Although the need to experience intimacy is one of the strongest needs that someone can have, it doesn’t mean that this is a need that will always be fulfilled. For some people in the world, intimacy will be part of life and something that is simply taken for granted. And as long as they can remember, it has always been a part of their life.
But for others, it will be an experience that seems more or less impossible to have. And this is inevitably going to lead to the creation of moderate, to extreme pain. Because even though this need may not be getting met, it won’t simply disappear.
One thing is for certain here and that is that, the mind will come up with all of the reasons under the sun as to why one is not experiencing intimacy. And these can range from being ones that sound fairly legitimate to ones that are somewhat farfetched.
Here one can feel like a victim and that they haven’t got what others have. This can include: looks, money, status, intelligence or some other thing. One can even come to the conclusion that there is something inherently wrong with them; that they are defective in some way.
And if one is not experiencing intimacy, then it is not much of a surprise that the mind would form these ideas and perceptions. The mind observes what is taking place and then labels these occurrences.
As well as what’s going on inside ones head, there can also be other influences. But while these can validate what is taking place, they will do little else and can just cause one to stay where they are; not moving on or progressing and actually experiencing intimacy.
These can be: friends, family, colleagues and other people. The media can also give reasons and supply its own version of solutions, typically through material consumption. Here, the problem will be seen as solvable though buying different clothes, having the right perfume/aftershave or in displaying the right jewellery for instance.
More recently this has gone onto include changing ones appearance through some kind of surgery or in the latest craze of gaining the ‘perfect’ body through endlessly going to the gym. And then there are numerous diets to enable one to finally look ‘right’.
The Story Maker
To the mind, everything is external and the answers are always outside somewhere. The body on the other hand, is completely different. Whereas the mind has ideas about life, the body is life. There is no separation when it comes to the body and life.
The mind views life from a place of separation and disconnection. For example: a travel guide can describe what certain countries are like, but this guide will never match up to the experience of actually travelling those countries. It is just someone’s ideas about the places and not the places themselves.
So the mind simply assumes and has no real insight into what is going on. The real answers as to why someone is not experiencing intimacy are in the body and not the mind.
However, if one lives in their head and therefore rejects their body, then the body’s wisdom and the answers that it possesses are going to be ignored. But while this is often normal in today’s world, it doesn’t just happen.
There is a reason for it and it is typically due to the occurrence of some kind of emotional pain. It could be an experience that was extremely traumatic or it could just as easily be an accumulation of experiences that were painful. And through not dealing with this pain, one can gradually became stuck in their head.
The mind can use all kinds of different defence mechanisms and escapes to push these emotions out of one’s conscious awareness. But while the tendency can be to avoid these emotions; this can also keep one stuck and unable to move forward in life.
Just because these emotions have been repressed and may no longer be registered at a conscious level, it doesn’t mean that they are not having an effect. They can become stuck and frozen in every part of one’s body; in the bones, organs, muscles and skin for instance.
While the mind can have no recollection of what these emotions are, they will show up in other ways. How emotionally healthy someone is can be known through how functional their relationships are.
So, in order for one to experience intimacy, the body has to feel comfortable with it. And if the body is carrying around feelings and emotions from situations in the past where one didn’t feel safe, then it is not going to allow intimacy to take place
The body it is simply protecting itself and part of that process will be to keep people at a distance. And the majority of these feelings can come from when one was a child and in how they were treated by their primary caregiver.
Here, one could have had a caregiver that was emotionally unavailable, conditional in their love and unstable. So their needs and wants could have been generally ignored. And this can then mean that as a child one was: invalidated, mismatched, rejected, abandoned, isolated and even abused in some way.
This figure was then not someone who one would have felt safe with, but someone to be feared and kept at a distance. And their sense of trust in people could also have been destroyed through having this kind of caregiver.
While the emotions and feelings that one experienced also had to be pushed out of one’s mind in order to survive; as their caregivers may have emotionally invalidated them and not regulated their emotions. So they just ended up being built up and stored in the body.
Self Made Prison
So during these early years it was beneficial to keep a distance, as it was a matter of survival. But although time has passed, these feelings still exist in the body and as this is what is familiar, the mind has associated it as what feels safe. So it now feels ‘comfortable’ to keep people at a distance.
And these feelings and emotions can cause one to re-create their reality in a way that mirrors these early experiences. The people that one attracts and is attracted to will be a consequence of these repressed emotions and feelings.
These feelings will need to be released from the body and as this takes place, one will be able to feel comfortable with intimacy. This may require the assistance of a therapist or healer that will allow one to feel their feelings and release them.
As what is going on inside the body changes, what is going on in one’s life will change.
One doesn’t have to look very far to see how obsessed people have become with looking good in the western world. And this is not limited to one gender; both men and women are involved in this.
For a woman it could relate to: the kinds of clothes they wear, make-up, body shape, hair style, skin tone and numerous other things. In recent years, the general definition of what it means to look good for a man has also changed. It can often be hard to differentiate between the two sexes when it comes to these requirements.
Wearing smart clothes or looking after their hair is not enough, it has now gone onto include: looking after their body, wearing fake tan, waxing and using moisturisers in some cases.
And looking after oneself is a sign of self respect and self love. This is not something that one should feel ashamed of or even feel guilty for doing. By feeling good about oneself on the inside, this will then be observed on the outside through how one dresses and presents themsevles.
This could mean that in today’s world, people generally have a greater appreciation and self respect than in the past. And the reason people are so focused on looking good is due to this inner change that has taken place.
