Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ask for What You Need

Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. There is no prize for the person who needs the least in life. Relating with others, bonding and connecting involves being vulnerable and sharing your needs. Give & Take. This was really hard for me, it still is very difficult. I was raised to be very self sufficient, to give without taking. But we're not meant to live on this planet alone, we have to rely on each other and be open to receiving. That doesn't mean to weigh people down with our needs or to be entitled. And it doesn't mean to expect all of our needs to be met by others. It just means that we have the courage to be who we are and ask for what we need from others. They may say yes, they may say no. Who knows? Maybe we'll get lucky and feel the interdependence at the peak of relating. But only if we roll the dice and ask.

<3 Jenna

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rejecting Behavior in Relationships

One of the epiphanies discovered on my road to loving myself is how to steer clear of relationships that are harmful and that deplete my self esteem, sense of worth and self respect. As a child I grew up in an invalidating environment; this means that I wasn't accepted for who I am. When you grow up being rejected, you continue seeking out people who will reject you when you're an adult, until and unless you wake up and put a stop to old habits.

While blooming into a whole, complete, healed person, I slowly figured out what rejecting behavior is. I was so accustomed to being discounted, devalued, dismissed by my caretakers as a child, as an adult I didn't even realize I was being rejected when I was. All I knew was that I hurt inside, felt depressed and had low levels of self esteem.

I'm writing this article to encourage you, dear reader, if you're battling to love yourself and to grow into a whole and complete person with self acceptance. Below I list some indications of rejection from others, but first, let me say that YOU DESERVE TO BE ACCEPTED. You do not deserve to be rejected in any way shape or form. You do not have to tolerate rejecting behavior of others. You are an adult today (if you're reading this, I assume) and you can take action to PROTECT yourself from rejection.

Rejection depletes your self esteem, makes you feel ashamed, unworthy and unlovable. Some people have very rejecting attitudes inside themselves about themselves, as well is about others. These are not bad people, per say, but they have toxic styles of relating which need to be remedied. If you love yourself you will require that everyone around you accept you for who you are, or else you will not stick around. You do have a choice. Always choose your dignity over a rejecting relationship.

Subtle Rejection

Rejection can be very subtle and sometimes covert. It's not always going to hit you upside the head. You will notice, however, when in the presence of a rejecting person, that you feel icky after being around them. When you feel uneasy about being around someone, there could be some undercurrent of rejection that you're not consciously aware of.

Mixed Messages

Rarely will you be wholly rejected by another person. Of course, all but those with zero self esteem will walk away from a relationship where you get nothing but rejection. Oftentimes a person who treats you with rejecting behavior will do so with mixed messages. IE: Come close, get away. This is a game that people play when they are insecure and fearful of intimacy, or have some psychological need to make themselves feel superior by putting you out.

If you grew up in a rejecting environment, you may also feel compelled to fix the opinion of someone who rejects you in adulthood as a way of repairing the wound that occurred when you were first rejected. This is what Freud calls the "Repetition Compulsion." This may cause you to seek out rejecting partners who will end up hurting you in the end. In fact, you may feel more comfortable with rejecting people than you do with those who accept you--that is if you are already rejecting yourself.

In fact, you would only tolerate rejecting behavior in others toward you if you already reject yourself in that same way. Rejecting behavior would feel bizarre and awkward to someone who loves and accepts herself or himself. The goal in growth and self love should be to feel it in your gut when someone is rejecting, cold and invalidating toward you. 

  • Keeps records of your mistakes. Keeps them in one-up, superior position and looking down on you. 
  • Refuses to listen to your truth. If someone refuses to listen to you, this is very rejecting behavior. You cannot have a relationship with someone who is not flexible enough to hear things they don't want to hear from you.
  • Runs hot and cold. See mixed messages. Dr. Jeckle & Mr. Hyde Syndrome. One minute they're nice and sweet, the next their raging and insensitive.
  • Does not consider your feelings. Does whatever they want without considering the impact to your feelings. This is rejection of your humanity when it is done continually despite you letting that person know that it hurts you.
  • Blames you for everything. Does not take responsibility for their behavior. This is also rejecting of your humanity. No person is perfect. If they think they're perfect then you can bet they'll be projecting their imperfections they can't accept onto you--steer clear.
  • Makes sarcastic comments about your life. A rejecting person looks down on you. You can tell by the little comments they make when you're expressing things about your life. They may make comments that make you feel like you have to prove yourself.
  • Positions themselves as higher than you. A rejecting person wrongfully ranks others as greater or lesser than themselves. They may have a need to put you down as they use that to increase their self esteem, albeit temporarily. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

100 Elements of Intimacy

Months ago I wrote the article, 100 Things Intimacy Is Not. At the time, I was just learning, growing and improving and quite frankly, I couldn't have written the article you're about to read. This article is especially good if you've wondered what this love stuff was all about... and if you're interested in learning what intimacy is from a clueless person's perspective.

You see, that's what I was. Clueless. Love doesn't come easily for some people--okay, for most people. It took me a long time to get it.. First I had to simmer in caldron of "what intimacy is not" for a few years... Now, after much study, experience and soul searching, I'm happy to say, I'm finally figuring out what intimacy is. Woo Hoo! One small step for mankind.

Hope it helps you. Wish there would have been an article like this for me to read a long time ago... It would have saved me a lot of heartache. Oh well, better late than never. Smooches!

