Do you find yourself disturbed by what other people think, say or do? Are you exasperated by the way that people seem to treat you? Does it seem like your life is outside of your control, more often than you would like? It could be that you suffer from the need to control or the need for approval. Seeking admiration from other people is something that we learn at an early age. We seem to have a real need for validation, in order to make us feel valued. The need for control also develops early in childhood, as nearly everyone is an authority in our lives. These two needs can leave you feeling as if everything is always about you.
Even at times when something has nothing to do with you, it is easy to convince yourself that it is. You may believe that something is your fault or responsibility when it is not. Inner-dialogue causes you to conceive that you are to blame or even that someone else is at fault. When you exercise inner-talk to nurture or rid yourself of feelings, you are thinking that everything is about you. At times like these, you become withdrawn and can turn away the people that you care about the most. These two traits are a form of manipulation to bring more control into your life through reproach. The good old silent treatment always gets the same results, and leaves us feeling cheated.
So how do we end this cycle of neediness and the low self-worth and little respect toward other people that go along with it? How do we let go of the idea that if we feel it then it is because of or directed toward us? Sometimes you need to step back and let go of the why in the issue. Why did that person lie to me? The simple answer may be “because they can.” Then again, you can run a hundred scenarios around in your mind, searching for an explanation. With each scenario, you add anxiety, which only increases the pressure.
There are several things that you can do to alleviate these childish needs.
- Let go of “pet peeves” (what you think other people should or should not do).
- Remain in the moment as much as possible (this requires paying close attention to your thoughts).
- Understand that each minute becomes the past – try not to dwell on what is finished.
- Tell yourself to stop it when you catch yourself utilizing inner dialogue – quiet your mind.
- Let your affirmative replies mean yes and allow yourself to say no – be decisive.
- Allow other people to make mistakes and affect their own destinies.
- Ask questions that will help you arrive at an understanding – improve your communication skills.
- Listen to yourself and other people without thinking about what you will say or do in a given situation.