But, there is looking good and then there is becoming obsessed with looking good. And in a number of cases, a form of obsession has taken over. The natural and healthy need to look after oneself has gone to the extreme.
The Big Cover Up
One of the things that one can do when they feel a certain way is to go to the other extreme. So for example, if someone feels that they are inferior or less than others, they can go to the other side of the spectrum and put on an act of being superior and more than others.
The ego mind works in polarities and this means that there is no grey, the only thing it knows is black or white; which is why there is the tendency for human behaviour to be so clear cut.
And the obsessive need to look good is therefore being used to cover up what is going on, on the inside. It is an example of the ego mind going from one extreme to the other.
What’s Going On?
In order to understand or try to understand what the reasons are for this obsession, the attention needs to be placed on the inner world. As what is going on in the outer world is generally a mirror of what is taking is taking place in someone’s inner world.
So through looking good and going to the extreme, it is allowing one to regulate how they feel on the inside. The painful feelings that are being experienced within are then pushed out of one’s conscious awareness. If this process has gone on for long enough, one may not even be aware of these feelings.
And just like any form of make-up, fake tan or moisturiser, this process has to be constantly applied. For if one doesn’t look good, the inner fears of being disapproved of, rejected or abandoned could soon arise. So it is then only natural that this whole process would be an obsession.
This is just one way that the ego mind has to cover up feelings and emotions that are painful. Of course the feelings won’t go away by pretending they don’t exist, but the pain will be covered up for a short while and may no longer exist as far as the mind is concerned.
And although there may be a certain preference as to the kind of people who will admire how one looks, in the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter who it is. A bit like someone who hasn’t eaten for weeks, any kind of food will do.
The ego mind is not discerning when it comes to who the acceptance or approval comes from. As long as it takes place, that’s all that matters. Ones emotions and feelings are then being regulated externally through other people.
Beyond The Obsession
So on one side, it shows that this person has trouble regulating their emotions and on the other that they have emotions that have been and are being repressed. The obsession is ultimately not good or bad, it is just a way to deal with these emotions. And as emotions are generally ignored in the modern day world, one could have the outlook that there is no other way to deal with them.
If they had the ability to regulate their emotions or to seek others assistance in doing so and didn’t have the emotional build-up, then the need to obsessively look good is unlikely to be there. To take care of oneself would naturally be there, but not in an extreme way.
Whether one can emotionally regulate themselves or not, will typically depend on the kind of nurturing they received as a child. And if one wasn’t regulated as a child, it is likely that they will have a lot of emotions that had to be repressed and pushed out of conscious awareness.
Two Types Of Care
The type of care that is the most beneficial when it comes to creating a healthy child and therefore adult, is empathic care. This will involve a primary caregiver that is generally emotionally available and consistent in responding to the child needs and wants. During times of emotional unrest or unease, the child will be: mirrored, validated, soothed, and touched.
Through this taking place, the child will not have to cover up their emotions and will develop the ability to regulate themselves. And feel that it is safe to go to others for help when they become overwhelming. A strong sense of self is also likely to develop.
When the caregiver is unempathic, the caregiver will generally be emotional unavailable and inconsistent when it comes to the Childs needs and wants. They may even ignore them altogether in extreme cases. So during moments when the child is emotionally unstable, they are likely to be: mismatched, invalided, ignored and even abandoned.
This has the potential to create dire consequences both for the child and when the child becomes an adult. The child is then unlikely to be able to regulate their emotions, simply because they had no one to model. And this can then mean that their emotions will have had to have been repressed and denied. To seek assistance from others during emotional unrest won’t feel comfortable either. One is unlikely to develop a strong sense of self; this can lead to the likelihood of one seeking a higher degree of acceptance and approval in others.
The above is a very general description and there is inevitably going to be other factors involved; as some people can have challenges in latter life or have had a one off experience as a child that created problems for example. However, what it does do is shed some light on what is taking place at a deeper level for people who are obsessed with looking good.
Through emotional regulation not being developed as a child and emotional repression taking place, it is inevitable that this person is going to experience emotional problems as an adult. That is unless one seeks some kind of assistance, such as a therapist or a healer for example.
And when one doesn’t have a healthy relationship with themselves and is therefore doing all they can to run away from who they are, it is only natural that obsessions will exist. But this is just one sign of inner unrest and there are many others.
No matter what gender someone is or where they have come from, there is likely to be moments where they feel angry. This is part of the human experience and it plays a valuable role in our survival as individuals and as a species.
In most cases, anger is nothing more than feedback and is informing someone that they are being compromised. Their boundaries are being crossed and that some kind of action needs to be taken.
However, this natural and healthy process can end up becoming dysfunctional. And like so many other human aspects; if it is not expressed in a healthy and functional manner.
And while anger is a word and an experience that most people can relate to, there are many other ways that anger can be experienced that are often not as familiar. These are: resentment, irritation, aggression, rage, depression and hate.
At first it will be anger that is experienced, but over time this can turn into these other experiences. This can be due to a numbers of reasons and one of these reasons is repression.
Here, anger can be covered up for what could be a few days, to a number of years. And instead of it being a momentary experience, it then becomes a state of being.
The Cover Up
This may be something that one engages in all of the time or only ignores their anger during certain times and around specific people. But one thing is clear, and that is although one may do all they can to cover up how they actually feel, it will be observable in some way.
There can be many reasons why someone can feel compromised and therefore angry. Some of these can be the result of feeling: abused, ignored, violated and taken advantage of.
