This article is written for women and anyone who loves/interacts with women. If you read my article about your "Love Stories," you know that I spend a lot of time teaching people to uncover their often unconscious beliefs formed in childhood about how they see themselves. A very common one I've been working with on women lately is "I am bad." I have male clients with the same issue, but I think there is a different kind of pressure on girls to be good than there is on boys. There's often a subtle acceptance of bad boys because of the notion that boys will be boys.
So I'm addressing bad girls here, but it's totally applicable to you if you are male and got similar messages in childhood!
These messages tend to be strongest and have the most impact when you are raised by a mother who had difficulty handling her own emotional world. The daughter takes on a lot of pressure to be good to please her mother and to ease her mother's burdens. The good girl knows that the more I am good, the less mom or dad will be upset and the safer I feel in the world. In many instances, the good girl ends up confused because no matter how good she is, the parent still gets very upset and acts out their own personal drama.
As a child, the good girl doesn't really understand that it's not about her. That it's about stress over money or work or the marriage or substance abuse or other family dynamics, but the child thinks that she must do better to be good. So she grows up with poor boundaries. She learns to take responsibility for everyone and everything ... especially her spouse and her children! Then she doesn't understand why people think she is controlling. 6 Ways to Handle Frustrations, Stresses, and Set-Backs
You can probably imagine the toll this takes on her. Two things will likely happen. One, she will be completely drained by the pressure she feels for all these other lives. She will neglect her own needs because she is so busy focusing on theirs. She may find herself being tired and depressed.
The second thing that will probably happen as she starts awakening and getting healthier is that she will encounter some need of her own that puts her in direct conflict with the needs of her loved one. This will be a breaking point because she will ignore her need, telling herself that she is responsible to her spouse (or child, friend, co-worker, relative) first. But eventually, there will be so much internal pressure because her need simply will not stop pressing against her. If she listens to her need, she will tell herself that she is a very bad girl because she is betraying the other person and this is intolerable. From Anxious “People Pleasing Doormat” to FemExtraordinaire! Angie’s Success Story