Start Doing You – Concentrating On Yourself. As a Marriage and Family Therapist I see individuals with many different types of problems. I recently saw a young woman who came in because she had a panic attack last week and has been experiencing anxiety for the past few months. As she was sharing the events that lead to the panic attack I assessed the problem stemming from her family of origin. Her parents want $3,000 from her so they can pay their property taxes. They want to purchase a brand new luxury car and thought she should supplement their expenses. She’s 27 years old and is employed in a job she enjoys. Does that mean she should give them the money?
Then there’s “Tom” a high functioning 32 year-old attorney who has been married for 1 year and still has not informed his parents. He is hesitant to share his good news because his mother has already disapproved of his wife during an introduction visit. Despite his wife’s understanding she feels hurt and not important.
Then there’s “Me” up until a few years ago continuing to enable inappropriate behavior from some of my own extended family members. Saying “yes” when I want to say “no.” Being manipulated into doing something I know is not good for other family members who need to learn how to be less helpless or Co-dependent.
We all exercise behavior that we’d rather not to spare the feelings of those who really need to face reality and feel the feelings that come from that reality. Often times we are so concerned about “caretaking” their feelings, we neglect taking care of our own. This can create anxiety, depression, resentment, frustration, anger, etc., affecting our own mental health
Well, I say, “do you want to continue to do that?” If the answer is “No,” or “I don’t know how to stop” then perhaps it’s time to acquire the skills and “come back” lines to protect yourself from not being able to take care of “You.” In Marriage/Couples Counseling I help my clients understand that they need to teach people how to behave around them. If they learn “green light” behavior then they can have access to you. If they continue to exercise “red light” or bad/inappropriate behavior they have limited access to you. It’s your choice not theirs.
For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139 and go to my website at CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com for more information about my services.