Sorry to everyone! I dropped the ball yesterday. I completely forgot to post our weekly skill. For those of us in the U.S. it is MLK day and although my delay has nothing directly to do with the holiday, it has a secondary impact; in-that my kids don't have school today and yesterday it felt more like Saturday night than Sunday night. Which led me to go about my evening as though it was in fact Saturday night, not until I went to bed did I even give a thought to the weekly skills post and well...the rest is history!
Alright we are working towards the completion of the skills set in interpersonal effectiveness. This week we will cover how self-respect fits in with this subject.
How is it that you feel when you have accomplished something that took a lot of effort? Usually you feel good about yourself, or even proud of your accomplishment. I understand that this "pride" in your accomplishment tends to be short lived. We easily tear ourselves down and this is the exact reason we need to pay close attention to building mastery and self-respect when working towards interpersonal effectiveness. Without mastery and self-respect we will generally be confused with the priority each interaction has, is it our self-respect that needs to stay in tact? Or maybe top priority should be given to your objective? Maybe the relationship with the person is the most important in the interaction. Not knowing each's role you will likely choose the wrong one in priority and therefore base your interaction off of flawed thinking. Of course we know that in turn flawed thinking lends to a poor interaction. This ability is a skill that was meant to be taught at a very young age. Whether your parents failed to do so or your mental illness prevented anything your parents attempted to teach, sink in really has no bearing on learning it now. However, there is something to be said for if your parents did fail to teach you this about yourself, be aware learning it now may trigger you in that department.
Something that I learned in a parenting class that I took was that planting the little buds of building mastery and self-respect can be as simple as telling your children that you are proud of them in something that they did and ask them if they are proud of themselves. If they say no, usually they do not, then you go on to tell them all the reasons they have for feeling proud of their accomplishment. Personally, I take a lot of parenting classes, I do this because as a result of Borderline Personality Disorder we tend to have a difficult time bonding with persons or our children. It is very important to me to bridge that inability of mine and learn how to bond and remain bonded, it would be my suggestion to anyone else that has children to do the same. It is very enlightening and it helps us to learn how to do things that our parents may not have done to help in the cognitive development. I say may, because I do understand that this particular illness doesn't automatically equate to "your parents failed you".
Taking the advice of the parenting class skill, we are going to be the ones to remind ourselves all of the reasons why being proud of ourself in our accomplishment is justifiable. Of course we are not at all speaking about being prideful. Which, honestly, I don't think many Borderline's have a danger of! OK, so building mastery and self-respect would be manifested in interacting in a way that makes you feel competent and effective, not helpless and overly dependent. We would learn how to stand-up for ourselves, being assertive, about our beliefs and opinions. This is about following our own wise mind.
Self-respect includes the "L" word; love (at the very least like). Yes, you will love yourself. You will respect your own values and beliefs; you will act in a way that makes you feel moral. You will act in a way that makes you feel capable and effective. Some questions to ask yourself to know whether you are thinking in the direction of your self-respect or not would be:
- How do I want to feel about myself after the interaction is over?
- What do I have to do to feel that way about myself? What will work?
Look over the past two weeks skills posts and couple them with this week. Mindfully mediate on the content, this will give you the opportunity to see the whole picture when we cover D.E.A.R. M.A.N./G.I.V.E./F.A.S.T.
Hope to hear from you in the forum or comments!
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