Monday, December 3, 2012
Self Centered Fear
Not a new one, but one worth repeating I think. And maybe not always...life can be surprising sometimes. But I have been thinking again a bit about how our feelings, especially fear, get in the way of trying a new approach or working better with a difficult person or responding differently in order to help things get better in a difficult relationship.
This theme comes up a lot in the therapy room of course. And when we can take a gentle and deeper look at what we are doing and why (what we are really afraid of) new ideas often come to light.
The term "self-centered" often has negative connotations, in this case, it's meant to just to be descriptive. Meaning this: underneath anger, hurt and frustration is often the fear that we will not get what we need, or that we are in emotional or physical danger, that somehow our "self" needs protecting. And it does. So in order to protect ourselves we repeat certain reactions or ways of speaking, communicating or functioning that have protected us in the past, that are familiar, safe seeming and workable for us.
It's not always apparent, either, at first glance what some of those things are even. But when we take a closer look at our "self-centered" fears we often can see that there are other ways of protecting ourselves that bring us good results in our relationships. And we can then understand that others are often operating out of fear as well. When we can get to this, we often get farther than we ever imagined possible.