A common problem when asked what do you/I want or need, the answer is either 'I don't know' or 'I can't say' - ie I cant let anyone know what my need is'
Here we will use our daily interactions with others to help us identify what we are really thinking and feeling. This is helpful for those of us who can recall very little from childhood. So these questions can help open the doorway to who we truly are versus our adapted masked selves. As you reflect on these quesitons (very helpful if you can write them down) remember, if you an earlier memory, to feel back into your earlier happy experience in your body (from True Self ID Tool) if you get triggered or feel upset including if you begin to feel judgemental of self.
If you do not have a memory, using a grounding tool such as belly breathing or what can I see, hear, touch, taste or feel in this moment is great, and just as effective.
1. Think of an event, decision, friend, family relative, situation, relationship you are currently involved in - name it
2. I decide to attend, make decision, see friend or family etc or take action - will it make me more comfortable inside myself or less comfortable? (This does not mean we stop doing things which are uncomfortable for us, it means so we become more conscioulsy aware of what we feel so 1) we can begin to choose and 2) grow our resilency toward feeling discomfort and beceme, over time, more confident with sitting with who we truly are even when dicomfort comes to visit).
Describe all thoughts and feelings including body sensations if you go ahead:
3. Do I feel any resentment, anger or hostility when I have said yes or no?
4. Did I really mean no but am/was too afraid to say it?
5. Am I betraying myself and what I really feel about this situation?
6. Who will benefit from this action? i.e who benefits from the sleepless nights worrying over someone else?
Learn to monitor when others are imposing on you versus when you actually enjoy helping them.
7. Write a reflective paragraph about what you learned about yourself doing this exercise and/or from the experience you had of yourself as you faced the situation in realtime.
When we are often asked by self or others 'what is it I want or need' the answer often is 'I don't know'. Please know this is completely normal because when our needs have never been met and we have become so far away from who we truly are, we don't know we have needs let alone what they are. Or perhaps we do know and don't feel it's ok to ask for them to be met because of how we were taught to view our needs in our family system, social system etc.
Please remember to take your time. This is not a race. Lots comes up for us even when we begin to remember happy memories and it can be extremely upsetting and deregulating when we have no memories at all or no happy ones we can recall. So please pace yourself.
As we open the door on reflecting on our memories we may find other memories start to come back, things we have long forgotten.
On the other hand, you may only be able to remember there was one teacher who was very nice and you remember you liked them. That is ok.
We often cannot remember things because we could not be truly present in our lives at the time, either because it was not safe to be us or we had to disassociate or live in survival mode, or we pretty quickly learned we need to keep everyone else happy (a failing endevour) otherwise things were likely to escalate very quickly.
We may have learned to put others needs ahead of our own and if we did think of ourselves we were either told it was selfish or somehow bad or implied. So as you can see this is not an easy journey to unpack and needs time and compassion toward self. Compassion for self is not something we have been taught.
Learning new things means unlearning old things and this takes time, it's a practice.
Perhaps you would like to talk, find out more, explore if individual therapy or couples counselling is for you, please contact me confidentially and without obligation.
If you are trying to find a therapist or counsellor or looking for online counselling or couples counselling, my comfortable location near Camberley, Surrey, in Sandhurst and Wokingham, Berkshire, close to Hampshire, Ascot, Bagshot, Bracknell, Crowthorne, Farnborough, Frimley, Finchampstead, Sunningdale, Guildford and Windsor is easily assessible.
Short or long term counselling, relationship, couples counselling, phone and online counselling via Skype or FT.
Adults & Teens (18+) £60
Couples Counselling £70
CONFIDENTIALITY AND YOUR PERSONAL DETAILS
By supplying your contact details on enquiry or request of my services and client registration, you are agreeing to me holding confidential data about you. Client contact data is never used for any marketing purposes. Any email, mobile, phone or internet (Skype/FT/Watsap etc) you may choose to use to communicate with me is subject to limits of confidentiality from providers. For more details please see Privacy.