If one doesn’t acknowledge how they truly feel and the experience that they are having, it is going to appear in a way that may be dysfunctional and disempowering. And one of the most common ways that this come be known is through passive aggressive behaviour. It could be described as revenge that has been delayed.
This behaviour can be extremely subtle and hard to spot at first. And this has the potential to create frustration and anger in the person who is observing the behaviour.
In some cases, this can lead to one taking on board the anger and frustration that the passive aggressive is not willing to face themselves. Here, one can start to feel angry for no apparent reason when they are around the person. At a conscious level one can be oblivious to this fact, but at an unconscious level, it is being picked up. And confusion then occurs at a conscious level.
But while the observer of this behaviour can feel angry or frustrated, if they were to question the person who is passive aggressive about the role they are playing, they may even dismiss and deny what is taking place. Claiming not to be angry in any way and that the person who is observing this behaviour actually has anger problems.
It could be that they have no awareness of their passive aggressive behaviour. And if one has a pattern of attracting people who are passive aggressive, then they may have some work to do around anger.
Passive aggressive behaviour can appear in many different forms and guises. And some of these are:
· When someone turns up late
· When someone forgets to do something
· When someone becomes cold or distant
· When someone becomes silent
When someone behaves in the ways that have been described above, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are being passive aggressive. These have to be taken in context and weighted up with other sources of information.
To be passive aggressive is not a functional way of behaving or a sign of maturity. However, it is there for a reason and the primary reason is that it is what feels safe. We all have an ego mind and what is familiar is what is classed as safe. And to be passive aggressive will be what feels safe or comfortable.
If this person was to act another way, there would be the potential for fear to arise. As to the ego mind, if something is unfamiliar it will be interpreted as the equivalent of death
So if this person was to express their anger in a functional and healthy way, it wouldn’t feel comfortable and may even feel dangerous.
For one to express their anger in a healthy and functional way, it will be imperative that they have a healthy relationship with anger. And as anger is often labelled as negative and destructive in today’s world, it is common for people to believe that anger is a bad thing.
One of the biggest influences in the kind of relationship that one has with anger will be their childhood years. If their caregivers dealt with their anger in ways that were generally healthy, it would have been likely that they passed this ability on. And one therefore had healthy models to mirror and internalise.
However, if their caregivers repressed or denied their anger or expressed it but discouraged it in others, then this would have been modelled and internalised. And as a child, ones ego mind would have formed associations around this behaviour being what is familiar and therefore safe. So to behave in another way could cause one to feel: rejected, vulnerable or abandoned for example.
Just because something happened many years ago and the mind has forgotten about it, it doesn’t mean that it is no longer having an effect. And passive aggressive behaviour is just one example of this.
One may need to seek the assistance of a therapist or healer to release the anger that may have built up over the years. Or to have the help of a coach or a trusted friend in order to express anger in a way that is functional and empowering.
When it comes to getting to know someone who has the potential to be a friend or a lover, it is not always easy. During the early interactions, there is the tendency for people to show their best selves. To present themselves in a way that is different to how they normally are or to exaggerate how they would typically behave.
And unless one has a good ability to read people, a sharp intuition or has done lot of work on themselves and therefore generally attracts healthy people; it can be a bit of a mind field.
This means that looking to others sources can lead to insight and to a better perspective on what someone is like. One of these sources is the friends that the person has.
While this can relate to all of the friends that they have and spend their time with, the most important friends are typically the ones they are closest to or spend the most time with. Casual acquaintances may reveal certain pierces of information, but not as much as their closest friends.
It is these people that will often be able to shed the most light on what is going on for this person. At a level that is beyond the mask that they may wear in the very beginning and even at a level they are not aware of.
Life is often made up of patterns and relationships are no different. When it comes to picking up on what someone is like, having the ability to recognise patterns is incredibly important. At first it may appear that there isn’t any, but after a while, they will soon start to stand out.
What then matters is one pays attention to these patterns. And this can often be easier said than done; simply because one can become caught up in the emotions of the experience and temporary lose their ability assess the situation.
This can relate to relationships with the opposite sex or the same sex, depending on one’s sexual preference, but it can also relate to potential friends. It is not just limited to encounters that have a sexual undercurrent.
So as I said above, this can relate to things that one is consciously trying to hide and even to aspects that they are not consciously aware of themselves. At a deeper level this can relate to the following areas: what they have repressed, have yet to realise and if they have good boundaries or not.
This is part of life and something everyone does to one degree or another. However, this can lead to all kinds of problems if it has taken place over many years and has involved certain painful emotions to be pushed out of one’s conscious awareness. As one of the ways this repression can show up, is in the kind of people they spend their time with.
The person may appear to not have any of these aspects and this can be the result of them either consciously hiding them in the early stages or having no awareness of them; due to the years of repression that have taken place.
This can then appear in this person having friends who are: critical, rude, self centred, disrespectful, controlling, and abusive and they can be a reflection of their inner voice for instance.
We all have aspects of ourselves that lay dormant and have yet to be developed. If one is aware of this, they can see that although they may admire another, it is typically due to what they are projecting onto them and have yet to realise themselves. And when one is unaware of this, it can lead to the idealisation and glorification of others.
So this can appear in the kind of people that this person looks up to and admires. This is not necessarily negative per se, it will all depend on if they are aware of what they are doing. If they are it can show they are embracing who they are. And if they are not, it can be a sign of a lack of awareness and that they are caught up in their own projections.
It also shows how they see themselves on the inside and person they may truly want to be.