100 Elements of Intimacy (100 Things That Intimacy Is)

1. Intimacy is the communication of authentic thoughts and feelings among two people. (Can be more, but we're focusing on two today)

2. Intimacy is the ability to disagree without being judged.

3. Intimacy is compassion for one another.

4. Intimacy is seeing the other as a separate person, not as an object.

5. Intimacy is being autonomous in relationship.

6. Intimacy is the ability to be vulnerable without shame.

7. Intimacy is acceptance of each other.

8. Intimacy is mentalization of the affects of yourself and the other.

9. Intimacy is emotional regulation (emotional self control).

10. Intimacy is not needing the other to make you feel any certain way.

11. Intimacy is a desire for the other to experience being heard.

12. Intimacy is reflecting how another is feeling.

13. Intimacy is sharing how you are feeling with another.

14. Intimacy is the human glue that bonds people together.

15. Intimacy is about being your true self, not someone you think your partner wants you to be.

16. Intimacy is not being afraid to admit your imperfections.

17. Intimacy is not being afraid of the reflection you see in your partner.

18. Intimacy is seeing the best in your partner.

19. Intimacy is trusting.

20. Intimacy is closeness.

21. Intimacy is not afraid to admit mistakes.

22. Intimacy is taking responsibility for your own needs.

23. Intimacy is asking for what you need without being attached to the outcome.

24. Intimacy is having a high enough self esteem to take risks.

25. Intimacy is about feelings, sharing, expressing, validating, understanding.

26. Intimacy is free from psychological defenses like denial, repression and projection.

27. Intimacy is the wisdom to see things as they really are, not as you want things to be.

28. Intimacy is the absence of resistance.

29. Intimacy is the courage to be known, even with all your flaws.

30. Intimacy is relaxing, even when you want to run away.

31. Intimacy is only possible for the emotionally mature.

32. Intimacy is not blaming yourself or the other person when things go wrong as things sometimes do.

33. Intimacy is being a mirror of your partners feelings.

34. Intimacy is about being able to share feelings that are both good and bad.

35. Intimacy is about considering the other person.

36. Intimacy is about self nurture, self care as well as other nurture and other care.

37. Intimacy is what first happens between a properly attached mother and infant.

38. Intimacy requires total honesty.

39. Intimacy promotes the individuality of both parties.

40. Intimacy heals the heart of painful past problems.

41. Intimacy fulfills each person an makes one whole.

42. Intimacy is clarifying what you think the other person is feeling.

43. Intimacy is taking the time to share your feelings with each other.

44. Intimacy is expressing your truth without waivering.

45. Intimacy is being able to tolerate the anxiety, fear of abandonment.

46. Intimacy is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

47. Intimacy is possible only with a securely attached heart.

48. Intimacy takes work to maintain.

49. Intimacy is raw honesty with another human being.

50. Intimacy is the unfolding of humanity in the container of relationship.

51. Intimacy is respect for self and respect for the other.

52. Intimacy is equality for each person in the relationship.

53. Intimacy is apologizing for wrongs.

54. Intimacy is in facing barriers to deeper connection and making corrections.

55. Intimacy is forgiveness.

56. Intimacy is standing in the fire, strong enough not to be burned.

57. Intimacy is skill.

58. Intimacy is strength of character, personality and heart.

59. Intimacy is remembering that there are two sides to every story.

60. Intimacy is openness to life as it comes, not how you want it to be.

61. Intimacy is the ability to cope well with uncertainty.

62. Intimacy is spontaneous, real time engagement.

63. Intimacy is about growing internally and fostering growth of your partner in all ways.

64. Intimacy is wanting the best for each other, however that plays out.

65. Intimacy is nonjudgmental, open, honest and accepting.

66. Intimacy gives space for individual growth.

67. Intimacy is preferring one another.

68. Intimacy is seeing your partner's happiness as more important than your own.

69. Intimacy is having strong boundaries.

70. Intimacy requires a solid, secure self identity.

71. Intimacy is overlooking negative emotions in your partner and helping them through it.

72. Intimacy shows us that what we see in the other good or bad is actually what we harbor within ourselves.

73. Intimacy is dancing in step, being in sync, on the same page--attunement.

74. Intimacy is patience.

75. Intimacy is taking care of your own neediness and not expecting your partner to help.

76. Intimacy is most like unconditional love.

77. Intimacy is staying in the present moment.

78. Intimacy is not projecting your negative self views onto the other person.

79. Intimacy is bouncing back quickly after a disagreement.

80. Intimacy is being secure enough to mend ruptures to the relationship.

81. Intimacy is trusting the other person is doing you right.

82. Intimacy is not walking out on a fight.

83. Intimacy is holding the other tightly, and letting go freely.

84. Intimacy is detachment from needing one another to be any way other than who they are.

85. Intimacy is not looking for flaws, faults or mistakes.

86. Intimacy is believing in your partner and trusting they can work through their issues.

87. Intimacy is a cushion in a rough world.

88. Intimacy is an emotionally safe place where you are loved and supported.

89. Intimacy seeks to understand before trying to be understood.

90. Intimacy listens with empathy and heart.

91. Intimacy is a balance between autonomy and togetherness.

92. Intimacy is being real--not playing games or sticking to certain roles.

93. Intimacy is tolerant of frustration.

94. Intimacy is not keeping score.

95. Intimacy is expressing feelings of hurt, sadness, confusion to one another to avoid a build up of resentment.

96. Intimacy is taking care of yourself so you can give your attention to the other instead of spending energy trying to get something that you need.

97. Intimacy is knowing you are worthy of love.

98. Intimacy is maintaining ethical relations with one another.

99. Intimacy allows abundance to flow.

100. Intimacy requires that you love your own life.

Read this article too...
100 Things Intimacy is Not

What is intimacy?
How to have intimacy.
Intimacy issues.
Improve Intimacy
Intimacy in marriage
Attachment, Attached
Fear of Intimacy