If you really want to challenge yourself, I highly encourage reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson His no BS approach pulls NO punches, as you can see from the photo I took. It can be difficult to get through because your ego can get a little bruised haha.
When you are out of touch with your self awareness you often don’t take ownership of your emotions. You tend to have knee jerk emotional reactions to what others say or do that triggers you, and you make them the responsible party for causing you to feel that way. What most people don’t realize is that they are unconsciously associating whatever was said or done with something from their past that caused them to feel this way. In essence, they have triggered an old wound that resulted in a knee-jerk reaction.
This approach often comes from a place of victim mentality, where you expect people to never say or do things that trigger you. To be clear, I am in no way downplaying the experience of anyone that has truly been victimized! I am simply referring to things like minor disagreements or misunderstandings due to the implied
meanings we place on things from our past experiences. In allowing these unconscious triggers to provoke reactions in us and placing blame on the other person for “causing” this feeling, it is placing a burden on other people to save you from yourself.
Conversely, through our life experiences many of us develop an unconscious belief that love is conditional. You may have been made to feel like you are responsible for the happiness of other people, and you take that on. You try to do whatever you can to save others from themselves. This can present as the chronic people-pleasers, who try to give and give to those around them because they believe that is what will get them the love and respect that they crave.
Somehow in my past I’ve managed to take on the persona of both described. The yin and the yang – the victim and the saver. I’ve traced this back to all kinds of relationships I’ve had, including friends, family, and love interests/partners. Both of these personas come from a place from wanting to be loved and have connection, though it never works because the kind of love and connection that we really need is unconditional.
What I have learned through my own journey is that the best thing we can do is focus on ourselves and our own betterment. Building self awareness and emotional intelligence through reflection and learning. What Mark says is so true – we have to take responsibility for our own emotions and actions in order to have a healthy relationship with anyone else.
I think it is important for you to know that you don’t have to be “healed” to be loved. Nor do you need to fully love yourself before someone else can love you, as is often said. You do, however, have to be willing to work on yourself and your relationships. I believe that the key to having a strong relationship or friendship that can thrive long-term is for both parties to be willing to grow TOGETHER.
It’s not about finding a relationship with no conflict. It’s not about finding people that never trigger any of your automatic reactions. It about finding the relationships where both parties feel loved and fully supported to be vulnerable. Being able to communicate how you feel without judgment and have support working through those triggers. That is what I’ll be waiting for in my love life and friend circles!
If you’ve read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment and let me know what insights you liked most from the book. Did any of this resonate with you?
With love and light,