It is often said that abuse is passed down from one generation to another and it can be hard for people to understand why this happens. However, the next generation are not the only ones who can end up being abused; it is also something that can affect the people who the abuser comes into contact with.
One doesn’t need to have children to continue the abuse; they only need to be around other people. So this can mean that one can end up abusing their friends, colleagues and the people they’re intimate with.
The Cycle Has Been Broken
This is not to say that one will always pass on the abuse and allow the cycle to continue, as some people do put an end to what took place. In this instance, one has been able to rise above what happened to them.
Awareness will have played an important part in one being able to move on, for without this, one wouldn’t have been able to realise that what happened was not healthy or how life should be. There is likely to be someone or a group of people who enabled them to see that not everyone is the same on this planet.
This is often the difference between someone who puts an end to the abuse and someone who allows it to continue. But when one doesn’t come into contact with someone like this at an early age, it can be a lot harder for them to behave differently.
When one only comes into contact with people who are abusive, it can be seen as normal and how life is. Their whole reality can end up being filtered through this outlook and this can stop them from being able to see life differently.
Some people will have experienced every type of abuse and other people will have experienced a certain type of abuse. So if one person goes from being a victim to a perpetrator, they are not necessarily going to be perpetrating the same type of abuse as another person.
Not all forms of abuse are easy to notice and this is why abuse often takes place without anyone realising what is happening. For example: physical abuse can be seen, but emotional abuse is a lot harder to spot.
When one has experienced abuse, it is going to create a lot of pain and this pain often ends up being pushed out of one’s awareness during the times when they were abused. The pain then stays in their body and can cause them to behave in ways that are reactive and out of their control.
So if one becomes a perpetrator, it doesn’t mean that they’re inherently bad. What it can mean is that one is behaving in ways that are out of their control. The difference is whether one realises that how they’re behaving is not right. If they do, it will be important for them to take responsibility for their behaviour and to seek help.
If one is not aware of their behaviour and they can’t see what is wrong with it, is not going to be possible for them to change and to seek the help they need. Here, one is in denial and it is too painful for them to take responsibility for how they feel.
Abusing others is then a way for them to regulate how they feel and a form of indirect revenge. All the time that one is carrying the pain of being abused within them, there is always going to be the chance that they will abuse others. This applies to someone who wants to change and to someone who is in denial.
So while it is easy to label someone as good or bad, it often comes to down to their level of awareness. This is not to say that abuse is acceptable, it is to show how important awareness is. Pain is something that can stop people from being aware.
It is not always easy for one to face how they feel; this is why people who abuse others are often in denial. It is a way for them to avoid their emotional truth and the damage that is being done to others. The more pain that builds up, the harder it will be to face it. In some cases, denial is not something one will use from time to time; it will have become part of their identity.
So if one was physically abused as a child, this could mean that they physically abuse their children or they might have become a bully and someone who hits other people. Perhaps one was verbally abused, and this causes them to put other people down and to pass their toxic shame onto others.
It could also be a lot more subtle than this, one might ignore how people feel or invalidate them. This then reflects how people responded to their own feelings when they were growing up. If one was touched inappropriately or sexually abused, they might touch other people in the same way and continue to violate other people’s boundaries.
These early years may have been a time where ones boundaries were violated on a regular basis; so one could find that they have trouble respecting other people’s boundaries. They might not know where other people begin and where they end.
What matters here, is that one gets the assistance they need to put an end to their abusive behaviour. If one was abused as a child, there is always the chance that they will pass it on.
This doesn’t mean that one is therefore ’bad’ if they have passed it on; it just means that they need to do something about it. If they do something about it, not only will they be helping themselves, they will also be helping others. There are all kinds of assistance out there, and this support can come from a: therapist, healer and/or a support group.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article.
Oliver J R Cooper
When it comes to how human beings communicate with each other, there are many different aspects involved. During those moments where one is face to face with another, it is not just what comes out of their mouth that matters.
If one was talking to someone through text, email or via social media, it would be completely different. In this instance, the words that one uses are the only thing that matter, but when it comes to talking to someone in person, the words that one uses are not as important.
On the internet, they’re the most important thing, but in the real world, they take a back seat so to speak. One doesn’t need to use words to communicate to another in the real world; they only need to express themselves in a certain way. Their body language and their facial expressions are going to reveal what someone is thinking and how they’re feeling.
