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How to stop being a comfortable person and start living for yourself? Instructions from a psychologist.

Date: July 14, 2024 Time: 13:43:48

Analytically Oriented Therapist, EMDR Practitioner, Trauma Therapist, Psychodemic Expert

“The desire to be “comfortable” is a very common problem, which consists of a person acquiring the habit of adapting to others to obtain approval. I propose to see it as a coping mechanism or a pattern of behavior, something that has developed through repeated repetition as a way of coping with the reality in which we find ourselves.”

How is the habit of “being comfortable” formed?

Feeling comfortable is often the only way to be loved. This is a survival strategy. Imagine that a person faces inappropriate treatment over which he has no power or control. This is a rather difficult experience in which there is a lot of helplessness. To make it smaller, it tries to regain control through an attempt to change itself, to adapt. That is, get “comfortable”.

When a client and I begin to untangle this big ball in therapy, there is a lot of pain and rejection buried inside. The person was not accepted and loved just as they were, and then they learned to adapt so as not to be left alone.

Psychoanalysts talk about “deficit investment.” This concept means a lack of mental, emotional, time and physical investment by supportive figures.

The mother establishes a relationship with the baby even during pregnancy, fantasizing about him, imagining him. An investment of love and emotional intimacy in the fetus is already occurring at this time.

If this were not the case, the baby will develop a strong internal deficit. Furthermore, it does not form a representation of the internal object “that cares.” And that is the problem. Because? She will have nothing to rely on when she develops the ability to care for herself independently.

Photo: skynesher / istockphoto.com

When we are cared for, over time we learn to do it ourselves. If we have experienced the absence of such participation, we find it very difficult to do anything for ourselves. After all, to do this we need to reproduce something we have never seen. It’s like speaking Chinese that you don’t know.

What that person definitely learns is to invest abroad. He is excellent at putting the needs of others first.

Often the first person who cares and invests mental strength in contact with such a “convenient” person can be a therapist. Her main task will be to help the client divert in her direction the vital forces directed at others. And this is a very difficult task.

The fear of rejection and social isolation is engraved in us on a biological level. For centuries it was impossible to survive alone, so exclusion from a social group was equivalent to death.

Any child is ready to do absolutely anything for the love and approval of his mother. If she (or the family system) unconsciously needs to act out some kind of scenario, then the children, as the most vulnerable (because they are the youngest) members of the system, give it the opportunity to make it come true. They are doing everything they can to achieve this.

Let’s find out why it is important to resolve conflicts peacefully and learn how to do it:

How to make peace after a fight with a loved one and maintain the relationship? Instructions from a psychologist.

What could be the reasons for the emergence of the “being comfortable” pattern?

one parent was sick/emotionally overburdened/worked too much; one of the family members had alcoholism; There were younger or “difficult” children; the parents were cold and rejecting;

All of this is fertile ground for making yourself as comfortable as possible for the sake of your own survival.

As a child grows, he or she faces a host of feelings and reactions that he or she cannot experience on his or her own. She needs a fairly stable and attuned adult nearby, who is able to accept all this and help the baby cope.

This is how the learning process occurs. The child receives strategies to work with her own conditions.

What happens if an adult cannot cope with the situation? Take a situation where a child comes home sad and the mother herself is deeply depressed because the father is on another drunken bender. In the best case scenario, the baby will be left alone with her difficulties. In the worst case, she will become a lightning rod for mom’s aggression, which she cannot express to dad.

Photo: SDI Productions / istockphoto.com

But the child does not understand what is happening. He just sees: I came with my difficult experience and they ignored me or yelled at me. What conclusion do you draw from the love he feels for his mother? I’m the bad guy for bothering her. My feelings are dangerous, so I will do my best not to upset my mother anymore. I will not burden myself or my experiences. It’s already hard for her and here I am with my nonsense.

What’s wrong with “being comfortable”?

The basis of the habit of “being comfortable” is the breaking of contact with one’s own needs. A person does not understand well what he really wants, what he needs, what he feels. Anyone who tries to be comfortable with others is out of touch with their body and its needs.

Very often, these people do not realize for years that this is not a normal condition, but a problem. After all, they lived like this all their lives. Furthermore, that strategy is driven by social beliefs and the lack of good stories. “Everyone lives like this, everyone lives like this,” the person thinks.

In the therapist’s office, comfortable people often find themselves in extreme anxiety, already with panic attacks or other symptoms when the body literally forces the person to focus on itself.

Signs of this condition and instructions to overcome it:

How do counterdependent people live and why are they unhappy? Analysis of a psychologist.

The next stage is the fear of expressing your needs, accompanied by shame and guilt.

A comfortable woman cooks and cleans after an eight-hour day, ignoring fatigue and physical discomfort because she needs to take care of her family. “The house must be clean,” she tells herself. And the idea of ​​stopping doing this or delegating it is difficult to bear or not feasible.

These people also have great difficulty with boundaries. This is quite natural given the difficulties in discovering one’s own needs.

Generally, for these people, the border that separates them from others lies far beyond themselves. What is my area of ​​responsibility? What should I really do and what should I refuse? What do I want from this list and, most importantly, what can I do? It is as if a person gives away the rights to their time and space to others.

Because of the high demands they place on themselves, comfortable people find it extremely difficult to ask for and accept help and support.

What helps you stop being “comfortable”?

Based on all of the above, to stop being comfortable it is necessary to discover yourself. What does it mean? To answer this question, it is important to understand how the ability is formed not to adapt, but to manifest itself in all the diversity of feelings, sensations and reactions.

As we discovered, this experience of expressing yourself well must be formed with important loved ones in early childhood, when patterns of behavior and ways of interacting with the world and others are established. But since a suitable person did not have such an opportunity in childhood, it is important to separate from his parents in adulthood.

Photo: PeopleImages / istockphoto.com

Emotional separation is an important stage in moving away from comfort. It happens when you come to understand that you are no longer obliged to assume the feelings of your mother or father and you stop being afraid of destroying your parents with your manifestations, protecting them from yourself and separating your needs. Only after going through a breakup can a person learn to defend their boundaries.

Contact with people who accept, who are stable enough and are willing to give space to your feelings and needs is also important. They can be friends, a partner, a teacher or a manager, if you have a good relationship and it is sufficiently conscious and stable. And, of course, psychotherapy, thanks to which you can learn to understand your desires and needs and express yourself in all the diversity of feelings.

Understanding where your “be comfortable” strategy came from, separating from your parents, establishing boundaries and a supportive environment – all of this will help you listen to your needs, allow yourself to follow them, and become the main person in your life.

Spoiler alert: It’s easy to strengthen relationships with loved ones:

Secure attachment in relationships: what is it and how to form it?

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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