Although this has been marked as a separate description, it is also part of the two descriptions above; as when someone lets go of what they have repressed and starts to embrace their hidden gifts, it will usually lead to functional boundaries being formed. But with that aside, boundaries could be described as a by-product of having a strong sense of self.
Without them, one can display controlling behaviour or end up being controlled by others. So someone can either come across as easily lead, not being able to say no for example or have people around them who display these behavioural traits.
This person could alternate between the two styles of behaviour depending on the context or who they are with. Either way, it is a sign that someone has boundary problems.
These are just some examples and this doesn’t mean that someone is: unhealthy, dysfunctional or to be avoided if they posses any of them. We are all human and all have our own challenges to work through.
And if one is constantly attracting people that have certain traits that are undesirable, it is a sure sign that they needs to look within. As the people that one attracts into their life will always mirror what is going on for them at a deeper level.
The assistance of a therapist, coach or a healer can enable one to let go of what is causing them to attract people who are not suitable or a good match.
When it comes to what women are like, there are numerous ideas that men can have. And while the world is made up of all types of women, there are certain ideas that a man will have formed. These are not just going to be disconnected descriptions, but descriptions that carry emotional weight.
And although the ones that carry an emotional weight can be the ones that a man is attracted to or attracts, they can also relate to women that are: colleagues, friends and family members.
These descriptions can then be seen as how all women are and not just the kind of women that they attract or are attracted to, but even the women who are part of their life in other ways.
For some men in the world, their experiences will lead to the conclusion that women are generally: loving, supportive, receptive, respectful, kind and honest for example. And for these kinds of men, it is unlikely that they would be reading an article like this. If they were, it may simple be due to curiosity.
But on the other side of the spectrum will be men who all only too familiar with women who are the opposite of the description above. These can be: distant, cold, aloof, obnoxious, disrespectful and even abusive for instance.
And for the man who is consistently ending up in situations where women are not pleasant or loving, it is going to lead to all kinds of problems.
The Conscious Mind
So, at a conscious level a man can have the need to attract a woman or to be around women that are loving. But this is not taking place and this can lead to the outlook that: other men are lucky, all women are the same or other men are different and have something that one doesn’t have.
And based on what is occurring; these conclusions would seem to adequately describe what is taking place. However, what they are unlikely to lead to is change or enable one to experience women that are different.
A Deeper Look
But while the mind can create all kinds of stories as to why one is experiencing these types of women, the answers don’t exist on outside: the answers can only be found within. It is here, that the reason as to why one attracts the women that they do can be known
This brings our attention to the ego mind. The ego mind works through associations and what is familiar, is classed as what is safe. And anything can become familiar; it doesn’t have to be: positive, functional or empowering. It can just as easily be: dysfunctional, negative and disempowering.
All that matters to the ego mind is that it is familiar. Whether it leads to happiness or unhappiness is ultimately irrelevant.
What’s The Connection?
So consciously one can feel angry, frustrated and hopeless when they reflect on their experiences with women. However, at a deeper level, there is a reason that these types of women keep showing up.
This person’s ego mind has associated these women as being familiar and therefore safe. And as a result of these associations being dysfunctional and unhealthy, it is causing pain and suffering.
It might seem strange that the mind would have formed these kinds of associations, especially when they are not leading to functional or fulfilling relationships with women.
What takes place in the beginning of one’s life is often forgotten about and this can lead to confusion in later life. One of the biggest influences in how a man sees women and the kind of women that they attract is the kind of mother they had.
This can then become the model of what women are like and all women will then be filtered through this model. And this can be a model that is functional or dysfunctional.
How the man’s mother responded to them as a child will play a massive part. This could be a mother whose care was generally empathic and emotionally available: taking care of their needs and wants in most cases. The child would have been: validated, mirrored, touched and soothed at appropriate times.
Or it could have been a mother that was generally unempathic and emotionally unavailable: neglecting their needs and wants in the majority of cases. In the extreme, this mother could have been abusive in some way. And the child could have been: invalidated, abandoned and rejected for instance.
Now, if one had a mother that was like the first description, there shouldn’t be too many problems in later life when it comes to women. But if they had a mother that was like the second description, there is the potential for challenges to occur in later life.
And this is due to these early experiences becoming what is familiar and therefore safe to the ego mind. So even though this early experience was neither functional nor healthy, through repetition, it defined what one would later feel comfortable with.
So this will have formed how they see women, the kind of women they attract and the kind of women they are attracted to.
While the world is made up of all types of women, the reason ones attracts the kind of women that they do is due to it being familiar. If one is attracting women that are unsuitable, there will be resistance at a conscious level. But at a deeper level there is an attraction to these kinds of women.
In order to let go of these associations and the emotions that may have remained in the body since those early years, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of a therapist of healer. Or one can undertake this process through assistance of a coach, trusted friend or some kind or self inquiry. The kind of assistance that is needed can depend on how much of a challenge this is.
If one has read anything do with self help or come across one of the primary figures in the industry, they will have heard of the term ‘Positive Thinking’. This is nothing new and has been around for many years.
In 1952, Norman Vincent Peale published the book - The Power Of Positive Thinking. And then as time went by, this idea was turned into a whole industry. There are numerous books and people that espouse this outlook.
Affirmations are also commonly used in the same way; with all kinds of books and figures recommending them. And then there is something known as the ‘Law Of Attraction’ that has exploded in popularity thanks to certain books and DVDs.
As positive thinking is so popular and has been around for quite some time, it would be natural to see it as normal and the right thing to do. The general human tendency is to avoid pain and to seek pleasure.