So whether one is talking to another person or just around other people, their body and their face are always giving off signals. It is not possible for one to remain neutral, as they’re always going to be saying something.
But just because one is always communicating with others, even when their mouth is closed, it doesn’t mean that one is always aware of what they are sharing with others. At times, one could be completely unaware of what their body is showing or what their face is expressing.
This is something that is going to apply to everyone, as it is not going to be possible for someone to always be aware of themselves. There are going to be differences in how aware people are though.
In some cases, there are going to be people who are completely unaware of what they are communicating with the world and then there are going to be other people who are generally aware. It could also depend on the context that one is in, as to how aware they are.
If one is generally unaware of what their body is doing and how their face is responding, how other people respond to them can seem random and out of their control. This is not to say that one can control how other people respond, what it does mean is that one is not simply an observer.
Communication is a two-way process and while one can be unaware of what they’re communicating, it is still having an effect on now other people are responding to them. If, on the other hand, one is generally aware of the signals they’re giving out, the responses of others can be easier to understand.
It is said that a woman’s brain is different to a man’s brain in regards to having the ability to read emotions; women are said to have a greater ability to read emotions than men. As well as this, men are often taught to hide how they feel and women are taught to express how they feel.
Men often feel the need to look strong and to cover up what is going on for them at an emotional level. Whereas women don’t always have this outlook and this enables them to express how they feel.
So when one talks to another person, it is not just their words that matter, it is also what their face is showing. One could say all the right words, but unless their face matches up with that they’re saying their words can end up being dismissed or even ignored.
Even before one speaks to another person, it is their facial expression that will play a part in whether another person approaches them or how another person will end up responding to ones approach. Regardless of the differences between a man and a women’s brain when it comes to emotions, both genders can be emotionally expressive.
When one is able to be emotionally expressive, it will allow other people to know where they stand. This is because ones face is giving the other person the feedback they need to feel safe and at ease in their presence.
Without this feedback, other people could end up being suspicious and feel as though one is hiding something. It is also going to be a lot harder for one to form emotional connections with other people. Similar to how one would find it hard to feel emotionally connected to a statue.
There are exceptions to every rule and while some women will be emotional expressive and some men wont be, there are going plenty of men who are emotionally expressive and plenty women who are not. If one doesn’t feel safe to do something, then they’re unlikely to do it.
So when one is not emotionally expressive, it is likely to come down to the fact they don’t feel safe. This could be how one always is and yet, it could be something that only happens around certain people. At one point in time, one is going to have formed certain associations around being emotionally expressive.
So if one was to show how they feel, they might believe that they will be harmed, abandoned and/or rejected by others. And because they don’t feel safe when it comes to expressing how they feel, there is also the chance that they will have an emotional build up.
In some cases, one might be disconnected from their emotions and have very little awareness of how they feel. One is then emotionally undeveloped and therefore, they’re not emotionally unexpressive through choice, it is just how they have always been.
The experiences that one had as a child can often define whether one is emotionally expressive or not. For example: if one was brought up by a caregiver who mirrored their feelings and allowed them express them, then one is likely to be in touch with how they feel and feel that it is safe for them to show how they feel.
However, if one was brought up in an environment where it wasn’t safe to show their feelings and their feelings were not mirrored by their caregiver/s, then one can end up believing that it is not safe for them to show how they feel. This could have also caused one to be emotionally undeveloped and have no awareness of how they feel.
Firstly, one will need to feel safe and if they’re still carrying the emotional experiences of the past within them, it is going to be a challenge. It might be enough for them to change the beliefs in their mind, but if this is not enough, they will need to face and release the emotions that are trapped in their body.
If one is emotionally disconnected, they’re still likely to be carrying trapped emotions, but it will also be important for them to receive the attunement that they didn’t receive as a child. This attunement will enable one to gradually form a connection to their emotions.
Here, one is likely to need the assistance of a therapist or a healer; they will provide the positive regard that one needs to become emotionally developed and hold the space so that one can release the pain that is within them.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article.
Oliver J R Cooper
Human beings have an inherent need to belong and when this need is not fulfilled, it can lead to all kinds of problems. Many years ago, if one wasn’t part of the tribe, their time on this earth would soon come to an end.
In some parts of the world this is still going to be the case, however, in the modern day world, it doesn’t always lead to death. Someone can feel as though they don’t belong and live a life that reflects how they feel, and while they’re unlikely to thrive, they could still be able to survive.
