Monday, May 5, 2008

Communication with Ourselves and Others

Do we attract people into our lives by how we communicate to ourselves and to others?

I think the answer is a resounding "Yes." I believe we send "signals" to others unintentionally that tell people how we treat us. I believe our self-worth - or how much value we place in ourselves - is a direct measure of how much we esteem ourselves.

I modified the original post in blue below.

Some of the ways we communicate to others is based upon how we feel about ourselves. And this feeling emanates from how we think - or said differently, how we talk to ourselves. This thinking directs our feelings which directs our actions. Our actions are visible, --> which are congruent with our feelings --> which are congruent with our thoughts.

This "chain reaction" is perhaps the most powerful thing we can learn about how we "invite" others to treat us. And it starts with how we are treating ourselves (talking to ourselves and valuing ourselves).

For example, I have a concern about something that might happen or might not. I start to think about this concern. Thinking about this concern turns to worry. The worry creates fear, which might immobilize from taking action that will prevent it from occurring, and sure enough, it occurs. This is true for me today. I have been putting off something that I know needs to be done. But I cannot tell if it is fear that is holding me back, or if it is a signal not to do it, and that everything will work out if I leave it alone. This is hard for me today - for I want peace. And the thing I have to do, is not a peaceful thing.

We are sending out signals to the universe and people pick up on these signals.

I read that we can eliminate or reduce these affects by going to the source - the thinking and reprogram what we tend to think about "most of the time." Another way is to stop negative and destructive thinking when it occurs by thinking about something else.

And another way is to start doing - (the action part of this) - the things we should or could be doing and reverse the chain reaction. This falls into the category of "fake it 'til you make it."

Last, it helps to have a sponsor and friends in Al-Anon to call when your thinking starts getting out of control.

I hope this message helps this Monday.

PS - I did not call my sponsor. I did calla couple of friends - none of which were there. I went to an Al-Anon meeting at noon, and voila, there was my sponsor. It was good to hear folks share today. It was needed.


Syd said...

I communicate better in writing but have found that in recovery, I'm doing much better with people. I used to be much more reticent and now find that talking and enjoying the company of other people is interesting. I could always fake it but now it's a real feeling.

ThisJane said...

thank you so much for posting this, I'm new to naranon and have gone through a lot these past two years...I have alot of rebuilding and changing to do, esp in my thoughts.

Thanks again!

Catherine said...

For me I found that "faking" some of this was actually helpful because it elicited the response from people and sort of bolstered me. But I never tried it with self esteem issues. I have an idea of one self-cutting behavior that I might try to eliminate in conversation and see how that goes. Thanks for this.

In the meantime I want to share about something else. In a meeting last week I was approached after by someone who I didn't want to talk to because of their appearance (I can't believe I'm writing this, but appearance in this case includes other than what the eye perceives). Anyway, they commented on my share with what I felt were criticisms. I got some "you shoulds" and some "you need to's" and then some unrelated and sort of creepy additional stuff.

Instead of setting an appropriate boundary with this person, I kind of changed the subject and slipped out of the room. I don't really want to go back tonight, however...

It is my qualifier's birthday and I already decided to do something for myself tonight. I will be going to the meeting. {sigh.}

Rob said...

Hope this rambling isn't too off-topic. Talking about "you shoulds" Catherine, I heard a rebel mental health guy speak one time about thoughts versus feelings, and how people percieve their feelings being caused by events or people, rather than the reality of our feelings being caused by our own cognitive interpretation of the events and what they mean.

Anyway, his slogan, for us people pleasers, was "Should-hoods are for sh*t heads", meaning do what makes sense for you, rather than what you think you "should" do.


Joe said...

Catherine - I agree with Rob.

There are "you should" people everywhere. Don't let one person deter you. I had one of those people, that I ran across,too.

Most (99%) of the people there at Al-Anon are wise and will not "you should" you, because they know they've been there where you are .... and that there are no easy answers, only the tools of the program (which are simple and effective)


Catherine said...

Hah -- awesome!

Rob, I don't know if my new buddy is a shith*ad, (I will refrain from a mean joke here) but he has some very disturbing views. Tonight was good; it's good to be reminded how crazy some people are, how their messy stuff can spring from nowhere, and how the craziness has nothing to do with me. [Click here to file an order of protection against John Doe.]

I'm glad I didn't miss tonight cos there was a newcomer who was brave enough to share and really brought down the house (in a slight head-nod, no cross-talk kind of way.)