Are you a ‘Be strong’, ‘Don’t feel’ and ‘Don’t have needs’ type of person?
You may not be aware of this but read on and be curious if any of this resonates with you.
Many people who are busy ‘Being strong’ actually don’t feel particularly strong at all; they feel vulnerable and alone, having to get on with things and not think about themselves for fear of abandonment from others.
Not knowing it’s okay to feel your emotions or have needs can cause many diseases after a while. Gabor Mate talks about the auto-immune diseases stemming from never saying No and always pleasing others.
Often ‘Be strong’ people don’t seek therapy because they are busy being strong and discounting most of their needs. If you are reading this, you may think this does not apply to you because you are happy enough; however, you might work all the time; feel insignificant to other people and have a tough time asking for what you want; on the deepest level feel lonely and that others don’t understand you. Moreover, if they did, you believe they would not like you, so you prefer to shapeshift to fit others’ needs and be the person they want you to be rather than being yourself.
Some signs you may be being a ‘Be Strong’ person:
• Are you shy or introverted; do others say you are hyper-sensitive?
• Do you avoid close relationships, daydream, and find aggressive feelings difficult?
• Do you feel disconnected from your feelings and, at the same time, keep your emotions to yourself?
• Do you tend to have one safe person in your life rather than many? Furthermore, feel a lack of connection to life as it seems meaningless?
• Do you prefer activities alone, having little interest in sex, having few friends, and not caring what others think?
• Are you also a person who does enjoy intimacy; are you highly sensitive and lovely to be around because you are kind, caring and supportive?
What happens when we have felt repeatedly misunderstood and invisible?
Well, you become an adult who stays away from others to protect yourself from further hurt when deep inside, part of you really would love to be part of them and feel safe just to be yourself.
When you do not feel safe, understood and loved as a child, you learn that other people are not to be trusted, and so you become as independent as you can be and become strong not to feel any feelings.
The child who learns they have to be strong and not feel can use withdrawal; the withdrawal from the world and relationships that you do to keep you safe from harm; the withdrawal you had to stay safe from harm but as an adult today, you no longer have to do. Not allowing yourself to feel, you perhaps believe you can only exist if you do not need too much (Lowen, 1975).
Feeling invisible on the deepest level is a characteristic of this personality, deeply missed because, as adults, they do not make a fuss and do all they can not to burden any soul.
When you have experienced abandonment:
Continuously over again results in never being able to trust anyone, ask for help from others and know what you need. Withdrawing from other people and situations to protect yourself is what you might do, as well as always waiting for others to initiate in social cases. You may feel afraid to reach out, ask for help or make any other person feel overwhelmed by your needs.
What the process of change looks like for you:
For sure, you cannot change your child inside by changing your thoughts alone; you need to begin a psychotherapeutic process to work slowly with your therapist to eventually integrate the feelings that were pushed aside when you were young and reconnect with your vital energy; Learn to take a stand for yourself and take your space and realise that your needs are as significant as anyone else’s.
Within your change process, you will begin to think about yourself; what you want and start to work on asking for what you want. Be as supportive of yourself as you are of everyone else, and learn that others can accommodate your needs and will not be overwhelmed by them.
You are good enough; staying active in your body and mind is essential.
You can think about solving problems and making changes.
When you begin to change:
You may begin to see how your passive way of being and withdrawing from people and situations keeps you in a fog of denial. This fog of denial prevents you from asserting healthy boundaries where you need to, expressing love and being the person you were born to be. As you begin to change, old traumas are healed, and you become the driver of your life.