Your Primary Relationship

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Your Primary Relationship
The relationship you have with everyone else is based on your relationship with you.

Most of us put a lot of emphasis on our relationships: family, friends and significant others. But, did you know that the relationship you have with everyone else is based on your relationship with you? That’s right, the closer you get to other people, the more you treat them the way you treat yourself. That makes your relationship with you your primary relationship.

 

Growing up in less than perfect families, most of us have learned dysfunctional relating to some degree. We treat ourselves as we were treated within the family, in school, in church, and by peers. We relate to ourselves as we learned to relate to the people around us. For example, if someone had frightening emotional explosions, and my whole family was afraid, then I am liable to be afraid of my own feelings today. In this way, the atmosphere of early childhood is carried forward into adult life.

The key to solving the problem lies in creating a functional system. I believe that healing begins within the self.

 

The first step is to correct our internal dysfunction; to learn to deal with ourselves directly and honestly, face our internal truth. The human mind is very beautiful, very complex—nothing short of a miracle. Our thinking is so complex, that it is possible to have several “voices” inside, each holding different opinions simultaneously!

Most of the clients who come to me have a virtual battle going on inside. Blaming, defending, making excuses, resisting, are all going on at once within a single person's mind. All of these “voices”, these varying levels of thought and opinion, must be sorted out. They each need to be heard individually—so you can find out what the fight is about. Then you can act as a mediator for them, getting each “voice” to be a part of the whole, so that all your varying opinions of what must be done are working together. If your internal struggle is too intense as a result of abuse or addiction you may need the help of a therapist or a support group to work through it.

 

As you do this, you'll recognize the source of some of the “voices.” Example—“Oh yeah, that's my Mom, criticizing everything I do, never satisfied. Wow, I didn't realize I was doing that to myself! She's been dead 10 years!” Understanding that the running commentary in your head is not actually your Mom, just your learned imitation of her, is very important.

Once you realize the source, the “voice” needs to be corrected. It's necessary to have a self—examining voice, it will keep you growing and learning. However, the voice doesn't need to be hostile, demanding, or relentless. It can be kind, encouraging and supportive. For example: “I did a good job at work today. I'm getting better and better at sales. When I talk to Joe next time, though, I'm going to be a little more low key, ask him about his family, I think I overwhelmed him by coming on too strong.” Keep Reading...

More love advice from YourTango

This article was originally published at Tina B. Tessina. Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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