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05 Jul 2010

Love oneself
How does one learn to love oneself? I am one who changes and adapts around people to gain external affirmation. I know where it comes from (past trauma and emotionaly neglectful parenting) but I guess knowledge is not everything. I was told in therapy that I blame myself and tend to take responsibility for other people''s feelings. How do I stop that? I have a husband who loves me but I struggle to love back. I have 2 beautiful children who I struggle to show affection to if only because at times I feel like I am going to be sucked dry/suffocated. It''s a vicious circle - the more I struggle to show affection, the more I blame myself, the less affection I show. Do I just go through the motions of trying to be affectionate and hope one day something sticks?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Maybe start more gently by learning to LIKE oneself ? And in counselling / therapy, part of the task will often be to reduce one's felt need for external affirmation. Knowledge in an entirely intellectual sense often fails to solve the problem ( tellling me why the car's engine is making that awful noise is useless in enabling me to fix the problem - I don't even know how to open the bonnet / hood ).
Work on taking responsibility for your OWN feelings, and let others take care of theirs.
And dont't entirely knock "going through the motions" - there's evidence to show that when one starts by behaving in a way that resembles how you want to fel, your feelings and attitudes tend to move towards the state you are initially simulating.
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