The need to belong is not just something that is important part of one’s ability to survive; it is also an important part of one’s mental and emotional health. Just because one is getting what they need to take care of their physical needs, it doesn’t mean that they’re emotional needs are being fulfilled.
Ones survival is the not under threat, but this doesn’t mean that one is going to feel complete. As a result of this, one is likely to feel that something is missing or they could be aware of the fact that they don’t belong where they are.
On The Surface
Whether one is unaware of the fact that they don’t belong or whether it is something they are aware of, it is still going to create pain. The primary difference will relate to if one has consciously worked out what is taking place or if they haven’t.
This is not to say that one comes across as being out of place or that they’re missing something, as one could appear to have it all together on the outside. The people around them are then being deceived and have no idea how one truly feels about their life or a certain area of it.
Then there are going to be people who feel as though they don’t belong and it is clear to see. In this case, one might live on the sidelines of life or even on the outskirts of society. They might be described as ‘loners’ or ‘outcasts’; it just hasn’t been possible for them to integrate into society.
In other cases, one might be around others and find it hard to join in; other people might ask them if they want to join or to get involved in something, and one rejects the opportunity. It is then not so much about one getting the right opportunities as it is about one accepting the ones that do appear.
Areas of Life
On ones side, one could feel as though they don’t belong no matter where they are or what they are doing. There is also the chance that this is an outlook that doesn’t always appear and it might only arise during certain moments.
This might be hard to believe, especially if this is something that one experiences so often. However, it could happen when one is around people who make them feel welcome and for that time, one is able to just be. How they usually feel is then put to one side and one is able to feel that they belong.
Part Of Life
As human beings, some people will accept us and some people won’t, but just because someone doesn’t accept us, it doesn’t mean that we’re therefore unacceptable. The same applies to a sense of belonging; just because one doesn’t feel as though they belong around someone or a group of people, it doesn’t mean that they don’t belong on the planet.
A Sense Of Belonging
While one might feel that they don’t belong around someone or a group of people, it won’t go any further when they have a sense of belonging. Once they have left the situation that caused them to feel as though they don’t belong, they are likely to settle down.
This comes down to the fact that one knows at a deeper level that they deserve to exist and that they belong on planet earth. Through having this outlook, one is likely to feel connected to others and that they’re supported. So their physical need to belong is being met and so is their mental and emotional need.
Same Planet, Different Experience
Although human beings live on the same planet, their experiences on the planet can be radically different, and this is without even taking two people from different sides of the planet or selecting people from different backgrounds.
So while some people will live a life where they generally feel as though they belong, there are going to be other people who rarely, if ever, feel this way. Some people could be seen as being lucky and having something that other people don’t have, amongst other things.
The mind can come up with all kinds of reasons as to why things happen, but these reasons are not always accurate. This is because the answers are not always in the mind; they can end up being in the body.
One thing that can stop one from feeling as though they belong is when they’re carrying toxic shame. This is going to cause one to feel as though they’re flawed and that they are inherently worthless.
Physically they are human, but they feel as though they are less than other human beings. If it was healthy shame, one would feel bad and then it would soon subside; in this case, one is bad and it doesn’t go away.
So if one feels this way, it is not much of a surprise if they don’t feel as though they belong in life. For if one is inherently flawed and less than human, they might not want to be around others, or they could feel like a burden. Even though other people are their fellow human beings, one could feel as though they are different to others.
Toxic shame can be caused by adult experiences and due to what happened in ones childhood years. One might have experienced: verbal, physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse.
When it relates to ones childhood experiences, it can be harder for them to detach from their shame as it will be how they have experienced life for so long. It might not stand out and can just be seen as who they are.
The toxic shame that is trapped in one’s body will need to be faced and released and there could also be the following feelings: rage, abandonment, hopelessness, grief and death. In order to process these emotional experiences, the assistance of a therapist or a healer is likely to be needed.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article.
Oliver J R Cooper
If someone had to choose between feeling happy or feeling sad, they’re likely to choose the second option; being happy feels good and being sad feels bad. Based on this outlook, one feeling is seen as being better than the other. But just because feeling happy feels better than feeling sad, it doesn’t mean that one feeling is better than the other.
