Do you put others before yourself?
Do you feel easily guilted when you have to ask for what you want or speak up for yourself?
That is because growing up you were taught to abandon your own needs and that they didn’t matter.
Maybe you had a parent who was self centred or narcissistic? Maybe you were denied your feelings or punished for emoting? Perhaps your parents were disinterested in you or were emotionally absent? If this is you, you are abandoning yourself.
I think you are worth more
I think your child is worth more too (and I know you think that too!). So maybe you weren’t aware that you are also role modelling self abandonment to your child. They will copy you. You may also be unconsciously repeating patterns from your childhood which if left unattended will become your child’s blueprint for love. I have talked before about what love is and what it is not. Our blueprint is created in childhood. It’s the way that we were loved by our parents.
It’s easy to say love isn’t it? Really love is a doing word. People can say ‘I love you’ at the drop of a hat but does their behaviour match their words?
So this is why your child will choose friendships and relationships with people who take, who expect to be taken care of and who are intimidating and maybe even bullying. People who don’t respect them or see them as they are. Over and over, your child will abandon themselves and put the other person first.
Not all parents have the capacity to love. They simply don’t. Their capacity to love was handed to them by their parents. It’s generational and history repeats itself if we don’t pay attention and become consciously aware of ourselves.
How do you know what your capacity to love is?
How much hurt do you have inside you? Hurt and trauma affect your capacity to love. All of us are hurt in childhood. Sometimes that is unavoidable, but it’s how you learn from it, deal with it and heal from it that matters most.
And what about this question: how much do you love and approve of yourself? If you do, then your parents loved you in a healthy and unconditional way. If you have low self esteem and don’t love yourself, you may:
- have a poor body image or put yourself down
- suffer with anxiety or depression and sometimes find life overwhelming
- apologise incessantly for the slightest of things as if you have to ask to take up space in the room.
- say ‘I don’t mind’ and let other people make decisions for you
- have weak boundaries and have a high tolerance for maltreatment from others (maybe you make excuses for them or you think that love has to be earned or hurt?)
- be afraid that if you say how you truly feel or ask for what you want people will reject you
- not want to make a fuss or be a burden to other people.
- not actually know how you feel because you are not connected to that part of yourself – you’ve pushed your wants and needs so far away. You are in pain and you don’t want to feel it. We can’t selectively numb. Numb one feeling, you numb them all.
You deserve loving kindness 24/7
Being your own best friend shows others how they can treat you. Your child deserves this too. At the Energy Pod last week, it was sad to see that the kids found it so much easier to be kind to others but when they made a mistake or they hurt themselves, they got angry or upset. Where was the kindness and compassion for them? You can grab a download of this class on kindness if you want to give you or yourselves a boost here).
If you didn’t have a loving parent or somebody in your life who held you in positive regard like a teacher or a grandparent, Nanny or Neighbour, I’m sorry. It’s incredibly painful and there are losses for you to grieve. You will have a lot of buried pain inside of you because every child deserves to be loved unconditionally. Every child deserves to grow up knowing that they matter. You matter. Please find somebody to talk to so you can start treating yourself differently and learn to be your own best friend. If you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for your child so that they can grow up valuing who they are.
Please don’t misunderstand me: this isn’t about blaming your parents but it is about acknowledging the truth which is what will set you free. You have to understand where you come from in order to parent your children optimally. You owe it to yourself. You really do.
Imagine being able to give this gift to yourself + to your child
Children with good self esteem:
- know who they are and are comfortable in their own skin
- are comfortable in social situations and choose friends who have shared values
- won’t attract friends who disrespect or who are mean to them
- are not offended by other people’s opinions of them (because they know who they are)
- can assert and stand up for themselves
- aren’t afraid to ask questions or say how they feel
- don’t make themselves wrong or put themselves down
- don’t compare themselves to others – always finding somebody smarter, prettier, richer or more popular than them (yep. you’ll always find people like that)
- don’t change who they are to fit in, they already know they belong to themselves
- aren’t afraid of making mistakes and bounce back easily from disappointment
If you liked this article and you want to learn more, watch the free parents’ training ‘How to Safeguard Your Child Against Frenemies, Tricky People & Meanies.
Other Smiley Resources You Might Like
Click each image below to listen in to helpful episodes of the Truly Madly Smiley podcast about all things friendships – fall outs, break ups, covert bullies, fake friends, gossip and more.