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Tag Archives: shame
Traumatic or emotionally painful events in our past can leave us with emotionally charged memories that get triggered whenever we find ourselves in similar circumstances later in life. This will undermine your confidence in these situations, as the powerful emotions triggered quickly become overwhelming even though there's no real threat present.
There are a myriad of different life experiences that can cause trauma and emotional pain. Perhaps your parents were emotionally unsupportive, only loved you conditionally when you were good, or didn't approve of your friends, hobbies, interests or career plans. Maybe they argued and left you feeling unsafe in your own home. Perhaps there was abuse and violence in your family. Or your parent's divorced or separated, leaving you wondering if you were to blame. Perhaps your brothers and sisters, or other kids at school didn't accept you, or you were bullied, or the girls didn't want to play with you. Maybe your childhood sweetheart broke up with you, left you for another guy, or just didn't want to be around you in the first place. And then they went on to become a media star, reminding you of the pain every time you saw them on TV even years later.… Continue reading…
Perfectionism will undermine your self-confidence like nothing else. Trying to maintain a facade of perfection all the time and holding yourself to unachievable standards is exhausting; I know, I've tried. But before you can do anything about perfectionism, you need to be able to recognize it.
Here are some clues that you might be suffering from perfectionism:
A deep fear of failure, and sense of devastation when it happens
Getting upset when you don't win all the time
Feeling ashamed of your thoughts and emotions
Holding back on expressing how you really feel
Fear of what others might think of you
A sense of self-consciousness
Using sarcasm or passive aggression when relating to others
Being driven to high achievement all the time-to-time
Any of this sound familiar?
Ok, so now we can see the problem, here are two different ways of looking at it:
- You're not perfect, and never will be. Neither is anyone else. Pretending to be perfect when you're really not is living a lie. It cuts you off from relating deeply to other people, because they can't relate to your facade of invulnerability. As a result, you sometimes come across as distant or aloof.
Growing up with a controlling and/or domineering mother can suppress your masculinity and leave you stuck feeling and acting like a boy in a man's body. My mother was the dominant figure in my family of origin, and with a passive-aggressive father and two relatively dominant older sisters, it was a disastrous recipe for my developing masculinity.
A controlling mother creates a relationship dynamic that will undermine your confidence in yourself as a man unless you take steps to counter its effects. So here are some steps to take to help you recover from growing up with a controlling, dominant mother:
Recognize that Your Mother is Controlling
The first step to dealing with a problem is to recognize that it exists. It took me a long time to even see that my mother was controlling. It wasn't until I did The Landmark Forum in my mid-30s and they started talking about how controlling most of us are that I had this insight.
When I was a child, my mother used a physical leash to control me; partly for my own safety, and partly for her convenience. As I got older, verbal stoushes with my father made it very clear that the masculine point of view wasn't welcome in our household.… Continue reading…
When a fellow recovering-computer-engineer friend of mine SMS'd me saying: “I've worked out what the problem is... it's shame.”, I knew immediately what he referring to. The perpetual self-consciousness and lack of confidence that kept plaguing me, the low self-esteem, the anxiety and awkwardness around other people, the fear of embarrassment, the worry about what other people thought when I asserted myself, the vague feeling of inadequacy and the sense that I somehow wasn't good enough all came down to one underlying emotion: Shame.
I knew instantly that my friend was right, yet it took me over a year to get around to John Bradshaw's best-selling book on the topic. That's the insidious thing about shame: we avoid it like the plague, even though it's at the root of many of our emotional, psychological and behavioural problems. We hear an increasing amount these days about stress and depression, but very few people are talking directly about the underlying problem of shame that man men face in their. As Bradshaw points out in his book, we're even ashamed of our shame.
Shame is a sense that we are bad or wrong; that we are defective in some way. It causes us to live in constant fear of being exposed; of being revealed to other people, who might just happen to see through the façade we present to the world and discover what we're really like.… Continue reading…
Many of you may have heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Whilst there is no standard definition of PTSD, it is generally agreed that PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs when a person sees their life flash before their eyes. For example they are involved in, or witness, a near death incident, or a series of events resulting in them having the perception that life as they know it, is about to end.
Emotional overload in these circumstances causes the primitive region of the brain called the limbic region, responsible for brains involvement in emotions, to recalibrate in order to cope. PTSD occurs when the brain doesn’t go back to normal operation of its own accord.
So why talk about PTSD here?
Well it gives a great extreme example of emotions at play within us. You may not suffer from it, but you may demonstrate some of the same characteristics. This is very normal, and has occurred for the same reasons as someone with ‘the bug’ (I use the term bug, because it highlights that you can get over the disorder to live a normal life) – self defence.
There are many elements involved with a person suffering from PTSD, but one of the major ones is their emotions.… Continue reading…