On one side of the spectrum is happiness and on the other is sadness, and while one side feels better than the other, they both have a purpose. However, if one is stuck on one side of the spectrum, it is going to be a challenge for them to realise this.
The side that comes to mind here is likely to be the side where one experiences sadness. But if one was to always feel happy, they would soon experience another set of problems.
The Grass Is Always Greener
When one is in a position where they feel sad and are unable to change how they feel, they could believe that feeling happy all the time is the answer to their current problem. This could be seen as human nature and how we often think that the grass is greener somewhere else.
But if one was to change their circumstances and live in another way, it could improve their life, but it could also lead to another set of problems. In the beginning, one’s life could seem better and then as time passes, it’s as if nothing has changed.
It is through feeling sad that one is able to appreciate being happy. If one was always happy, they would soon get used to it and it would no longer have the same affect. This is not to say that one should experience more sadness than happiness though.
At times, one’s life will have more moments where they feel sad than moments where they feel happy, and this is normal. As human beings we forms attachments to things and when an attachment comes to an end, we’re going to feel sad.
One way to avoid this would be to stop oneself from forming attachments, but then life would be no better. On one side, one would no longer have to experience the sadness that arises when an attachment is broken, but at the same time, they wouldn’t experience the happiness that an attachment brings.
It is impossible for one to have one without the other and while one side of the spectrum is seen as being better than the other, they both have a place. Being sad is part of life, however, if one always feels sad, it is a clear sign that something is not right.
For some people, feeling sad is something they will experience from time to time and it could also last longer if they have experienced a major loss. So while it could last longer than a day or even a number of years, it is still a temporary experience. It is unlikely to be something that will stay with them for the rest of their life and because of this; they will rise up once again.
This is how some people will experience sadness, but it is not how everyone will experience sadness. There are going to be people who don’t just feel sad at certain times or because they have lost something, it is going to be how they always feel.
How Life Is
It then doesn’t matter what is taking place externally, as they are unable to change how they feel. Their life is then something they’re unable to enjoy; instead, it is something they have to endure.
This doesn’t mean that the people around them realise what is taking place within them; as one might act as if everything is fine. The image they present to others is that they’re happy and that they are never down.
Here, one might have disconnected from how they feel and it is then not only the people around them who are unaware of what is really taking place, one is also in the same position. Or one might embrace how they feel certain times and then avoid it at others.
There are also going to be people who don’t avoid how they feel and they could be labelled as being ‘depressed’. When one feels this way it can cause them to retract from life and to become more introverted. This is an act of self protection and a way for one to stop themselves from experiencing even more pain.
If one feels sad all the time and it doesn’t matter what they do or even how they think, they could be diagnosed as having some kind of chemical imbalance. Perhaps one is seen as being born this way or that their genetics are the problem.
Some people might say that it is ones thoughts that are causing them to feel sad and that they need to change them. Based on these two outlooks, one could end up taking drugs or end up being acutely aware of their thoughts.
Another reason why one feels sad all the time could be because of the emotions that are trapped in their body. When one experiences loss, they’re going to experience grief and when one is unable to grieve, the grief can stay in their body.
It is then no longer a temporary experience and something one gradually overcomes; it is something that defines them. One is then in a constant state of loss and while they might no longer remember what happened, the emotional experience has stayed within them.
This could relate to the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship. Perhaps one experienced a childhood where they were neglected or abused and loss was then a normal experience for them.
What happened is part of the reason why one feels as they do; the other reason is that one didn’t process how they felt. As a child, this could be due to the fact that one didn’t feel safe to express their feelings or because there wasn’t anyone around at the time to regulate their feelings.
The loss, sadness and grief have then stayed stuck in ones upper body and then further down could be the following feelings: hopelessness, helplessness, shame, powerlessness and even death. All the time these feelings remain in one’s body, it is not going to matter how they think or what they experience.
So one will need to process their emotional experiences of the past and as this takes place, one will start feel different. The assistance of a therapist or a healer is likely to be needed. Here, one will receive the support that they need in order to face their feelings.
Oliver J R Cooper
No matter where one is from on this planet, what colour their skin is or their social standing, they’re likely to listen to music. Very few things have the power to bring people together and this is one of the reasons why music is so powerful.
The fact that there are different styles can lead to division, however, if one was to look at the kind of people who listen to each style, one is likely to see that people of all backgrounds are being brought together. One style of music can bring pleasure to one person and pain to another, and this can lead to disagreement on one hand and to behaviours that are more sever on the other.
