Ok, I will admit it. I am addicted to healthy relationships. When my relationships with my husband, kids, parents, and friends are all thriving, I am thriving. And when any one of those relationships are out of whack, I am completely off center in my life.
But, what most people do not understand about their relationships, is that the quality of your relationships starts with your relationship with YOURSELF!
Of the thousands of clients I have worked with in my 20 years as a psychotherapist, there is one thing that every single one of them has in common when they are struggling in their relationships: They’re all waiting for something “out there” to change in order to be happy in the relationship. Regardless of whether:
- They keep attracting the wrong people,
- They’re unhappy with their spouse,
- Their children need to be more grateful and appreciative, or
- Their parent needs to stop criticizing them,
The common denominator is always this: None of your problems in your relationships are caused by another person.
I hear you! I know you think that if they would just change, things would be different. But this is where you lose yourself. This is where you feel powerless, anxious, depressed, and generally dissatisfied in your life. Because the only person you can change is YOU. Period.
Whenever you are waiting for someone else to change so that you can be happy, you will never feel the way you want to feel. And so many of us have been living our lives like this for waaaayyy too long!!
The problem never lies outside yourself. That’s right…NEVER. All of the places in your life where you are struggling start with YOU!! They come from beliefs and ideas about yourself and life, that began a long time ago. I mean a really long time ago! (Hint, hint…it started when you were a kid!)
See, when you were a kid, you began listening to a voice in your mind, which you thought was YOU. And that voice has been speaking to you like a broken record ever since. I call this voice the Inner Critic, and it is largely responsible for the problems in your relationships.
You see, it is when we are children that we first feel something we don’t want to feel…shame, embarrassment, inadequacy, worthlessness. And because we’re kids when we first feel it (while our brains are still immature) we decide that the source of these feelings is because, in some way, we’re not good enough. Not a single human being escapes feeling this way at some point as a kid, no matter how good of a life you’ve led. This is when the Inner Critic is first formed. It says, “This is why you feel this way!” So, we begin to figure out how to avoid feeling this way about ourselves. Except, it’s impossible! But because we keep believing the lies of the Inner Critic, we keep trying to fix, change or perfect ourselves, and the people in our lives, to fit our pictures. But alas, this is a road to nowhere.
When you are listening to the voice of your Inner Critic, when you meet a man that is emotionally distant, the Inner Critic says it is because you are not lovable enough. When your spouse forgets to take the trash out, it says it is because you are unimportant. When your child says “I hate you”, it convinces you that you are a bad mother. And your Inner Critic doesn’t stop there! When you react from the perspective of your Inner Critic, you’ll try to fix the emotionally distant guy and get him to love you. You’ll criticize your spouse like your life depends on it, hoping you’ll finally get him to see the light. You’ll scream back at your kid, hoping that you can make him see you as good.
How’s all that working for you so far? Get the point?
Until you can learn to spot the difference between the voice of the Inner Critic and your Authentic voice, nothing will change. But, the good news is, the solution to having the relationships you dream of, is within YOU!
I promise you, this is really good news! All it takes is a willingness to learn about the voice in your mind that has kept your relationships on autopilot most of the time! Once you are willing to take a look at the story your Inner Critic has been seducing you into believing, you will be able to create relationships with the people you love that are more fulfilling, intimate, and satisfying.
When you are responding from your Authentic Self, you will be able to ditch the emotionally distant guy, rather than spending years trying to fix him. You will be able to see that the forgetfulness of your spouse is not about you, and maybe find a solution to issues with love and respect, rather than criticism. You will be able to remain calm with your kids when they are acting like…kids!
Please join me February 11th, 2017 from 10 am-4 pm for a One Day workshop titled, Your Inner Critic: The Troublemaker In Your Relationships. This course has the potential to transform the quality of your whole life, by transforming your relationship to yourself and the most important people in your life. Come learn what has already transformed the lives of hundreds of participants!