When adult children confront their parents, they are often met with blame and excuses. The sad irony is that most adult children with the consciousness to reconcile only want an apology so they can move on.
The reality is that most people need to learn to accept and let go of the past in spite of the ongoing poor relationship with parents. This is not easy, but can be done if you identify what happened, accept the truth, see your parent as a person and prove that the awful parenting ends with you.
In the spirit of this challenge, I seek to help with the first step, identifying the truth that most bad parents will never admit. If something in this list hits home for you, allow it to be a truth that sets you free.
I didn’t really want children, so I tried to ignore you as much as possible and stay focused on my own life.
I really wanted a boy and you were a girl, so I lost interest.
Here’s the deal: I need to appear a certain way, socially. So, I forced you to act how I needed you to act and do what I needed you to do. You were a reflection of me and I wasn’t about to let you ruin my reputation!
I was jealous of you. When you were born, your mother paid more attention to you than to me, so I started to see you as competition.
I had you to keep your father around. It didn’t work, so I hated you.
I was abused as a child, so I abused you. I needed to be the one in the position of power, at last. It felt like I was finally getting some justice.
My career was more important than you.
My love life was more important than you.
I liked your older brother more than I liked you.
You reminded me too much of your jerk father, so I punished you to get back at him.
Men are pigs. You were a boy trying …
Lonely people produce more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than those who feel socially connected, according to a recent study. In other words, living in a state of loneliness is similar to living in a state of chronic stress.
Of course, we all know that chronic stress is associated with, a number of life-threatening conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Lisa Jaremka, of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University and lead author of this research said, “It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems, including premature mortality and all sorts of other very serious health conditions. And people who are lonely clearly feel like they are in poor-quality relationships.”
What is loneliness, really?
I’ve always thought of loneliness as a feeling – a certain pain in the midsection, or a whole body ache that longs for connection.
If we look at loneliness structurally, as we tend to do in NLP, we could define it as “distress that results from discrepancies between ideal and perceived social relationships.”
In other words, loneliness has less to do with how socially engaged you are and more to do with how you perceive your relationships. If your relationships are less satisfying that you believe they could or should be, then are you more likely to be lonely.
Now that we’ve entered into the arena of perception, things get interesting.
It now seems possible to experience chronic loneliness regardless of how many friends and associates you have. It is also possible to experience contentment and social satisfaction with a relatively few friends, or theoretically, no friends at all. The bottom line is, if you expect something that you are not getting, you are more likely to feel the lack, or loneliness.
All this supports the case to learn communication skills to strengthen and deepen connections other people. It also seems critical to develop a healthy sense of self – acceptance of your feelings and self-esteem. Without a solid relationship with yourself, no amount of interactions with others will …
Anger, disbelief, mirth, shame, confusion, blame, fear, intellectual scorn, emotional paralysis, self-criticism, other criticism, a numb feeling, a stupor of thought and so on.
Some of us remember the book by Nathaniel Branden, If you Could Hear what I Cannot Say (out of print). Like much of Branden’s work, the book suggests we unconsciously seek goals – often negative goals – while pretending something entirely different is going on.
In other words, we fool ourselves. We convince ourselves that what is actually happening is NOT actually happening. For example, a man who says he wants financial stability may actually do things to create the opposite results (out of control spending, no planning, impulse vacations, etc…). A woman who says she wants a stable relationship may actually seek out unstable men.
Understanding how the unconscious mind works takes courage. Here’s why: people don’t always have the best intentions. Some behaviors are sad or even ugly. Facing up to them is difficult. It takes maturity.
To really see what is going on in your life and with your behavior, you need to be willing to look past the persona of your public self.
This should begin with the realization that you do not always seek what is best for yourself or other people. In fact, you may be attracted to negative things.
I don’t like chronic emotional suffering, but I like the excuses it gives me.
I exaggerate my troubles so that they seem impossible to solve. Then, I do not have to make the effort.
I cherish …
The Guardian reports that anti-depressant use is up 25% in the UK, with 43.4 million prescriptions.
Science Daily reports 46 million prescriptions for anti-depressants meds in the UK.
Google Public Data shows the population of the United Kingdom rounding to 63 million.
We have to account for the fact that each person may receive more than one prescription for anti-depressants. Still, these numbers are stupendous.
Dr. Desmond Spence of Barclay Medical Centre, suggests that “we use antidepressants too easily, for too long, and that they are effective for few people (if at all).”
He also argues that the current definition of clinical depression – consisting of two weeks of low mood, even after bereavement – is too loose, causing widespread “medicalisation.”
Interestingly, Dr. Spence also points out that 75% of those who create these loose definitions have links to pharmaceutical companies. Ouch.
The UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) does not support the use of anti-depressant medication in mild depression, nor necessarily as first line treatment of moderate depression. Instead, they recommend talk therapy.
The UK does not appear all that interested in talking through their emotional difficulties as a first line of defense against emotional angst. I could be wrong.
Wondering why your appetite for more “things” seems insatiable?
A study to be published in the June 2013 Journal of Consumer Research confirms that people tend to find greater pleasure in wanting things vs. having things.
“Thinking about acquisition provides momentary happiness boosts to materialistic people, and because they tend to think about acquisition a lot, such thoughts have the potential to provide frequent mood boosts. But the positive emotions associated with acquisition are short-lived,” said study author Marsha L. Richins.
She continued, “Materialists are more likely to overspend and have credit problems, possibly because they believe that acquisitions will increase their happiness and change their lives in meaningful ways.”
Let’s talk about how this happens, then move on to the mystery of why people repeatedly convince themselves that they must have something, and then lose interest in it soon after purchase.
Chronic anger is so damaging to your body that it may out rank smoking, obesity and a high-fat diet as a risk factor for chronic disease and early death.
Worse, no one seems to know what to do with it. You shouldn’t suppress anger, say some, as that only enhances the physical damage. You shouldn’t vent it either, say others, as that only enhances the physical damage! Anger is maddening.
While the jury is out deliberating how to deal with it, anger is wreaking havoc among the inhabitants of planet earth. Below I have listed some of the effects of chronic or repressed anger. Most of these are scientifically researched, with references provided.
At the end of this article I briefly discuss the best treatment for anger of all types, in my experience.
What is NLP? NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
According to our friend, Mike Bundrant (who is an NLP practitioner and author of this new blog on the topic), NLP “is a grass roots personal and professional development movement that began in the early 1970′s when a small group of college students in Santa Barbara set out to discover the structure of subjective experience. This group of brilliant and curious souls, led by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, soon discovered a unique way of approaching how the mind works. The NLP models that resulted from exploring subjectivity constitute a singular contribution to the field of psychology and personal development.”
NLP is focused on the three components that comprise human experience — neurology or neuropsychology (the brain) and language, and the interaction between the two (the “programming” part).
Most modern practitioners of NLP simply see it as a pragmatic way of looking at human behavior and emotions.
According to Mike, “The NLP approach to human potential is a departure from convention. To learn to solve problems, NLP students don’t study those who had the problems to learn about what went wrong. They study those who used to have the problems and had since resolved them.
“With a unique process called modeling NLPers systematically deconstructed the mental and behavioral strategies that lead to success and taught those strategies to those in need.”
While there are those who discount the usefulness or underlying tenets of NLP, we take a neutral stance on the practice and keep an open mind. That’s why we’re happy to welcome NLP Discoveries to the Psych Central family, and hope you will too.