Jason talks about how the relationship we have with ourselves affects the relationships we have with our partners. He also shares tips on how to be in a healthy place with yourself.
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Last podcast I shared a common characteristic that all disconnected couples have. In this episode, I want to share a common characteristic all disconnected people have. And most likely, the relationship is going to feel disconnected as well. So this is for individuals. If you have the question, What can I do on my side to help the relationship? Check this out?
Welcome, everyone. This is the healthy relationship secrets for parents podcast. My name is Jason a poke. And I've been working exclusively with couples for over eight years, helping them avoid disharmony and create more connection and passion. Today, the topic is how we hold ourselves, or in other words, the relationship that we have to ourselves. And this has been referred to as self esteem, as my mentor Terry reel puts it. Also it is where do we find ourselves on the contempt continuum. And don't worry, I'll explain. So I want you to picture a vertical line. And in the middle point of that line, is where we want to be. And we refer to that point as the same as that means we're not better, we're not less than anyone else. And when we're same as we are more likely to use relationship tools. And that is where we can be really relational. And when we're one up, and I'll talk about that in a second. We can be relational. And just as when we're one down, we can't really be relational as well. Being same as is having basic humility, knowing that I'm not perfect that my partner isn't perfect either. So if we're at the bottom of the vertical line, we're in what's called toxic shame. And going back to what I mentioned, in reference to the content continuum, when we're walking down, the contempt is going inward. In other words, that contempt is going on ourselves. And the message is kind of like, I'm no good. I'm an idiot, I stink. There's something wrong with me, faulty, blank, blank, blank, whatever that is, you know, I'm sure that you can relate to that to some degree, because we all in and assign know, if we received disempowering abuse growing up, for example, that would be verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, chances are, we are more likely to find ourselves in that one down position. Or if we received covert abuse, which we call neglect, emotional neglect, we may find ourselves in that one down position, often as well. And let me share more about them. The reason for this is because if we receive disempowering abuse, the message is that is our fault. Right? The message is, there's something wrong with us, we're inadequate. It's our fault, that our parents responded like that. In fact, you know, it's not true. And this is a side note, you know, being a coach, a counselor, if we ever do inner child work, you know, they have that conversation with that young part of you that received that disempowering abuse, one of the first things we coach you as a functional adult to say to that younger part of you, is that it's not your fault.
Your parents were acting shameless, without appropriate shame. And by that, I mean, without appropriate shame, to stop them from acting shameless. And so as a result, that this stinks, right, you take in that shame. And then as an adult, you may find yourself as your older, being really, really freaking hard on yourself. And going back to the idea of covert abuse, and now, this one, one of my mentors said, it's like carbon monoxide, we don't know it's there. Right. It's not disempowering. It's not in our face, but over time, it has negative consequences
if we're not receiving adequate attunement or emotional attention, or another way to put it If our parents didn't reach into us to understand our emotional experience, which is what we all need growing up because we're emotional beings.
Then we can doubt our emotions, because no one helped us hit them.
AND, and OR we assume there's something wrong with us or we're inadequate. Because our partner parents weren't interested in reaching into us, our parents weren't interested in turning towards us. And so the message is that,
A, I don't know what to do with these emotions. But the message is, there's something wrong with me. And that's something that shows up later on in life, if we've received that type of neglect, let me share,
my parents will ever listen to this, I kind of hope they don't. But for the sake of example, it can be helpful you my parents were young, when they had me and my two brothers. And they also grew up in kind of a time, when my dad was one of six, my mom, her dad was an alcoholic. And when I mentioned that they had a lot of time to themselves, that is they didn't have a lot of emotional attunement. And so as a result,
my brothers and I, we didn't get much of that, as well. And what happens is that growing up, and especially being a male, I didn't even know it was a thing to talk about your feelings.
But even if you find yourself in toxic shame, you know, one way out of that is to take a deep breath and see if you can share your experience with someone else. To give you that validation, to give you that connection, know that, hey, you may be feeling that, but hey, I do too. Or you know what, it's understandable. There's nothing wrong with you.
You know, that's the benefit, the fundamental benefit of going to therapy. And so, I didn't know, well, first of all, I wasn't aware of feelings that much.
