For the psychologist, it is obvious that every person has a relationship with himself or herself, and it can be either good or bad. But the person himself (the psychologist, obviously, is not really a person) may not even know what this substance is – “relations with oneself”, and why it is worth thinking about, and what it has to do with real life.
But it does! I would put the topic of relations – on my Affiliate programs blog – with oneself at the first place, both in psychological work and in life in general. Though, strictly speaking, the external world and one’s attitude to it are formed in us somewhat earlier – we recognize and recognize ourselves by the results of interaction with the surrounding reality.
But it is a separate long story, and now we are talking about the fact that, one way or another, in a fairly early childhood, our attitude toward ourselves is formed, and literally our whole life depends on how adequate it is.
Our attitude towards ourselves may be… so-so. Then all his life there is a struggle with himself, and with the world, in order to prove his right to exist, to acceptance and respect. A person spends a tremendous amount of energy on something that needs no proof.
And through it all, it looks pretty silly. And this is such a typical scenario that it can be considered the statistical norm. There are far fewer people with a good attitude (don’t confuse good, with positive!) – they are rather as much the exception as people with a normal weight in some overly prosperous countries.
WHAT CAN I DO RIGHT NOW?
Fortunately for the sufferers and the financial well-being of psychologists, bad self-love is treatable! If a child is unloved or overloved, if he has not formed a basic trust in himself and in life, if he has properties and qualities condemned in society, if he does not understand himself and is afraid, psychotherapy comes to help in different forms and manifestations.
The unloved one must be loved, the overloved one must be brought down to earth, trust must be restored, qualities must be justified, oneself must be understood, accepted and forgiven. It is a matter of technique, really. I will tell you how to do it in the next article. For now I need to clarify something else about this relationship with myself.
So, there may or may not be a relationship with yourself, which is, in fact, the first of two possible problems. It is not very clear how this happens, but it happens all the same: sometimes a person does not have a conscious attitude toward himself or herself. Or, to put it another way, his attitude toward himself is reduced to one simple attitude-“It’s not worth paying attention to yourself at all.
One should pay attention to his mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, cat, fish in the aquarium, order in the house, studies, work… but not to himself. Only narcissists, egoists, and those who have nothing better to do.
As a result, we get a man-function – he knows nothing about himself, he does not know his desires, his tastes, his aspirations, he is very comfortable for everyone but himself.
He looks, walks, talks and works like a normal person, he is not depressed, he may even love his work and his life, but at the same time he himself seems to be absent, there is only a reflection of the outside world and other people in the empty mirror of his soul, which in no way manifests itself.
And this is not some rigid psychopathology, it is a fairly typical case, when a person has everything to become a Man, missing only the realization that “it was possible”. And, unfortunately, for many, this realization comes too late, when the emphasis is already shifting from “could” to “was”. But while it was still possible, it was not so difficult.
THE COURAGE OF MY SOUL…
Sometimes it takes a fair amount of courage to be yourself, but it often happens that all it takes is a little kick and an understanding that it is not just “possible,” but “necessary” and it is high time! You can be yourself, you can listen to your desires, you can live according to your tastes, you can go your own way.
And if this realization has taken place, then everything is simple – start asking yourself questions about yourself and, despite the chronic discomfort about it, answer these questions thoughtfully and diligently.
Who am I in myself? What do I want for myself and for myself? What kind of person am I? What drives me? What attracts me, and what turns me off? And along with the accumulation of information, attitudes will begin to form. Which … is the basis of psychological and human development.
ATTENTION: AN IMPORTANT POINT!
Without a conscious channel of connection with ourselves, without an opinion about ourselves, without knowing and understanding ourselves, we can develop only within a narrow range of social and professional skills.
If we do not feel dissatisfaction with ourselves from time to time, if we are not at least sometimes angry at our stupidities and weaknesses, if we are not pleased with our own successes, if we have no sympathy for some of our traits and qualities … what self-regulation can we talk about and how can we ever grow over ourselves?