So music has the ability to bring people together and the power to alter how people feel. When people listen to the kind of music they like, they’re going feel good. As a result of this, the people who are around them can then end up benefiting from this; with their wellbeing also being enhanced.
This is similar to people who are wearing the same shirt or colour at a football match; they are all seen as being on the same side. The people who are wearing a different colour, the opposition, are seen as being different. Not everyone is going to respond to the other team’s supporters in the same way, but while the match is taking place, they’re going to be seen as being different.
Although the same sense of division can be created when people listen to different styles, when one is in an environment where a certain style is being played, the people around them can be seen as being the same. It then doesn’t matter where they are from or what their outlook on life is, as in this moment, they’re no longer separate.
A sense of oneness has been created and then before long, a sense of separation will arise. This is likely to be something that one will experience if they go to a gig or to a concert. Through feeling connected to others, one’s personal challenges and what is going on inside their head can dissolve for a short while.
Their point of focus is in the present moment and they’re part of something far greater than themselves. For a short time, ones ego has been put to one side and they just are.
Not only can one feel connected to others, they can also feel connected to themselves. A sense of focus can arise through listening to music and this can relate to when one is around others, and when they are by themselves.
Their mind can settle down and ones inner world can be guided by the music they’re listening to. So through listening to a certain song or style of music, one can change how they feel and their experience of life.
If someone was asked what song they would listen to if they wanted to feel a certain way, they’re likely to have one that comes to mind. It would probably be more accurate to say that a number of songs will come to mind.
Though hearing one of these songs, ones inner world will change and one can end up being taken to another world. They no longer feel the same and if one doesn’t feel motivated or they feel down, this can soon change through the power of music.
Two people could listen to the same song and while they’re both listening to the same song, they could end up feeling different. This is could mean that one person likes the style of music and the other doesn’t, however, it could be due to the associations that are triggered when they listen to the song.
For example: if one listened to a song for the first time when they were on holiday or when they were in a relationship, their mind is going to connect the two. So when they listen to the song, it is going to remind them of their holiday or the relationship they had. How one felt whilst they were on holiday or during their time with another person will then be re-experienced.
The song is simply a song, one can’t change the song, but the song can change one feels and their perception of the song can change. If they were to listen to it at one point in time, it could cause them to feel elated, and if they were to listen to it at another time, it could cause them to feel down or simply have no affect on them.
It is then as if the song has absorbed ones emotional state during a certain moment in their life or a certain period. If the song has positive associations, listening to it can cause one to feel inspired, happy or motivated.
However, if this is a song that one listened to during a time in their life when they were unhappy, down or even depressed, to listen to it again could take them right back to that time in their life. The song is then no longer having a positive impact on one’s life; it is having a negative impact.
Now, if one was to listen to this song for the first time in a while, this could also relate to an album, they’re likely to notice the change in how they feel. But if this is something they listen to on a regular basis, they might not realise the effect that it is having on them.
One might even find that their drawn to this song or album and can’t stop listening to it. Through doing this, it could stop one from being able to let go of that time in their life. It is then a form of repetition compulsion and one continues to re-experience what happened.
It might be enough for one to no longer listen to the song or the album in order to move on, or they might need process what took place. The Music one listens to could be seen as being insignificant when it comes to letting go, but it is another thing that can play a part.
Oliver J R Cooper
It is not uncommon to hear how important it is to be kind to others and while this is important, it is also important for people to be kind to themselves. In fact, if one is kind to themselves, they‘re more likely to be kind to other people.
The reason there is a greater focus on how someone treat others is partly because it is a lot easier to notice how one treats others than it is to notice how they treat themselves. As a result of this, what is taking place internally is often overshadowed by what is taking place externally.
So people are often taught to treat others with respect and this can then become something they are conditioned to do. Similarly to how one has been conditioned to turn a door handle a certain way when they go into a room.
It then might not matter how they feel about another person or how they feel in general, as they’re going to treat them in a certain way. Now, clearly it is better for people to treat other people with respect, however, this can be nothing more than a cover up.
On the surface, it can look as though everything is fine and that this reflects how people feel about each other. But while everything can look this way, this is unlikely to reflect how people really feel.
