This might be a hard pill to swallow
Lately I had a few clients who have certain perceptions or biasness of themselves, and even to the people around them
Naturally, if the perceptions is good or positive, that is all fine and dandy
And if it isn’t good or positive, then that could be the reason one is facing issues or encountering bad situations
The question though, is it really good and positive?
That’s the tricky thing sometimes
We, as humans, tend to think (or want to think) of ourselves as good and positive
Not realizing, sometimes, that is a false positive
A common narrative of parents, is that their child is good and nothing is wrong
Like the child will always tell the truth, and nothing bad is happening
Yet, that is precisely the problem, and will lead to future problems
I’ve had cases where something like this happened
The mother thinks her 18 year old son is good and kind and wants to heal, but the son didn’t want to heal and refused any form of therapy or treatment
Before we started any conversation, he stood up and said he can help himself, he doesn’t need anyone’s help
And yet when his parents asked him why haven’t you helped yourself then?
His reply was that it wasn’t the right time
Personally, I think the boy wanted to get a diagnosis of mental health issues (depression) to downpes before his National Service BUT whether he was faking it or it is really existing in him, I do not know
Since he didn’t want to hear what I had to say, naturally he wanted to leave
Of course, the mom still believe he wants to heal and said he will come back
What about white lies?
If the lie was said to make the situation better, would that be ok?
Well it depends, will you think it is not a lie or that it is a lie?
Would the situation potentially worsen over time?
Children might often tell a lie to get out of trouble – which makes sense
But would the parents cover that white lie with another lie, perhaps a lie that the child is always truthful?
Of course, the child might stop telling white lies, or the child will continue into adulthood and become a habitual liar
However, without proper education from the parents, more often the child will develop into the latter instead
Which can be detrimental to themselves, and the people around them
An interesting conversation happened recently, where a lady shared that when she is stressed, she will binge eat, and this causes her to put on weight
And so she will exercise to lose weight but it wasn’t working well
Which leads to her binge eating again
I pointed out that we need to target that stress, perhaps learn how to manage stress in a different way, or resolve whatever was causing the initial stress in the first place
Reduce stress, eat less, exercise effectiveness goes up – it makes sense
Currently you can see the negative spiral she is heading into if she continues
Instead, she flares up because she enjoys eating too much
That is what we call a secondary gain, there is a benefit to the problem
And also, most people look at the surface and don’t see the roots or the foundation
What can we do moving forward?
Well there are two ways to look at it, at yourself or dealing with other people
With regards to yourself, you got to recognize that you may have some “not so good” stuff
Whether it be habits, attitudes, emotions etc
And importantly, it is ok to have such negative things
We are only human
We have both good and bad
However it is only when we recognize we got such negative traits, can we learn how to improve ourselves
To change and heal properly
Avoidance is not the answer
It’s like, if you avoid to take out the rubbish, the rubbish will stack and you get flies and cockroaches and even a smell~
As well as germs and bacteria and mould
In the long run, you have to heal with worse things than just an ordinary rubbish in the beginning
Moving in the right direction with small increment steps is way better than not moving and remaining in a pile of shit
Then depending on the context, situation, you may have to learn different things for each of them
I won’t be covering that today cause there are quite a few variables
Mainly, gaining awareness first is key, as well as acceptance
When it comes to dealing with people, because everyone has their own unique perspectives, it can get a bit tricky
Yes, you can see them as a good person, and yes, they can be good people yet dealing with some shit so they develop shitty traits
However, you cannot continue to turn a blind eye and assume they are 100% totally good and pure
That’s like a delusion, a lie to yourself about other people
Of course, if they treat you well and treat others badly, that also means something
This is the tricky part
What if they don’t want to listen?
Like the lady above with the stress eating issue
Not easy to handle, either you choose to persevere and continue to attempt to open them up and help them… or you let them go…
You can pick the first option when its a close friend, a lover, or family
Because of the closeness of the relationship
Personally, when it is my client, I will let them go
This is because they were not open minded in the first place to resolve their issue, and often brought to me by someone else
Which highlights how they didn’t originally wanted to see me, they might have been forced or felt forced to see me
In which case, the more I share, the more defensive they become, because they didn’t want to listen or change in the first place
It will be naturally harder when you want to convince other people, and you might know them better than I do
Some require logic, others go with emotions
Yet some just don’t believe regardless of any form of evidence
So you got to be patient with them
AND if you recognize there is a possibility they have a secondary gain, a benefit to the issue, then it will be quite tricky indeed to help guide them back
Depending on the benefit or gain, worse case scenario they might need a huge devastating mental realization before they begin to see and change
Then of course there is a possibility they get offended by you sharing stuff for them to get help
All in all, you may or may not be able to change the people around you
If anything, start with yourself first
What are some things you have been avoiding to look at, things you told yourself even though it might not be true
When you can recognize and change this, the things around you will start to change too
Acknowledging the relationship has issues will mean there is an option to learn how to make things work, and it will be so much better than to pretend all is well
Recognizing that if you pamper your kids, they might not learn how to do basic stuff in the future, so you can begin to teach them now
That will be a good reflection for the New Year 2024!
I shall end with a famous quote
Knowing others is wisdom;Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.