Stream of Consciousness: 'You're Not Shy!'... Yes I am Now Please Leave Me Alone

Every day it seems I tend to have some kind of internal rant about something. It's my way of processing my thoughts and feelings. I sometimes get to a point that I think would be really good for other people to hear, but as soon as I'm done... well my brain is tired and I forget to write it down.

So I thought I could start a series called 'Stream of Consciousness' where instead of an internal rant... I write it down. No planning, just writing. So here we go...

Recently I've been thinking a lot about 'people pleasing'. An incredibly bad habit of mine that appears to be a result of pressure on me as a child to placate or keep the peace. I quit drinking a year ago and have since discovered that a lot of the reason I drank to excess is because I was at a social event that I felt obligated to attend rather than wanted to be at.

My brain has been wired so thoroughly to think about what everyone else expects from me first that it is actually physically distressing for me to try and do otherwise. I get headaches, anxiety, and sometimes even feel sick, and it fascinates me how my body can react so strongly to my thoughts. No wonder I get bloody ill all the time!

And it can really make me feel useless and pathetic when actually, it's not my fault. This has been the revelation over the past year... it's not my fault. Other people did this to me as a child by placing too much expectation on me, and too much reliance on me to manage their feelings rather than teach me how to manage my own.

So much focus is put on educating kids in what is perceived to be useful skills in life, but it is primarily our job to give them an emotional education, show them that it's ok to feel things but figure out how best to react, and express them. My son is starting school in September and they have asked us to fill out 4 expectations we have for him by the end of the year (for example, being able to write their own name), but me and my husband talked and agreed that the only hope (not expectation) we have is that he'll be happy and healthy. That's it. No expectations of him whatsoever as he'll figure it out in his own time.

Like me, he can be shy when meeting new people, and I am having to constantly remind him that it is absolutely fine for him to be shy as the rest of the world tries to push its ideals on him; "You're not shy!", "Come on, give me a hug". I won't have him forced to do things that make him uncomfortable.

This kid really has helped me sort my own shit out. I watch him refuse to do things that he doesn't want to do without fear, shame, or questioning until he sees someone else question it and that seed of doubt about prioritising his own wellbeing has been planted. I'm guilty of it! I find myself apologising to other people on his behalf because he didn't say 'hi' or didn't want to hug them, which must make him feel like he's done something wrong. It's a bad habit, but I'm hoping if I keep communication open with him, and explain why we do this and why it needs to change then hopefully he won't be the same social mess as his mother. Let's break the cycle people!

0 views0 comments