How (Not) To Manage Anger: Lessons From My Parents

When we are young, we learn to manage our emotions through the interactions with our immediate caregivers, principally our mother and father. The way our parents manage their emotions leaves a dramatic imprint on our developing nervous system that can last long into adulthood. This is particularly true of strong emotions like anger.

Two common adult reactions to poor emotional management by our parents are to submit or to rebel. We either live the rest of our lives managing our emotions they way they taught us out of fear and submission, or doing the opposite out of anger and rebellion. Neither of these two reactions represent true freedom. A better approach is to make our own choice in each situation but this takes insight and practice, especially if we choose to do things differently from the default programming we got from our parents. (more…)

How To Get A Toxic Mother Out Of Your Nervous System

When we are children our survival depends on having support from our biological caregivers, principally our mother. If she rejects us, we die. Since our very life depends on her support, this gives us a tremendous desire for approval from our mother that goes deep into our nervous system.

If our mother was emotionally mature, mentally developed and physically competent at facing the challenges of her own life, her relationship with our father and of raising us, her reciprocal feelings of love towards us motivates her to meet our basic needs. Our nervous system calms down over time as we learn to regulate our emotions via the empathic bond that we share with our mothers, and to a lesser extent with our fathers, siblings and other significant older people in our infant lives.

Over time as we begin to individuate from our mothers, particularly during adolescence, our need for love, support and approval from her diminishes as we learn how to form healthy relationships with other people and to meet our own survival needs. Once our survival is no longer dependent on our mother and we are free to pursue our own goals, even ones that she may not approve of. This is part of the process of growing from a dependent boy into a confident, independent man.

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How To Deal With Man-Hatred In The Media

It seems like every day I’m coming across articles and interviews in the media on so-called “toxic masculinity” written and organised by man-hating post-feminists with an obvious personal agenda of beating up on men. They piggy-back on otherwise positive themes like equality, the #metoo movement, tackling domestic violence or eliminating sexual assault; but then hijack the agenda with an underlying theme that men are crap and the future is female.

Plenty of other social commentators have dissected the inherent hypocrisy of man-haters relying on societal infrastructure predominantly provided and maintained by men that keeps them housed, clothed and fed with clean water, electricity, telecommunications and other services so reliable that they fail to notice they're even there; while at the same time complaining at every opportunity about the behavior of a tiny minority of men as if it were the universal norm.

So instead of delving any further into what’s wrong with man-haters, I’m going to focus on how to deal with the problem: (more…)

How To Heal Intergenerational Unworthiness Trauma

Intergenerational Unworthiness Trauma is a term I coined this morning to describe feelings of unworthiness and insecurity that are passed from parents to their children down successive generations.

Parents who feel fundamentally unworthy create a lack of secure attachment with their infants, leading to children with insecure, avoidant or disorganized attachment styles. When these children grow into adults, they pass the trauma on to their own children through their inability to bond emotionally with them. Everyone in the family ends up with emotional abandonment trauma manifesting as core feelings of unworthiness.

In other words, parents who feel fundamentally unworthy, insecure or broken are unable to raise children with deep feelings of worthiness themselves.

The cycle repeats down the generations until someone recognises and breaks it by doing the emotional healing work to deal with their own traumatic attachment wound, so they can create a secure attachment to the children in the next generation.

I have experienced this personally, and believe it is the underlying issue that undermined my own self-confidence for so long, ultimately leading me to create this website. (more…)

7 Fun Things to Do On Valentine’s Day as a Single Person

This is a guest post by Michelle Peterson from RecoveryPride.org

Valentine’s Day creates a huge market for advertisers and big companies. It can be pretty commercial, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spread the love around. If you’re single, you can spread the love to your friends, family, but perhaps most importantly, yourself. Here are some great ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day as a single. (more…)

How To Find And Keep True Love

With Valentine’s Day coming up I thought I’d review David DeAngelo’s program Love The Final Chapter, which could otherwise be titled How To Find And Keep True Love.

Love Is Real

David had a series of realizations as he evolved over time which for me boil down to worthiness. When you don’t feel worthy, you need a lot of tools and techniques to attract women. Learning these tools can help develop a sense of worthiness but ultimately they need to be dispensed with to create a truly loving relationship. (more…)

How To Deal With Generalized Anxiety

Anxiety sucks, especially when we don’t know what’s causing it and what to do about it. When we feel anxious all the time for no obvious reason, it’s called generalized anxiety. However there are often things we can do to reduce, eliminate or manage generalized anxiety so that it doesn’t ruin our life.

There are many reasons why we may feel anxious. Solving this problem can sometimes involve trying a number of different approaches until we find one or more that work for us. Based on my experience of what works for me and my clients when feeling anxious, here are some strategies to try: (more…)

How To Release Resentment Towards Your Parents

Unhealed childhood resentment is like a cancer that can destroy your adult life. We unconsciously project resentment towards our parents that we continue to carry from our childhood, onto other people. Especially people of the same gender as the parent we still resent.

If deep down you are still angry with your mother, you’ll tend to resent any woman who acts even remotely like her. If you still have resentment towards your father, it’s likely to negatively effect the way you relate to other men and authority figures in general. This operates unconsciously so you may not even be consciously aware of it.

If you grew up in an environment where anger wasn’t handled well and you learned to suppress your own anger, you could have a truckload of resentment simmering away beneath the surface that you’re not even consciously aware of. Symptoms of this are feeling rage when other people violate your boundaries, either exploding out of proportion to what’s actually happening or seething internally instead of standing up for yourself.

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How To Resolve Anger About Childhood Christian Indoctrination

It's Sunday morning. When I was a child, Sunday morning meant getting up unreasonably early (for a Sunday), getting dressed and heading to our local church with my parents to learn about God, Jesus and The Bible.

The church services felt long and boring with dull music, but fortunately I didn't have to stay in them very long as us kids could leave part-way through to head downstairs to Sunday School in the basement of the church. Compared to the church service, Sunday School was much more fun. I ran riot a lot of the time, running around the building whenever possible and playing with the other kids. Mind you, compared to Sunday School, I imagined that staying home or playing with my non-church friends was probably even more fun.

In Sunday School I heard stories like Jonah being swallowed by a whale for disobeying God. God's plan involved Jonah going to Nineveh to tell the people there how evil they were. Didn't sound like such a great plan to me; who would want to do that?

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What’s So Good About Feeling Bad?

In the last few days I’ve had a couple of people close to me tell me that they didn’t want to talk about painful experiences that they have had. They said things like “I don’t want to dwell on it” or “I really want a cigarette”, rather than talking about something that made them feel bad.

We’re not always in an appropriate social context to heal emotional pain and it’s wise to be discerning about when and with whom we choose to share vulnerable feelings. Nobody really wants to feel bad; we all naturally want to feel happy and generally speaking we tend to get more of whatever we focus on in life.

However we live in a society which tends to glorify intellect over feelings. Many of us have been taught to suppress emotions while growing up; especially those that our family and friends were uncomfortable with. Few people really understand what emotional trauma is, how it operates or how to heal it.

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