Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What is a Healthy Conversation?

A codependent person who has adapted to meet the needs of their primary care takers learns that their needs, wants, desires, thoughts and feelings are unimportant. The message this person received is that she is worthless. He learns that the primary care takers, who are generally narcissistic and abusive are the only ones who matter in the relationship, and this trickles down to daily conversations in adulthood.

So growing up with the adaptation of codependency in order to develop, albeit thwarted, a person who was disregarded, ignored, abandoned, humiliated and exploited as a child will grow up accustomed to patterns of relationship that are screwy.

Once you begin to heal and you start to see the truth, and you start to realize that you have worth and value, you start to see the truth in the people who are in your life. You can also see right through people who approach you day-to-day. There is a huge difference in the way people converse with you and approach you who are healthy, verses those who are manipulating and exploiting you. Once your eyes are open, they cannot be closed. Once you realize your worth, you will be turned off by narcissistic people and/or people who talk at you rather than with you and/or people who ignore you and send subtle messages of disregard in conversation.

Tip-offs to Unhealthy Interactions

  • They don't answer you directly.
  • They change the subject after you have said something that is of importance to you.
  • They ignore what you just said and keep talking.
  • During conversation, you make a point and they ignore your point and say other things that totally disregards your point.
  • They ask you personal and private questions that are none of their business.
  • They make a negative comment about your own personal life choice(s).
  • They mock a decision you've made--this can be something small, like the workout method you've chosen--and proceed to tell you that their way is better.
  • They try to convince you to change your mind.
  • When you answer their question, they spout off a sarcastic projection about why you feel that way, one that is not based in truth--and they don't bother to respectfully clarify what you were trying to say. (ie: they won't let you be yourself).
  • Tricky people act like they agree with everything you say until one day, they explode with anger and rage apparently from truths you have shared about yourself in the past. 
  • They talk negatively about other people, places, things. This can be a subtle manipulative technique to anchor your mindset and control you in several different ways. Beware of people who gossip and talk incessantly in a negative way by complaining.
  • Putting you down in any way.  
  • You experience uncomfortable feelings as they are pressuring you to answer questions that you don't know the answer to or you don't feel like answering.  
  • You experience uncomfortable feelings which are possibly their emotional projections that you, as an empathic person may be picking up on--that is, the emotions they don't deal with you may be feeling as you're relating with them. 
  • A person may bait you into their victimization and try to get you to tell them they are okay. In reality, no one can do this job for them, so it's uncomfortable for you to try, but you may feel compelled or obligated to do so.
  • A person who is shaming towards you in actions, body language or words. 
  • A person who asks questions and doesn't respect your boundaries when you say you'd prefer not to answer. 
  • A person who has expectations of you that you can tell are there, but that you don't know what it is they need or want from you, or even if you can fulfill what they want or need.
  • A person who has an agenda, wants to use you, wants to sell you a product, or use you for sex or use you to increase their social standing, or whatever.
A Real Conversation

A real conversation with a healthy person is a 2 way conversation, one in which both parties share their feelings openly and are able to emote moderately without offending each other.

  • Both parties can discuss their true feelings without being afraid of hurting the other person's feelings, or causing resentment in the other.
  • Each person takes care of their own self by expressing how they feel in the moment, rather than bottling things inside.
  • Each person respects the others boundaries and each person is able to put up boundaries when they feel they're being invaded.
  • Neither party expects the other to take care of the other emotionally because both parties are actively taking care of themselves.
  • Each party is assertive enough in their communication to express his or her needs and mature enough to take care of themselves when the other party says no.
  • No one takes responsibility for the feelings of either person.  
  • Both parties feel confident and secure enough in their own reality that they are able to express themselves clearly without feeling guilty, ashamed or responsible for the other party's reaction.
  • Both parties are living in the present day reality and not repressing, denying or projecting their true feelings.
  • Each person cares about the feelings of the other person, but does not try to shield the other person from one's own reality to the extent that it protects the other person, but decreases the existence of oneself.  
  • Both parties are emotionally regulated, so they're not triggered back to childhood during a normal conversation where one person is expressing needs, feelings, wants and preferences.
What a Real Conversation is Not

A conversation that is not real is not really a conversation among 2 people at all. A false conversation is a conversation amongst one or more false selves of the individuals in the transaction. It is based on a misunderstanding of personal worth, value and mutual respect. Unreal conversations are among people who are A. narcissistic and unwilling to take responsibility, and B. codependent and willing to take all the responsibility. Neither party of an unreal conversation is grounded in truth. Some really messed-up, toxic engagements can occur in an unreal conversation.
  • One or both parties is shut down emotionally and has difficulty expressing how they feel. 
  • Anyone in the relationship trying to persuade, control or manipulate the other person against his or her will.
  • Disrespecting the boundaries of the other person. 
  • Anyone in the relationship having to be right all the time.
  • One party speaking, and the other party speaking, but neither speaking with each other.
  • One party discussing issues that he or she has with the other, and the receiving party taking offense because he or she feels imperfect and exposed due to unhealed childhood traumas.
  • Invalidation of the truth of either party.  
  • Yelling, raging, berating for no reason (obviously abusive).
  • Gaslighting, love bombing, needling or any narcissistic or psychopathic abuse tactic.

A real conversation is give and take. Both parties can be  open. Both parties can expect to be responded to and their positions affirmed. Whether or not the other party agrees, he or she can always affirm the other. Invalidation is the seed of disrespect.

You must ensure that all of your interactions are respectful with everyone in your life. This is YOUR JOB, not the job of the other person. You must be sure to express your truth openly, and ensure that the other person hears you and responds to YOU, not to their projection of who you are. There is so much I could say on this topic, but you get my point. There is a difference between a healthy conversation and an unhealthy one.

Tweak your interactions so that you are heard, validated and respected as a human being and you will see your own personal power and energy soar to new heights! You deserve it.

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