Happy Memorial Day Weekend. We appreciate all who have sacrificed to maintain our freedom.
I am feeling lonely…like I am typing into cyber space and know one is responding. Last weeks newsletter was important and I wanted feedback. Did you try it? Did it work? Some times I need to know this is helping and I am not wasting time sending out these blog posts. Connect with me!
Here are two more traits of a secure connector:
- I can admit when I am wrong and apologize without excuses or blaming others for my actions.
- I can accept criticism and thoughtfully consider feedback.
Let’s start with apologies. What did you learn about apologies growing up? Did they happen? Were they sincere? This is so important because none of us are perfect and we all hurt others at times. Can we say we are sorry without falling into a pit of shame and humiliation or without blaming others or making excuses? A genuine apology means I am taking responsibility for my behavior. I am assessing it and letting you know when I make a mistake. Avoiders don’t even see when they hurt others. Pleasers over apologize just to avoid conflict. Vacillators struggle to apologize due to shame. Controllers never heard an apology so they don’t have empathy when they hurt others. Victims tolerate way too much and never expect anyone to own their bad behavior.
Criticism: Can you hear feedback about yourself? Can you try to see something from another person’s perspective? The Bible has a lot to say in proverbs about the fool. One of the most common ideas is that a fool will not accept reproof or correction. Avoiders say, “This is just the way I am.” Pleasers consider reproof and rejection as the same thing. Pleasers don’t speak up when they are criticized unfairly. It’s easy to dump on a pleaser as they don’t stand up for themselves when they should.
Vacillators are often overly critical outwardly towards others while privately they are very hard on themselves. But you won’t ever be a part of the private conversations they have internally unless they grow. Vacillators go into an interior pit of shame ruminating about their mistakes and failures. This becomes intolerable at some point so they go from inward blame to outward blame. In an angry outburst they point out the faults of others. It’s a vicious cycle that blocks the connection they long to experience.
Controllers harp on others to keep them in their box. Control is always about keeping vulnerable childhood feelings from coming into awareness. Their criticism can be unreasonable, unfair and unfounded. They can dish it out…but try correcting them and you will be the object of a fit of anger. No doubt they were victims of harsh, unfair criticism in their own childhood, so hearing reproof is a big trigger setting off feelings from the past. Stop the complainer with intimidation and the trigger goes away. The controller needs to grieve the past so they can remember how destructive rage is to a child. Last, victims take the blame for anything and everything just to keep the controller from erupting. They need to learn to speak up and only take responsibility for what is truly their fault. Sometimes that learning has to start in a place of safely.