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How do you become selfish with out hurting others?
November 8, 2005
1:08 pm
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bflogrl
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Does anyone know how to erase those "tapes" you have playing over and over in your head that your parents may have taught you? What I mean is my mother raised me to be always forgiving and understanding and try to figure out why people do what they do instead of walking away from those people who hurt us. She always, and does to this day, remind me never to be selfish or tough-nosed about things. Always, let it go. She gets angry with me and I find myself at 33years of age trying to just have her be proud of me. I don't know. I know in her eyes be married and having children would make her proud of me and feel less of a need to "mother" me and "correct" me on everything I do or say. It's pretty hurtful and again, leaves me wondering how to stop and do what I believe is right and to stand up for myself without the fear of her being angry, even though it's pretty easy to upset her. (She always feels like she is being attacked, no matter how you say or write things) How do you let yourself become selfish enough to think of yourself and what you want and need and not feel quilty for it? It may sound really dumb, but this thought process has kept me in really unhealthy relationships with people and it without a doubt has affected who I am and what I should do. I know I feel confused and quilty for walking away from a boyfriend in a relationship and end up staying way too long because I don't want to give up on them or abandon them. I really want to stop this crazy way of thinking and crazy cycle. Any suggestions?

November 8, 2005
1:24 pm
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Randomwomen2
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It is totaly unfair for your mother to expect you to be like her. It sounds like you are the "Good girl" i am to. I am still learning how to get past that. I think that you just take it small steps at a time. sorry i dont have anymore sugestions. But i feel as i am in the same boat

November 8, 2005
2:04 pm
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kc30
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I think there is a difference between selfish and self care...

It's not selfish to put your needs first and to be true to your own heart's desire. Yes, some people may end up hurt if you choose to follow your own heart's desires over their desires, but you are not responsible for that.

It's impossible to live your best life if you are living to please someone else over yourself. I believe we can give of ourselves more lovingly and freely when we take responsibility for our own happiness, and stop taking responsibility for another's happiness.

Mothers want what's best for their children, but they are all too human, and your mother cannot know what is best for you- a 33 year old woman. That's for you to decide- it's your responsibility. As an adult, it is no longer your responsibility to please your mother.

You don't have to do her bidding to prove your love or worthiness, and if she tries to tell you that you do, that is her own dysfunction manifesting itself.

kc

November 8, 2005
2:06 pm
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bflogrl
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Thank you Randomwomen2.........It's kind of nice someone thinking of me as the "Good girl", I tend to feel more like an embarrassment or the black sheep of the family, or a disappointment. I'm the oldest, my brothers are both married and each have a child, my sister lives out of town and works for a law firm, becoming very successful. I sometimes feel there is something wrong with me and that I just can't seem to get anything right and I find myself striving to find a successful relationship with someone because I see how happy it makes my mother and how I feel she then is proud of me. Deep down I know she is holding out hope for some man to marry me and take care of me. Pretty old-school huh? I've tried talking to her over the years and even wrote her a couple times and tell her what I need and need from her. She gets so mad at me to the point where she won't talk to me for a couple of days and I have to pretty much pretend I don't hear her aggrivation with me in her tone of voice that she uses when she does finally talk to me.

November 8, 2005
2:09 pm
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CAMER
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you can always stick up for YOU and tell your mom you are an adult and can make your own choices...sometimes parents always want to be Mom's and Dad's by telling and showing there children the difference with rights and wrongs..only thing is you are an adult, so once you turned 18 you have choices...it may not be the same choices as your mom, and she needs to respect you for what you choose to do in life and how to treat people.

