"It is not about you."
Time and again I go over a simple thought for myself and others: Do not take things so personally and do not think you are special in a relationship especially in terms of negative attributes.
If you see someone that is your friend or you think is your friend doing things to people that you do not like do not make the mistake and say to yourself, “Oh, I am special Tom won’t do that to me.”
We all have been and are abused. We all make the above mistake. We all “disavow” the truth. The truth is right under our nose but we would rather not see it.
The more we take off the blinders the more we might be able to keep those friends as much as possible and help them and ourselves and reduce our trauma as we will less and less be blindsided and stop saying why me, why me?
We will be able to stop saying it because you will have the great insight that it is so much not about you. It is about them. You see if you really observe their behavior they are doing these things that bother you to everyone in the same fashion. This is what we call, say, a script. It is like a computer program. Yes, sorry to say humans in many ways are like this. If we where not we could get nothing done. Scripts are “good” and “bad.” I get up and start brushing my teeth and don’t even realize it and while brushing I am in the process of composing this essay. That is the usefulness of a script. It “frees up thinking.”
Unfortunately, humans can get “scripted” in all kinds of ways. Due to early experiences we generalize certain dislikes, subtlety unconscious or even conscious we have about people. These are the root of great pain and fear that people harbor their entire lives unless they get help. A very common fear is one of abandonment because the person was abandoned at a vulnerable time and they now project that on every relationship. They might have some sort of “disgust” for people in general that they really have no understanding of but it is there always interfering with things. They need to get to the root of it. So we think it is about us. Why don’t they like me! What is wrong with me!
Often people with severe problems have overcompensated in other parts of their personality. They are, that is, for example very seductive. They conquer us. They have the same need for attachment as all of us but let’s say they have this un- understood lingering disgust. They would be at war with themselves would they not? So they seduce and even fall into a kind of love but then it has to end. So it is that we often blame ourselves.
What I have noticed in my own life and what has been so convincing and so remarkable to me with several people in several types of relationships be it family, dating or friendships the person has been greatly abused but now when the person is in safer saner environment not only due to me but to various other factors it seems to make such little difference. Again the point is it is not about you or even the environment but about them, at least at first and often for a very long time. Unfortunately, this can be a setup to blame and shame the person for not “taking advantage” of a good situation or “not wanting” to or being “lazy.” Or “wanting everything handed to them on a platter.” It can all be very frustrating. But all that is a different story.
This all has to do with causality of why they are as they are. The causality of their state; is yes their abuse. But once free of that abuse and often multiple abusive partners little changes. I don’t want to change horses the middle of the stream. I am emphasizing here the role of the “other.” It is to emphasize that it took me a while not to get caught in the trap that I had something to do with it or that it “was about me” or that I should take it “personally.”
But boy you should take it personally!
But then what am I saying? The overall point is all and all that people have scripts and often a lot of bad ones. When they have lots of problems and are in a deep hole they are going to treat everyone the same way. Why? Because that is the prism through which they see the world. They have not the time or the energy to see people as true individuals. That is why you will feel like “hey what am I chopped liver here?” so much of the time. I felt like and often feel like the “Man you wasn’t or isn’t there.”
This does not make them “selfish.” It makes “selfish” a useless word. Here we are after understanding human motivation. I hope this helps.
Shame and Humiliation
Shame and Humiliation
http://www.squidoo.com/thinking-feeling-doing (Summary of Principles used in these posts.)
Tomkins, Silvan S.: Affect Imagery Consciousness NY: SPringer Publishing Company, 1963.
Shame and Pride : Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self by Donald L. Nathanson Paperback (March 1994)