In a way I didn't trust them. And didn't know if you're having a difficult time, you can share that with someone. So I don't know, if I wrapped up that brief story with my parents. But I know a lot of my work today is to still be aware of that part of me that can go one down. That is saying to myself, there's something wrong with you, you're inadequate, you no good. And to put simply what you do, if you find yourself here. And so first need to identify it right? Are there times where you just really freaking hard on yourself, the first identify it, take a deep breath. And sometimes this can help or find your own mantra. And that is, Can I hold myself in warm regard, despite my imperfections, despite my screw ups, whatever that is, because we're humans, we have all made them. No one is perfect. Can I hold myself in warm regard, this bite. And the idea is to take a deep breath. And see if you can like literally visualize kind of pulling yourself up to same as not looking down, so to speak, or not having your nose in the air looking down on other people, which is the one up, and I'll explain that in a second. And then the thing to do is that if you do take a deep breath, and you share a little bit of your struggles with someone who is appropriate. And I would say hear a spouse, right? If you're having a tough time a hard day, and you can share that with your spouse, a they know what's going on with you. But be it provides connection, it may not solve your problem. But connection makes it so Hey, was part of the human mix, right? Fundamentally, there's nothing wrong with us. And connection can help us be same as which I think is it can help us be same as which is where we want to be. Now let's talk about the other side of the vertical line. And that has been one up another way to put it. It's we're in grandiosity and so the contempt is going the other way. The contempt is going outward, and is basically you stink, you're no good. You're an idiot. Blank, blank, blank, blank, blank.
Whatever that is. And this can cause issues in your relationship. You know, it's still a preoccupation with yourself is kind of like, for example, oh my gosh, the house is a mess. You're a slob. Instead of what can we do about this to figure this out? Right? Or maybe there's craziness with the kid
Kids, you know, one kid is yelling, you may think, oh yes, this is your fault, right? Instead of, hey, looking at, what is it my side of the equation that led to this issue, and so the solution to fix is still the same. Okay, if a kid is going crazy, what can we do to remedy the situation.
And I find myself here too, and we can go back to family of origin of one child, maybe be the hero child, kind of put on a pedestal, they may have a tendency to be one up, I think that is a little bit of my case. And if I were to describe myself is the last child hero, child, and scapegoat child, that that you the listener would know these terms, at some point down the line, we'll delve into them. But I would classify myself, as I mentioned earlier, as a lost child, and a little bit of a hero child as well, I played sports. And there's almost like, part of my parents that don't know, like hopes, was it was kind of like, put on me. And then I would do something, or I don't know, be famous or something like that. But as a result, you can sort of be falsely empowered. Right. The other side, if you're shame, you may experience this empowering, of abuse, or neglect. But the other side, like I mentioned, you could be falsely empowered. And so what can be a result is that you can find yourself being one up, I also think growing up, it was modeled that kind of the males, the male kind of runs the show,
and the provider, so I kind of do what I want, when I want. So there's a little bit of that there was mild for me growing up. But as a result, I have a tendency in my marriage and at home to find myself being one up, for example, maybe the dishes are a little bit dirty, I may think, oh my gosh, you know, Jesse's such a slob, I can't believe this, instead of a noting that, taking a deep breath, and remembering all the good things that she does do. So that's what I do. You know, and I think to find your own way, but if you find yourself first you got to notice that you got to notice that you're one up. But this one is harder to notice, because it feels good. Right? Now looking at yourself, being in one down toxic shame, it doesn't feel good.
Generally, we want to get out of that. Sometimes what happens to your partner will give you feedback, boom, you're in toxic shame, that doesn't feel good, you get defensive and blame your your partner. I see that a lot. But going back to being one up, is important to notice that, in a way, if you have contempt and is going outward, it's not good for you. And it's not good for the people that are around you.
It doesn't feel good to your partner, I know when I'm like that doesn't feel good to Jess. So my practice is to notice it and take a deep breath or two and see if I can bring myself down to see him as right. See if I can bring instead of my nose up in the air. See if I can bring it a level. And with the dishes example of the ideas, you know, I think about a good thing that she does do. But here is another good solution. If you find yourself being one up when you notice it and take a deep breath and think what is my part in this? Right? The dishes been dirty? I was gone all day. Right?
You know, I could have got up earlier and cleaned him, right or whatever it is or, you know, maybe the kids are upset. What's my part in this? Again, I was gone all day. Maybe if I was home earlier, it wouldn't be like this, right? Or maybe I would be in too judgmental, that people were picking up on it, right. But whatever it is, we want to come back down to being same as to having humility. Because then we can be relational. We can relate, we can connect, we can be a good example for our kids. And you know what, you're gonna feel better, your spouse is going to feel better, and your kids are going to feel better about it. So let me know. Hopefully that makes sense. Thank you so much for listening.
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