Not really. Sheri married a man who puts her down just like her brother used to. What I really mean when I say she married her older brother is that she’s married to a pattern that began in childhood. That pattern consists of being zapped with a negative comment—like an accusation—and then reacting to it by defending herself.
Defending herself is all well and good. What’s self-defeating is that she’s compelled to do so . . . she can’t rest unless she can get him to change how he sees her.
“Okay,” I said, “Suppose he accused you of wearing orange pants (she was wearing blue jeans). Would his accusation derail you?”
“No! Not at all,” she said, laughing.
“Because it wouldn’t be true,” she explained.
Ahhh. So, the key is for Sheri to get good at questioning the accuracy of all put-downs and accusations. To help her do that, I advised her, “Just think of orange pants whenever you feel the compulsion to defend yourself. Then be your own judge.”
Every accusation is an opportunity to practice believing in yourself.
Share your thoughts with me.
Names are changed to honor client privacy.