When your self-protection gets in the way of growing

When your self-protection gets in the way of growing
Everyone gets hit sometimes, but it can hurt sometimes, especially if it comes from an unexpected source. You’re at a fun party where someone suddenly thinks they’re joking, which is probably meant to be, but unfortunately doesn’t seem that way to you. Or when your mother starts talking about what she thinks your children need, or your partner hangs out in the cafeteria for the umpteenth time with friends while you are at home with a sick child. There are countless experiences that can touch you.

What is your strategy?

And then what do you do? These are often those moments when you suddenly feel sad, angry, alone or anxious. It is precisely then that you often get into an argument, you say things that you do not want to say at all, or you quietly withdraw. You can’t say what you want to say because you’re too afraid of arguing. I explain to you what is actually happening in your body and then give you 3 tips to stay closer to yourself.

It’s about you, not the one you touch

When you are hurt or deeply hurt, you may have a tendency to place it outside of yourself to protect yourself. You call your girlfriend angrily and sadly for confirmation. Your husband should not have left you alone with a sick child, what is he thinking! You feel recognized, nice, so you don’t see it wrong. You sigh and continue. To the next incident, where this repeats itself. Meanwhile, without you noticing it, stress, frustration, sadness and fear build up in your body, so that you are hit earlier and earlier.

Realize that it’s about you: irritation about someone else always says something about yourself

Realize it’s about you. The more pain you are hit, the more work you have to do yourself. Yes, of course, it is really not nice of your partner to leave you alone with a sick child. He goes beyond your limits, but what does this say about you? How many times have you allowed this? The solution in these cases is therefore to look at what you create yourself so that the situation that affects you so much can repeat itself again and again. What are you afraid of, what are you saying or not doing what you should? Do you feel your own limit? Your awareness of these questions is the first step toward yourself.

Self-protection works against you

When your self-protection gets in the way of growing

Self-protection, when you get, hit works against you. It keeps you where you are, you can’t move forward. This is the absolute opposite of self-care. Self-care is doing what’s right for yourself. The protective mechanism that your body deploys when you are hit was once there when you were little to help you. That worked for you for a long time, but now it works against you. You cannot grow because of it, it keeps you quiet, small, or causes you to constantly conflict and also get further removed from those that are so dear to you.

So you tend to protect yourself when you get hit, logically, only you need something else if you really want to change it. But for that you have to know which patterns you keep using and you have to break them.

Go for self-care and break your patterns instead of always wanting to protect yourself. Just feel that you have the guts!

It’s your old patterns, old survival strategies that always keep you in your place, that always protect you when you’re having a hard time. At the same time, they are the same patterns that make you always feel that you cannot do at such a moment what you would like to do now. That has to be broken down at a deep layer.

It’s not easy, I’m very honest about that, but you can already start by asking yourself where it comes from when you are hit like this. Explore what you know about it, that feeling that your partner is abandoning you, or that someone is crossing your boundaries, your boss decides things for you without consultation, your colleague keeps shifting work to you or everyone comes to you for help, and basically just assume that you do it.

How come you’re still doing this now? The mechanism comes from your childhood, in the past, it was necessary to react in this way. When you know this, you are well on your way. By understanding yourself and taking it seriously, you also get closer to yourself.

Embrace what touches you and the person you touch

When your self-protection gets in the way of growing

When you realize that it is actually about you and you take good care of yourself, you can break the patterns. Then it’s time for the last step, embracing the other. The other touches you, the pain is about yourself. But there is also the other. Not to point fingers and judge, because that only leads to more frustration, but to understand the person. When you really try to understand the other person, and why he or she does what they do, compassion arises. Then you know that what that person does is not about you.

You thus separate 2 important things: your own pain that is being touched and the intention of the other person. The compassion for the other softens your anger and that allows you to heal your own pain. As long as you remain angry, you are also perpetuating your own pain. In this way, the person you touch becomes your teacher, because when you are no longer angry with the other person, you can really start looking at your own pain. In fact, you can often do this together and grow further together.

You can only heal your own pain when you are able to really understand the other you touch

Where you looked at yourself in tip 1 where you came from, you do that with the other person in tip 3. Leaving you alone with a sick child may well be about deeper insecurity about not being a good parent. Your mother who keeps interfering with you may be afraid that things are not going well.

It is then not a question of whether she has the right to interfere with you and it can still be transgressive and not helpful, but by understanding that it is from fear (and therefore often love), you can look at it differently. Your boundary will then appear very different to the other person because you can set it out of compassion. You are automatically closer to yourself.

Don’t want to do this alone?

Is the pain too great when you are hit and do you experience that you simply cannot apply these tips yourself? Don’t worry, it’s not easy what I’m putting down here, you really don’t just do that.


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