalmedicine.io! If you've been involved in our community over the last year, check your wallets for LOTUS and stake them to start earning curation rewards!

Discord 💚 Delegate Here

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Hey @naturalmedicine :)

Thank you for stopping by once more and sharing your incredible insights with us here. Of course, the point you made about the inter-connectivity is a great one. It might be a worthy topic to explore (here in my blog), and try to dig deep into why it hasn't worked as a remedy for individuals' existential loneliness.

Thank you for informing me about the tag and LOTUS. I will keep this in mind ;)

All the best to you & have a great week ahead.

I can definitely relate to the feeling of existential lonliness that you discuss here, and in the past I admit that I probably even experienced some of what your friend Nathan is going through. I'm quite sure that I grew out of the latter though.

I like the advice of looking inward when we experience existential lonliness. I try to practice mindfulness when I notice discomfort within me, of any sort. In doing so I find that the practice creates space between myself and the feeling. I've also noticed that the feeling is often fueled by my inner thoughts and self talk. Mindfulness reduces the thoughts though, by bringing me into the present moment. Mindfulness therefore reduces the feelings of loneliness by reducing the thoughts.

Great article as always. Enjoy the rest of your week and the weekend with your husband!

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Hi @leaky20 :)

As always, it's nice to see you here. I can honestly say I have experienced all three aspects I discussed here. In my teens I feared disapproval and failure. In the beginning of my relationship with my husband (we've been together for 15 years) I embraced his identity as my own for quite a while. After a while, despite all the new things I braved to explore, do, and "become" it still felt empty. Luckily I managed to find out why and rediscover my old self again without much psychological agony. Peace and calm returned swiftly after that.

As for existential loneliness. I do visit the island every once in a while :) There are occasions where I spend a lot of time there, there are others I manage to come back to mainland quite soon. I found interesting to hear you resort to mindfulness in order to deal with your existential loneliness. I have tried it many times before. Not only when feeling lonely, but also in times of anxiety or distress. I am not good at it. For me, the cognitive approach works best. I stay with my thoughts rationalize them and make peace with reality. Only then do they (thoughts) go away.

I wish you two a great evening and a peaceful weekend ahead! :)

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Everyone is different so finding the strategy that works best for you is the key :)

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Thanks Abi for another interesting post and topic to ponder.

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Hi @sjarvie5 :) It's nice to see you here. Thank you for taking the time, once again, to read my writings. I am very glad to hear you found this piece interesting.

All the best to you,
Abigail

I've had a drink, (or too tow two.... hic), so will reply tomorrow to a fantastic, and thought provoking piece.

Excellent post.

If reply now, I fear some disapproval, you know me.
lol

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I am glad you liked it! I did think of your writings as I was drafting/writing the latter part of this piece (how to deal with existential loneliness), as you have been consistently addressing Plato's *know thyself" philosophy and encouraging people to embrace it :)

This reminds me of one of your posts not long ago, about depression serving a purpose. (Was that you? Or @agmoore? Maybe both in a conversation) We get depressed so that our body rests, in short. Here, we experience existential loneliness in order to pry open the portal that allows us to see within. perhaps existential loneliness is above all what echoes from that part of ourselves that we never dared to explore.
More generally, all symptoms are a body's response to an illness, and contain messages about which way to look to find a solution and get back to a state of balance and health. If we ignore these symptoms and persist in the negative thought, the body will step up its attempts to notify the person and come up with something even worse.
Natan needs a hobby, bad. Without one or more hobbies to help find his self worth, any relationship he is in will sooner or later show him as too needy. Twenty years of marriage later, his wife will be kicking him out of the house just to get a break from him.
Poor guy. It doesn't have to be so hard! Enjoy time alone, I do! And I have a zillion hobbies. I experience existential loneliness when I have not made the time to engage in my music, poetry, cooking, gardening and simple walks in the woods.
During my emotionally lonely patches I was quite married with three children. I was never ever alone, but never fulfilled either.

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all symptoms are a body's response to an illness, and contain messages about which way to look to find a solution and get back to a state of balance and health.

This is a smart way of approaching aspects of our mental well-being @owasco! I am definitely taking this view on board with me and passing it on to others. It could prevent avoidable mental distress if taken seriously :)

Touching statement the one you made comparing your levels of fulfilment from when you were married and single. It must take a lot of courage to come to that conclusion and act on it!

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I tended to choose men who would treat me badly, just as my Daddy did before them. They would feel ashamed of me and I, in turn, ashamed of myself. If someone did not make me feel ashamed of myself, I pitied them. Seeing this has made me want to stay single and learn more about myself without the input of someone I am tied to. THAT takes courage but you know what? I have far fewer problems than I did when I felt making someone else happy was my job.
Thank you as always for the excellent food for thought

It was illuminating that a mother's approval can interfere with a child's self-acceptance. What's a mother to do?

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Hello @medusaeffect :)

What a great question! For which there's no simple answer :) and that's because the picture isn't as straight forwards as : mother's approval = affected child's self-acceptance. That was indeed Jacob's instance, but it doesn't mean all boys develop that way. He, in particular, was very dependent on his mum. And his mum was also very dependent on him. In emotional terms.

But, what's a mother to do? Offering a secure-base to their children is a good start. Which means give their children freedom to go out in the world to explore, to learn through mistakes while letting them know they have a safe base to return to for guidance and reassurance. See, this is what Jacob didn't have. He was overprotected.

Also, studies have found Ref. that the most efficient way parents have to build their children's self-esteem is by encouraging their efforts, rather than their intellectual capacities.

I hope this helps. If you have any further queries just let me know.

Thank you for stopping by,
Best,

Abigail

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Develop self-esteem by encouraging character sounds great. I have a theory that children who experience difficulty learn to persevere, but this might be an excuse for mom's to do poorly. In actuality, is is a gripe about trying really hard and ending up with sore results.

This so true and timely. Many of us are experiencing that and I like your advice though.

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