So to think positive can assist in this aim and allow the mind to deny and change what the body is emoting and feeling. This will then enable one to see themselves and life in a different way.
Through this process, one’s behaviour can change and result in them having new experiences.
While we all have a brain that thinks, we also have a body that feels, emotes and senses. But due to things like trauma and pain that can build up in the body, one can become stuck in their brain (head).
This can be the result of trauma and pain that was experienced in childhood or in later life. And if this pain becomes too much, it is natural for ones consciousness to remain in the mind.
Here, different defence mechanisms can be used in order to keep this pain at bay. If they were not used, it would be too much and one could die from the overload.
Even though this pain may well have become repressed and locked in the body, it won’t just stay there. The body wants to release this pain and heal itself, but the mind will generally want to avoid the pain.
However, the pain will become known through numerous ways. This can lead to: inner restlessness, negative thoughts, depression, illness, loss, dysfunctional relationships, mental and emotional problems, reactive behaviour, addictions, obsessions and many others things.
The mind has done all it can to keep the pain away, but these can all be signs that the body is what needs to be looked at and not just the mind.
This focus on the mind and the rejection of the body is not something that just happened. And while positive thinking has a time and a place, it has become the primary focus. The body is often overlooked and ignored.
As I have said above, when too much pain is created in the body it is then normal for one to live in their head. So it would make perfect sense to say that part of the reason positive thinking has become so popular is due to people having so much pain in their body.
And is a natural consequence of people becoming estranged from their: emotions, feelings and sensations.
A sense of empowerment and personal power is gained through being grounded in the body. This is where actions come from and without action very little happens. The mind can think as much as it wants and come up with all kinds of fantasies and illusions, but that doesn’t make it reality.
So it would seem odd that in a day where people want to be empowered, that they are not embracing the body and are choosing to live in the mind.
But it would also be completely inaccurate to say this was a conscious choice. If one has a negative relationship to their emotions, then avoiding them would be normal and natural. This is a relationship that is typically formed in ones childhood.
If one had a caregiver that was empathic and therefore emotionally available, it would have resulted in one being emotionally regulated as a child. This means they would have been: validated, soothed, mirrored and touched during emotional unrest or unease.
Two things can occur through this process. One is that one will learn how to regulate their emotions or feel safe enough to seek assistance. And the second thing is that they won’t have to repress their emotions.
When it comes to the unempathic caregiver, the above is unlikely to take place. This means that one will not learn how to regulate their emotions or feel safe enough to ask others for assistance. One will also end up having to repress their emotions.
Now, for some people this will have included emotions that were slightly painful, but not any where near the other end of the spectrum. And for others, this would have been emotions that were extremely painful and even the result of abuse or trauma.
But one thing is certain, if one did not form a healthy relationship with their emotions as a child, then avoiding them is going to be vital. This means the mind is going to be kept extremely busy in trying to block these out.
And positive thinking or affirmations will need to be constantly applied in order to continually repress these emotions and feelings.
This can easily turn into an addiction or an obsession, as to stop thinking positive could cause all kinds of repressed emotions to appear. And as they have been repressed for so long, they could be extremely powerful and overwhelming.
This is not to say that positive thinking should be avoided, but it does mean is that it may be necessary to look a little deeper. To see what is going on in the body and what has built up there.
As when the body is in a place of peace, the mind will often follow suit. If there is conflict in the mind, there is probably conflict in the body. And as one releases what has built up in the body, the need to think positive will not be there as much – simply because there won’t be as much going on.
In the short term it may be more painful to deal with ones repressed emotions and feelings, but the long terms benefits will outweigh the short term pain. This is not something that has to last forever.
And it may be important for one to seek the assistance of a therapist or healer who will allow one to release their emotions in a healthy and supportive way.
One doesn’t need to look very far to see violence or to hear about violence. The media for instance, is only too happy to inform people of what is taking place at a local level and around the world.
And then one can hear second hand accounts of violence that have taken place in another person’s life or through their own personal experiences.
This can come in all shapes and forms and include physical and emotional. It is often the physical forms of violence that receive the most exposure; with emotional violence generally going unnoticed in comparison.
The Common Labels
It is often natural to label people who are violent as bad or even evil. And based on someone who sees themselves as the opposite of violent or who commits violence in another way than is being described; these judgements can seem apt.
In recent years, through the developments in genetic research, they have even claimed that some people are predisposed to be violent. Labels and reasons such as these may quieten the mind and appear to be realistic conclusions.
However, saying someone is simply evil or bad doesn’t answer much or look at what could be going on at a deeper level. And saying it’s simply a matter of genetics, renders someone a victim and takes away their personal responsibility.
These mainstream influences rarely consider how an individual’s life experiences or early childhood development can play a role in whether someone is violent or not. Emotions are also often overlooked and seldom make it into the headlines.
And yet this is not much of a surprise considering how emotions are generally viewed in today’s world. Whether it is during someone’s childhood, through their years in education or in later life; emotions can end up being completely ignored.
They are then not something that one has a healthy and functional relationship with, but as something that one needs to avoid and deny. And this inner rejection and denial is then mirrored in the external world. So as a result of people being unaware of their emotions and not having a relationship with them; it then leads to a society that avoids and dismisses anything that would relate to emotions.
For if one has repressed their emotions for much of their life, to talk about them or focus on them, could create a lot of inner unrest and chaos. Living as if they don’t exist or have any effect, is then normal and a way of life
Even though emotions can become repressed and therefore removed from the mind, this doesn’t mean they no longer have any influence. This influence can relate to how one behaves, how they see themselves and others and even the health of one’s physical body.
