Table of contents:
- “Nobody knows how to hurt me as much as I do myself,” my client said. I wonder how many times during the day you criticized or condemned yourself? Or forced yourself to do something you don't need? Or maybe you devoted your free time to anxious reflections (danger is always somewhere nearby, the main thing is to look well)?
- 3 ways to connect with yourself
- Where does violence against oneself come from?
- What to do?
Video: Self-abuse - Self-development, Society
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
“Nobody knows how to hurt me as much as I do myself,” my client said. I wonder how many times during the day you criticized or condemned yourself? Or forced yourself to do something you don't need? Or maybe you devoted your free time to anxious reflections (danger is always somewhere nearby, the main thing is to look well)?
3 ways to connect with yourself
Almost all of us tolerate internal violence. But to varying degrees. For some, this is a rare case, but for others it is a constant way of interacting with oneself. In our inner world, we constantly somehow contact ourselves and do this, in my opinion, in three ways.
First way. Informative feedback
The first, and unfortunately rarely used, is informative feedback. When we just fix the result of our actions (what exactly happened). We decide whether it satisfies us or not. If not, we draw conclusions on how to prevent or improve the result in the future.
Example No. 1. Overeating on holidays.
What happened? "I ate more than I planned."
Are you satisfied with the result? "No".
What to do? "I will plan fasting days or add training." Everything, period.
Example No. 2. Conflict at work.
In a conflict situation at work, you could not restrain yourself (or, conversely, could not express your opinion).
What happened? "I kept silent when I had to 'hit back'."
What to do? “I’ll practice my imagination ahead of time or seek help to change this behavior pattern.” And again the point.
Second way. "Pinky"
The second way to contact yourself, the most popular and related to violence, is "kicks." Words and actions filled with the idea of "I'm not okay": insults, humiliation, rot, negative assessment of the personality in general, devaluation, etc.
Example number 1. After overeating on holidays - the inclusion of an internal monologue in the style of "I am a weak-willed pig, I never succeed, etc., etc.". As a result, by the way, instead of one problem (for example, excess weight and exacerbation of gastrointestinal diseases), you have two - excess weight + a feeling of worthlessness.
Example No. 2. After a conflict at work (you kept silent when you were "run over"), self-deprecation turns on: "I'm a rag, everyone is wiping their feet about me" + constant (exhausting) scrolling of pictures in my head, how to act. As a result - a feeling of worthlessness + a feeling of anxiety and annoyance (after all, the past cannot be rewritten).
Third way. "Stroking"
The third, also, unfortunately, a rarely used way of interacting with oneself (he literally has to learn in the process of psychotherapy) is "stroking". These are signals that carry the idea of "I'm fine." "Yes, I don't always succeed, but I am still good." This does not necessarily mean praise in our traditional understanding, which must be earned "with sweat and blood" or at least a couple of feats. Stroking refers to any words and actions aimed at supporting oneself. By themselves, “stroking” does not direct anywhere, but they create the necessary resource state in which a person is able to “move mountains” or at least change his behavior, which does not suit him.
Example No. 1. Violation of the diet: instead of self-flagellation - "Well, yes, it happened, I'm just a human being and I have the right to pleasure - and I will definitely find a way to get myself back in shape." And believe me, against the background of the feeling “I'm good”, all further actions requiring self-discipline will be much easier.
Example No. 2. They kept silent in the conflict: instead of self-deprecation - "Ok, I did what I could in this situation, did what was in my power, and since I don't like the result, I will learn to behave differently."
Self-discipline or self-abuse? Where is the border?
Self-discipline involves giving up some of your needs in order to achieve others. At the same time, the key is that achieving the desired result brings satisfaction and has value for a person. In case of violence, a person also often refuses something in order to satisfy some needs, but for what? There is no “why” here, there is only “because” (I’m used to it, my parents taught me this way, it’s accepted, etc.). And in the end there is neither satisfaction nor mastery of value. Therefore, when you force yourself to do / not do something, be sure to ask: “Why do I need this? What will I get? And do I really need what I get? " If the answers suit you, then go ahead.
Where does violence against oneself come from?
Let's imagine a small child. He has a parent (or someone who replaces him). And this parent is sometimes (or often) tough (or violent). Any parent is sometimes violent. But the range of manifestation is very wide: from one slap on the buttocks or occasional screams to daily systematic humiliation and devaluation. What does this lead to?
Then the child grows up and ceases, it would seem, to be so dependent on the parent. But the external real parent with his habitual patterns of behavior becomes a part of us, the so-called Inner Parent. The way our parents (or other adults who matter to us) behaved with us automatically becomes our internal way of interacting with ourselves.
In consultations, I often hear client stories about how they were ignored, called names, never praised in childhood. And you know what? When I ask them to analyze their inner actions, it turns out that now they themselves are doing the same thing, only in relation to themselves. They practically do not praise or accept praise from others, constantly criticize themselves for the slightest miscalculations and regularly ignore their desires as unimportant.
And then what? Then these same children themselves become parents and here, too, with a high degree of probability, they begin to repeat the behavior of their parents. When mothers turn to me, frightened by their own behavior with children (this is not necessarily physical violence, there may be a constant desire to criticize the child, incontinence in reactions), in nine cases out of ten it turns out that "the mother acted in the same way."
A kind of cycle of domestic violence arises, where external violence turns into internal, and then again into external. Therefore, the most important thing here is to break this cycle by making changes to the scheme of the Inner Parent, which in some people deserves more the name Inner Executioner or Inner Sadist
Usually, this work requires the presence of a specialist nearby, since there are many internal attitudes that justify such an attitude towards oneself, and it is an external vision of the situation, help and support that can be decisive. But you can start on your own.
What to do?
Step 1. Learn to recognize internal violence
To do this, fill out a self-observation diary for at least a week. As soon as you feel any discomfort, remember what you just said to yourself, what you thought. Write in this diary all situations, thoughts and actions in which you act in relation to yourself critically, devaluingly, etc.
Step 2. Analyze sources
After collecting the information, try to remember who previously behaved like this with you?
Stage 3. Start to change
As I wrote above, in addition to "kicks", there are other ways to interact with yourself, try to use them more often.