Thursday, March 6, 2008

How Mom and Dad can still ground you?

The purpose of this exercise is neither to prove that there is a terrific set of parents who would have sent you forth with all you needed nor to prove that the parents you got have emotionally maimed you. The purpose is to show that anything your parents did has some positive and some negative possibilities. Once you understand the consequences of parental influence and behavior, you can emphasize or compensate for them. Consider the following examples:
  • If you felt your parents never had time for you, you’re probably self-reliant but find it difficult to trust and are a bit brittle on the outside. What you most want is someone to hug you and tell you that you’re great.
  • If your parents were really lovey-dovey with each other, you may have felt envious and excluded. As a result, you may look for a date who ignores everybody and everything but you.
  • If one or other of your parents doted on you — and I mean really doted —you may feel an overwhelming need to perform or be perfect. A date who asks what you were doing last night may make you feel claustrophobic, as if you’re being monitored or graded again.
Once you know that, you can look for someone who isn’t like the parent, who is self-sufficient, and who is not overly sentimental. Unfortunately, most of us choose someone who’s like the parent who didn’t do whatever we wanted them to do when we were kids, and — voilá! — because we pick the same kind of person, they act in the same kind of way.

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