And ones first emotional experience will be during the childhood years. It is during this time that will often define what kind of relationship one has with them. Although it is possible to alter this relationship as an adult, for a lot of people, it is unlikely to change.
A Big Factor
One of the biggest factors in defining what kind of relationship it will be, is how emotionally available the primary caregiver was. If this caregiver was someone who was empathic and available, it would have lead to the child forming a healthy relationship to them.
This would typically be achieved by the caregiver regulating the Childs emotions. Through validating, mirroring, matching and soothing the child during times of emotional unrest and unease. The child would then gradually internalise this ability and learn to regulate their own emotions or that it is safe enough to seek assistance in others.
But when the caregiver is emotionally unavailable in some way and generally doesn’t engage in the above, these emotions will often have to be denied and repressed.
Now, the reason a child feels emotionally unstable can depend on numerous factors: ranging from something that is fairly minor at one end of the spectrum to an experience or experiences of extreme abuse at the other end of the spectrum.
And while these emotions will often have to be pushed out of the Childs awareness in order to survive, they won’t simply disappear. The child may even act out these feelings on someone who is weaker or through another form of expression.
As years go by and the child grows into an adult, the mind can lose all awareness of these emotions and of where they came from. They then become trapped and frozen in the body.
But although the mind may want to repress the emotions, the body wants to release them. This means that they are likely to come out in some way or another and it can be through other people triggering these emotions.
One can even re create similar experiences and this will lead to a monetary release. And as they have been trapped for so long, when they come out, they can completely take over; with all rational thought going out of the window.
This is not to say that emotional repression always leads to violence. It can depend on: how much emotional repression took place, what emotions were repressed and how strong they were. It is also possible for one to become aware of them in latter life and process them in some way.
Just One Way
Emotions don’t simply disappear because the mind doesn’t want to deal with them. And while violence against others is often given a lot of attention; it is just one way that emotional repression is observed.
One person’s primary way of dealing with their pain may be to go outward and regulate it through harming others. But for another, this pain can be turned inward and one can abuse themselves in numerous ways.
This is why emotional abuse if often ignored and physical abuse is given the most exposure; as it can be seen by the eyes.
As we live in a world where emotional repression is normal, it is not much a surprise that there is so much violence. Violence is one of the many consequences of not dealing with emotional pain.
If there was greater awareness around the effects that emotions have, the world would be a very different place. One way of dealing with this inner pain is to work with a therapist or healer that will enable one to release their emotions in a safe environment.
It is a human need to feel a sense of power; with the most important power of all said to be based around having a sense of personal power. This is more of an inner power, where one is generally in control of themselves, as opposed to being in control of others.
And when it comes to the area of relationships between men and women, it is vital that a man feels a sense of empowerment when it comes to attracting, relating to and being with a woman. Just as it is equally important for a woman to feel this way when it comes to relating to a man.
A man’s sense of masculinity and identify can often depend on this area of life. And if a man doesn’t feel empowered here, it can lead to negative consequences in just about every other area of their life.
Here a man would feel a healthy sense of power when it comes to women. And that they have the power to attract a women or women and to have their needs and wants met in a healthy and functional way.
This can include many different needs and wants. And these can relate to the following areas: sex, intimacy, support, love and affection for instance. The man may not always be able to attract the woman that he wanted, but this doesn’t necessarily mean he would have to settle or go without either.
And as people are individuals, have free will and their own preferences for example; it would be dysfunctional to expect to attract anyone one wanted. But this won’t be a concern for the man who feels empowered: as although he may not get the woman or women he wants, his needs will be met in one way or another.
The Other Side
For some men, the above will not be something that they can relate to. They will feel that they don’t have the power to have their needs met in an empowered way by a woman or women.
And this can include their biggest needs, to needs that are not as important. This can cause them to become very familiar with feelings of: anger, rejection, despair, frustration, powerlessness and hopelessness.
To them it can be a choice of either going without or in having to settle for someone who they are not really attracted to. Or they may get lucky once in a while and attract someone who they do find attractive.
It may be another day and it may be another experience with a different woman, but the consequences are often the same. And this means that the man will end up feeling powerless.
While some men who feel powerless will live a life that is similar to the one above, there will be others who will end up choosing another option. And this will be one of control and manipulation.
So what they feel on the inside will be covered up and denied by controlling a woman or women in general. By doing this, it will allow the man to regulate these inner feelings and emotions.
But as this process is only a short term solution, women will have to be constantly controlled in some way. If they are not controlled these painful feelings will soon return.
From One Extreme To Another
And another consequence of feeling powerless within can cause a man to create a life where they need to have more than one woman. It’s as if one woman won’t cover up their inner fears and so they need many women to do this.
If this lifestyle is not maintained, the inner fears of being powerless will surface once more. And so this has to become a kind of obsession and addiction in order to keep the feelings at bay. This means a lot of energy and time will have to be placed on this area of one’s life
But it is also possible for a man to become overly attached to just one woman. To lose their identity, integrity and purpose just to avoid feeling powerless once more.
Black and White
This is not to say that a man will either be one or the other of these two extremes I have described above; as a man can switch between the two depending on different factors.
These can be: how they feel, what’s going on in their life, the environment that there in and the effect a woman has on them.
The Power Of Feelings
What is clear here is that feelings have incredible power and control. These feelings are defining how a man sees the opposite sex and in how they behave around them for instance.
But where did these feelings come from, did they just appear out of nowhere or was there a cause? And I think in order to gain a better understanding of where they may have come from; we need to take a closer look at childhood development.