The development of any system directly depends on the feedback loop, but in the case of the psychic system only formal recording of victories and defeats is not enough, we find and reveal our potential through an emotional reaction to ourselves – through the RELATIONSHIP to ourselves.
It’s emotions that let us know where we need to push ourselves and where we need to relax and enjoy ourselves. Rationally – through the head – it is impossible to solve this problem.
In short, to have an understanding of “yourself” is very important. And to do this, you have to get interested in yourself, find out who you are, what you can and cannot do, what you want and what you do not want, what you strive for and what you avoid. There is a lot to figure out. From this there will appear an emotional response to oneself, and then the mechanisms built in us will do their job.
But… only on the condition that our attitude toward ourselves will be adequate – corresponding to reality, honest and sober. And this brings us to problem number two.
If the attitude toward ourselves is there, that doesn’t mean that all is well, because…gladiolus. If we lived in an ideal world, attitudes toward ourselves, once formed, would always reflect reality. Suppose a person has good intellectual inclinations.
Then in the case of not realizing his potential, he would be dissatisfied with himself. He would expect more from himself and motivate himself to achieve this more. Such dissatisfaction with oneself is constructive and useful.
But in our far from spherical world, dissatisfaction with oneself more often has another origin – someone looks at him or her obliquely, judges, calls them bad names, ridicules them, and the person develops a “complex” on the basis of nothing.
Self-consciousness, dissatisfaction with one’s own qualities on the stupid grounds that someone does not like them or is not comfortable with them.
And so we have two dissatisfactions with ourselves, and the first needs to be listened to, and the second needs to be treated. In both cases we are talking about an attitude toward oneself, but in the second case this attitude is more destructive than helpful. It inhibits a person’s development rather than moving him forward.
On the other hand, having pure dissatisfaction with oneself is not a bad attitude toward oneself. On the contrary, the absence of any dissatisfaction indicates a bad – falsely positive – relationship with oneself.
HOW TO LOVE, APPRECIATE AND RESPECT YOURSELF?
Loving, appreciating, and respecting oneself does not mean seeing only the good in oneself. To look at ourselves through rose-colored glasses is as dangerous a tendency as the tendency to suspect ourselves of all mortal sins and misfortunes. Perhaps even more dangerous, for this “illness” is all too often mistaken for a “cure.
And that is why those people who since childhood have been accustomed to treat themselves without proper criticism and demandingness, have an excellent chance of living their whole life without understanding why everything goes through… this very place.
It seems to them that there is nothing wrong with them, that they are good just the way they are, that they have a wonderful relationship with themselves… which means that there is something wrong with the world… which means that nothing can be changed.
A relationship with yourself should be – contact with yourself is fundamental, in terms of overall psychological development, connecting with other people, finding your place in the sun, and overall quality of life.
The relationship with oneself must be good – self-perception must be adequate and honest, without skewing into false optimism or pessimism about oneself. It is important to understand that a good relationship with oneself is one that is attentive, trusting, and, if necessary, critical and demanding. Some things in ourselves must be able to be accepted, and some things must not be accepted at all.
Only if we manage to establish contact with ourselves and clear it of all distortions and contrivances, if we look at ourselves honestly and soberly, if we do not hide from ourselves our charms, disappointments, and all other feelings about ourselves, then we can speak of a good relationship with ourselves.
And only then can we expect that the mechanisms of self-regulation and development themselves will lead us to the right path and tell us “how to distinguish one from the other.
MAKE A LITTLE EXPERIMENT
Allow yourself 15-20 minutes, go to the mirror and just look at yourself. No fidgeting, no dodging, no showing off. Calmly and attentively. Try to set aside all of your usual hurtful reactions, any attempts to defend or embellish yourself, any desire to criticize or belittle yourself.
Just look at this person in the mirror. As he is, with all the cracks and curls, strength and weakness, wisdom and foolishness… Who is he to you? How do you feel about this man? WTF?