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Tag Archives: boundaries
I had a narcissistic mother and it was a complete disaster for my boyhood sense of self-confidence and the way I saw myself as I grew into a man. A narcissistic mother can leave deep emotional and psychological wounds that get triggered in our daily adult lives, undermining our self-confidence and making life extremely stressful. The impact is most pronounced in our relationships with women, leaving us feeling disempowered and emasculated around women until we get our narcissistic mother wound healed.
Narcissists carry a lot of internalized shame and project their own unhealed emotional wounds onto everyone around them, especially their children. As a boy we were powerless to deal with our narcissistic mother and may still carry this sense of powerlessness along with her paranoid world view unconsciously into adulthood.
It's easy to recognize a narcissistic mother because they typically:… Continue reading…
I grew up in a family where emotions weren't expressed cleanly; especially challenging emotions like anger. Everyone feels angry from time to time, but growing up I got the sense that there was something wrong with this basic human emotion because nobody talked about it. My parents never seemed to say directly that they felt angry; but it was obvious when they were and their anger came out in ways that I found very frightening and destructive.
Everyone around me seemed ashamed of their anger. Over time, I learned to feel ashamed of my anger too. I denied, suppressed and internalized it as though I was doing something righteous and noble. But the repressed rage built up inside me until eventually as an adult I developed overwhelming anxiety, panic attacks, depression and even a physical illness.
This forced me to wise up and realize that there was nothing noble about denying my anger. But with poor role models for expressing anger constructively in my family of origin and in society at large, who was I to turn to for help?
My answer came in the form of enlightened therapists who understood that anger is a perfectly normal emotion whose purpose is to motivate us when our needs aren't getting met.… Continue reading…
I've been watching David DeAngelo's Deep Inner Game program with Dr Paul, and it's really brilliant. The program is about developing the mindset that men need to be successful, particularly focused on women, dating and relationships. This mindset is often referred to as our “inner game”, and it really extends to the bigger picture of being confident and successful in life generally.
Here are some of the key things that I've learned:
Many of our problems in relating to other people are caused by having a weak psychological and emotional personal boundary, often viewed as having holes in our boundary.
Saying “No” is how we patch holes in our boundary.
Expressing preferences also helps build our boundary, and demonstrates it to other people. Women find this very attractive, even if their preferences differ from ours. If you're very bad at expressing preferences, you may feel like you don't have any; in which case you may need to start with arbitrary preferences. e.g. I love dogs, I hate cats.
Immature boundaries either have holes, or are thick and impermeable. Mature boundaries have doors that allow us to control what gets in and what does not.
Perfectionism is caused by a hole in our boundary, projecting our own faults and internal ideals out onto other people.… Continue reading…