It is here that a man is likely to have his first experience of a woman. And this woman can then become the man’s model of what women are like. Here he will learn: if his needs, wants and desires are important or not. If a woman can be trusted and if he is worthy of a woman’s: time, love, affection and attention.
The Empathic Mother
Now, if as a child the man has a mother that is empathic, it is likely to lead to a man that will have developed a healthy sense of empowerment in relation to women. The mother will generally be emotionally available and in tune with the Childs needs and wants.
This means that the child will be: validated, mirrored, soothed, touched, accepted, approved of and loved. And when the child experiences certain emotions that are too strong or overwhelming, the mother will help to regulate the child.
Through the mother responding to the child in this way, the Child gradually forms a sense of empowerment and healthy control. It is through the mother that a man has his first experience of power.
The Unempathic Mother
This is a mother that is generally emotionally unavailable and out of tune with the Childs needs and wants. And as a result of having a mother who acts in this way, it can lead to a man that doesn’t develop a healthy sense of empowerment when it comes to not only women, but life in general.
The child can be: invalidated, abandoned, ignored, controlled and rejected. And during times of emotional overwhelment, the mother is unlikely to regulate the child.
As a result of this taking place, it can lead to a multitude of problems. And if ones mother didn’t respond or show love, care or affection, it can create the outlook that all women will be the same.
Due to the mother being unavailable or dismissive in some way, it will mean that the pain that was experienced during these moments will have had to have been repressed. For some men this will have been more extreme than it will be for others.
And this pain can include moments of: anger, frustration, rejection, abandonment, loss, isolation, hopelessness, grief, loneliness and despair.
While years have passed and the man no longer looks like a child, these emotions can remain in the body and this means that they are being retriggered by women. But the awareness of where these feelings originally came from can be unknown to the mind.
The mind can then come up with all kinds of stories and reasons as to why one keeps experiencing the same situations over and over again. However, the answers are not in the mind, they are in the body.
To the mind this story can feel normal and familiar. And as it’s familiar, it is also what is classed as safe. So although one may be fed up with this story, the mind can feel comfortable with it.
In order for a man to realise a healthy sense of empowerment with women, it will be important to release these repressed feelings. And as these are released, it will enable one to be present and to no longer relive the experience that they had as a child.
This can be done through the assistance of a therapist or healer that allows one to go into their feelings and release them.
When it comes to raising a child that is mentally and emotionally healthy and has a strong sense of self, it is imperative that they are validated. This is not to say that they have to be validated at all times in order to become a functional adult, but in most cases, it is vital that this happens.
If this doesn’t occur, it can be due to a number of reasons. And one of these reasons is the result of abuse taking place. The Childs caregiver may be the person who is abusive in some way or it could be another family member that causes the damage.
Invalidation may be something that happens every now and then or in most cases. It could also relate to all situations or only certain situations. But as every child is different and doesn’t necessarily respond in the same way; it may not need to happen all the time, as just here and there may been enough to cause problems.
The fact it is happening at all, could be enough to harm the Childs mental, emotional and physical growth and stop them from forming a healthy sense of self.
This is something that covers a wide range of procedures. And can include the Childs: feelings, thoughts, emotions, views, experiences, ideas, senses, perceptions, and wants and needs amongst others things.
All of these elements make up and help to form their sense of self, boundaries and experience of life. Through having an external influence, such as the primary caregiver, validate these aspects, it enables the child to develop in a myriad of ways.
The Childs brain grows by this taking place; they come to know that they exist; that other people can be trusted and that the child is worthy of love and life itself. What is being experienced internally (feelings, thoughts and needs) and what is being experienced externally (perceptions, experiences and observations), can then be trusted and accepted as being real.
Here, the child gradually learns to navigate their way through life and to build trust not only in themselves, but also in other people. Another important occurrence here is that through the primary caregiver validating and regulating what the child is feeling or thinking, it will enable the child to develop the ability to emotionally regulate themselves.
The need to repress and deny their emotions as a child and then as an adult, is unlikely to exist – at least in most cases. This means they shouldn’t grow up to feel emotionally numb or overwhelmed and weighed down by their emotions. And neither should they act them out through violence or self defeating behaviours.
The Real World
However, what I have described above doesn’t always take place, if it did, the world would be a very different place. For some people the above may happen during the odd occasion.
And when the complete opposite of the above happens, it will be classed as abuse. But it doesn’t have to be this extreme in order for problems to arise. When it comes to understanding something, it is often useful to use extremes as they give a clear example. So let’s take a look at what invalidation can look like
And just like I have described above, this can relate to wide range of things. But what generally happens is that what the child is experiencing, internally and externally, ends up being either denied or ignored in some way.
So what is certain here is that the Childs sense of self is not going to develop in a functional and healthy way. The child can then doubt there: thoughts, feelings, needs, wants and perceptions. And in doing so, question their existence and whether they worthy of love and if they can trust their own judgements or other people. Boundaries will then have to give way and be replaced by walls or controlling behaviour for instance.
This can also cause the Childs brain to not develop as it should. The child is unlikely to learn how to navigate its way through life and simply because the inner and outer trust has not been allowed to form. What the Childs needs and wants can also be a mystery, as a result of their caregiver ignoring and denying them and using the child to fulfil their own needs and wants instead.