November 8, 2005
2:30 pm
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bflogrl
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Thanks Camer,
It sounds so easy to do, and I have told her I am 33 years old and don't deserve the treatment she gives me (ex. throwing a phone at me because she thought I was not listening when she was asking me to be quiet). I wrote her a letter and insisted she never throw anything at me again because she was mad or tired and to never talk to me that way. I told her I was an adult, I do need her but I don't need her to treat me like a child who can't make choices, etc. She wouldn't talk to me for 4 days, and we live in the same house hold, the plus side is we work different shifts. I know getting my own place again is really the healthiest thing to do, but I make about $8.00 an hour and would like to go back to school to make money, so in a sense, I almost feel like I need to take it so I can go to school. It's so stupid and I feel like I am a cry baby, but I know there has to be a better way. I know that I need to stop focusing on "getting married" because that is what my mother always told me I would do or need to do. She thinks it is me that ends these relationships with men and doesn't seem to understand that there are things they do that are not right and hurtful and it's almost like she thinks "well, that's a man for ya'!" and that the things they do should be OK with me. I know now that I am getting older, that I need to find a way to take care of me, because there is a good chance I may never find someone who loves me unconditionally and I may never get married or have children. Of course this is a very hard thing to look at since I feel I have so much love built up inside that I want to give and I may not be able to give it to someone. It's just crazy.

November 8, 2005
2:58 pm
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kathygy
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bf,

What you said doesn't sound dumb. its very common. However, you do have birthrights.

your first obligation is to take care of yourself and your inner child. When you try to live up to your mother's expectations you are abandoning yourself and your inner child. I have found the more I take care of my needs the more I have to give others.

You have the right to grow and separate from your mother. You owe it to yourself. Your mother is not doing her job if she is trying to get you to have the same beliefs she has now that you are a full pleged adult.

I had to separate from my mother and I was very worried about hurting her but as it turned out by separating and defining my own self my mother and I had a lot more fun talking and exchanging thoughts and opinions. She did not fall apart like I feared she would.

The way I went about it was to stop and check inside to see how I feel before responding to anything she said. I would say things like, 'How you feel is very interesting but I find I feel differently about that. The way I feel is ..." She was actually interested in how I felt about things.

This was my gentle and loving way of separating from my mother. As a child I did not feel that I had the right to feel anything differently than she did. But then I became an adult with thoughts and ideas of my own.

If you tell your mother in a loving way that you feel differently about something than she does and she feels very threatened by that and gets angry then you may need to be more assertive and take a stand.

At times I liked using humor with my parents when they talked to me as though I were a child. I would say to my mother in a light-hearted way, 'how old do you think I am?' She would laugh and realize the absurdity of the way she was talking to me. Then she would say 'ten years old' and laugh some more. I did the samething with my father with the same results. He had me much younger as age 5!

Sometime they just freeze you at a certain age. It sounds like your mother has done that with you.

You may need to say something like, 'I am sorry mother, I love you very much but I am 33 years old now and have my own set of beliefs. I am a different person than you.' Than let ot go. If she get angry so be it. Don't let her manipulate you back into feeling guilty and agree with her.

As far as staying in a relationship because you don't want to hurt the person consider this. You are hurting the person by staying in the relationship. If you don't want to be with this person you are not doing them a favor by staying. Be true to yourself first. Take care of your feelings first. Also, a relationship takes two people and he has a part in the relationship not working that he is responsible for. You are not responsible for his feelings.

November 11, 2005
2:44 am
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Lass
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John Bradshaw has a meditation that involves visualizing our parents on their front porch, and us walking away, waving, saying goodbye. It symbolizes leavetaking, personhood, letting the interior tapes erase and ease their hold on us. We get to have our own thoughts now!

LL

November 11, 2005
4:27 am
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cpt1212
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I am at a similar point with my mother. My therapist and I have been discussing those "tapes" that play in my head and she tells me that as soon as I hear them to stop and replace that with another thought that is true to me. she states that since thoughts affect feelings and feelings affect thought that eventually you will replace the old thoughts out of habit and it will also change how you feel about yourself in relation to your mother's expectations. I am just starting to do this myself so I cannot advise you on its success but it makes sense. let me know if this works for you or if something else does b/c i would certainly like to try it.

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