This is all going to create a lot of emotional pain and even trauma that will often have to be repressed and denied in order to survive. The primary caregiver is likely to be emotionally unavailable and therefore doesn’t have the ability to assist the child in regulating their emotions or in developing the ability themselves
So the child will then have to carry a lot of emotional pain around and could end up feeling overwhelmed and weighed down by their emotions and life. The child can feel emotionally trapped and may not even know that life could be any different. So if the pain is not acted in and repressed, it may end up be acted out through violence or self harm for example.
For the person who is invalidated as a child, there is inevitably going to be challenges that will need to be dealt with as an adult, if one wants to have any quality of life. Some of these consequences will be more severe than others and can include: a weak sense of self, intimacy problems and boundary challenges.
As well as mental, emotional and physical problems, such as: anorexia, bulimia, borderline personality disorder, depression, suicidal tendencies, trauma, low self esteem and self worth, feeling overly sensitive, unlovable and numerous other challenges.
One will need to seek some kind of assistance in order to work through these challenges. And some kind of therapist or healer is often a good place to start.
There are many out there and it imperative that one finds someone who understands what they have gone through and doesn’t allow further invalidation to take place. This is not an overnight thing and will require patience and persistence.
There are some people who seem to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. In some shape or form, they are always there for others. And whether they truly want to be there for others is not always irrelevant; it often appears as though they have no choice in the matter.
For some people this will feel like a burden and for others it can feel like something to be proud of. One can feel a sense of maturity and that they are doing what any adult should do.
And what one feels responsible for, can vary and depend on many factors. This can relate to other peoples: happiness, wellbeing, thoughts, feelings, safety, health and finances, amongst other things.
Examples of healthy responsibility can be found in people’s personal lives and in the world at large. And in some cases these will be seen as morale acts and as something everyone should be doing.
A typical example is of someone who does volunteering in another country or in the country where they live. This can also relate to: nurses, therapists, doctors, teachers, fireman and the armed forces.
And on some level, these people feel that it is their duty to assist others. So by participating in volunteering or in having a career in one of the options above; it allows them to fulfil this inner need.
A Conscious choice
For these people, it is typically going to be a choice and not something that they feel obligated to do. And although what they may seem selfless, it is done for selfish reasons. Assisting others creates inner fulfilment and this means that the act per se is rewarding.
In the majority of cases, this is not something that they do for approval or acceptance. And as a result of this, there is a lower chance that these people will end up compromising themselves or feeling burdened by their responsibilities. If they do, it is likely to be momentary and not a constant occurrence.
When it comes to examples of responsibility that are both dysfunctional and unhealthy, one generally doesn’t have to look too far. And while they may not necessarily be seen as moral acts, they can often go on unnoticed and even be seen as normal.
Common examples can include people who try to: please, rescue, help, fix and save others. But these can also be people who are doctors, nurses or any of the other examples above.
These people will feel that it is not so much of a duty to assist others; it is more of an obligation and the only thing that they know.
An Unconscious Choice
One of the reasons for this is that it can feel like something they have no control or influence over. Through doing this, one doesn’t feel a sense of inner fulfilment or that the acts are rewarding themselves. There is unlikely to be any kind of intrinsic value.
It may also be done for selfish reasons, but other than fulfilling certain ego needs; it is unlikely to fulfil anything else. This is simply something that one does in order to be accepted and approved of by others. So this is inevitably going to lead to one regularly compromising themselves and feeling burdened by their responsibilities. And if they do get a break from these responsibilities, it is only likely to last for a short time.
In the first example, assisting others is a conscious choice and generally not based on one being accepted or not. And in the second example, it is often an unconscious choice and is based on one being approved of and accepted. So it could be said that the first person has boundaries and the second person doesn’t.
This means that the first person realises that they can assist another, but they can only do so much and go so far. The other person has their own part to play and this part cannot be played by another person.
However, the second person feels that it is up to them to not only assist another, but to also go further than this. Here, they are willing to do as much as the other person wants and to go as far as they ask.
That fact that the other person has their own part to play is generally overlooked; as one is prepared to do all the work for them. Saying yes is likely to be easy and familiar, but saying no may be a challenge and something that is unfamiliar.
The Ego Mind
So for people who have an unhealthy sense of responsibility for others, it comes down to the hidden benefit. And the benefit relates to approval and acceptance. Their identity is based on putting others first and putting themselves second.
This is what feels familiar and safe to their ego mind. It then becomes more or less impossible to have boundaries and to understand what another person’s responsibility is and what one’s own responsibility is. Here, one cannot see where they begin and end and where another person begins and ends.
To their ego mind, it is only possible to survive by pleasing others. This is often classed as enmeshment; where through not having boundaries, one feels that their survival is tied to another person or to other people
The cause of this is often found in ones childhood. And how emotionally developed ones caregivers were will make a big difference. If one had a caregiver that was emotionally developed and had boundaries, it is likely to result in a caregiver who was able to take care of their needs and wants as a child.
However, this may not be the case if one had a caregiver, who didn’t have boundaries and was emotionally undeveloped. One of the consequences of this can be that they were used to take care of the caregiver’s wants and needs.
This is described as a role reversal; where the child becomes the caregiver and the caregiver becomes the child. They then learn from an early age, out of the caregiver’s lack of emotional development, is that they are responsible for others. A natural conclusion to seeing this kind of behaviour is that other people are incapable and unable to look after themselves.
What I have described above is just a general guideline and an idea of at what can happen. It will be important for one to develop boundaries; here they will know what they are responsible for and what they are not responsible for.
This process can be aided by the assistance of a healer, therapist or a coach. Or through self study and application of what one learns. It will depend on how much of a challenge this is for someone.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant - With Over 2,000,000 Article Views Online.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.