Appearances are important in society and so as long as people behave in a certain way; it is not always important how they actually feel. Fulfilling the needs that society has for them is what matters and this means that one has to play a certain role.
Playing A Role
It is not negative per se to play a role, for this is part of life and something we all have to do from time to time. What is negative is when one believes that the role they play is who they are.
An actor is not the role they play and the same applies to people who play a role. Another way would be for people to respect and to value themselves, and then it would be natural for them to treat other in the same way.
From The Inside Out
Treating other people with respect is then not something they need to be told to do; it is just a natural consequence of the fact that they respect themselves. One is then not playing a role or trying to look good, they’re doing what feels right.
When one feels good about themselves and they treat another person badly, they’re likely to end up feeling bad. However, if one feels bad about themselves and then treats another person badly, it can feel good.
There is also the chance that one is unaware of how they treat other people and this is why they continue to treat other people badly. If one treats themselves badly, then how they treat other people is then a reflection of how they treat themselves
Although one might be treating other people badly, it is unlikely to be as bad as they treat themselves. Just because one harms themselves, it doesn’t mean they will have the tendency to harm others; as they could come across as being well mannered and respectful.
At times, it is easy to notice when one is harming themselves and at others, it is not as straightforward. This is partly because certain behaviours are seen been a sign that one is harming themselves and others are often overlooked.
It could be because certain behaviours are so common in today’s world and this then causes them to be seen as normal. This then causes them to be overlooked and therefore, nothing changes. So, there are many ways that one can harm themselves, and the options/s that one takes can depend on many different factors.
The following factors can define how one harms themselves: whether one is an introvert or an extrovert, what is socially accepted and what their temperament is like, amongst other things. There will be what one doesn’t do to themselves that causes harm and what they do to themselves.
One can be in a position where they eat too much, not enough or avoid eating the right foods. Pushing one’s body to the limits, engaging in extreme or dangerous sports or cutting oneself is another way that one can harm themselves.
Tattoos and piercings are another way, and so are taking drugs and smoking. A clear example of self harm is if one attempt’s to kill themselves. But while one can try to kill themselves directly, it can be a lot more subtle than that and one can try to do it through: overworking, driving recklessly, neglecting their health and staying in abusive relationships.
What this shows is that one doesn’t like themselves, let alone respect themselves and they’re likely to be experiencing self hate. Their self loathing is seen by how they treat not only themselves, but also others.
Why would someone feel so low, believe that they’re worthless and therefore try to end their life either directly or indirectly? Clearly something is not right and the answer to this question can often be found by looking at what happened during their childhood years.
During this time, one could have experienced abuse and/or neglect. Throughout these early years, one may have been physically, emotionally, sexually and/or verbally abused. At this age, one wouldn’t have had the ability to see that it reflected what was going on for their caregiver’s and in order to survive, one would have had to believe that they were the problem.
If one saw their caregiver/s as the problem, it would cause too much pain; especially as these were the people who were meant to look after and care for ones wellbeing. So it is then vital that one sees themselves as the problem and idealises their caregivers/s.
These early experiences would have caused one to experience toxic shame and this then formed their identity. Ones whole being would have been infiltrated by this toxic shame and then one doesn’t just feel bad, they are bad.
They would have felt as though they are not human, they are less than human. So deeply flawed, that there is nothing they can do to change how they feel or how they see themselves.
However, this doesn’t reflect ones true nature, but all the time the emotional experiences of the past are trapped in their body it is going to be a challenge for them to realise this. The toxic shame and the other feelings that are also trapped in one’s body will need to be faced and released.
This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. They will hold the space and provide the support that one needs in order to face their pain. This is unlikely to happen overnight, but if one keeps going, they will begin to realise their true value.
Oliver J R Cooper
When it comes to bad behaviour, there are some people who put up with it and then there are others who have a very low tolerance for it. This is not to say that this is always black and white; as there are going people who alternate between the two.
Ideally, one will be in a position where they don’t tolerate bad behaviour; no matter who it is from. In order for this to be the case, one will need to have strong boundaries, and to value and respect themselves.
This will the enable them to stand their ground and to do what they need to do to put an end to behaviour that is dysfunctional. It will also be important for one to be emotionally aware; as their feelings will play an important part in their ability to recognise when the behaviour of another is inappropriate.
A Vital Part Of Life
At times, people are going to behave in ways that are destructive and something will need to be done about it. This could how another person always behaves or it could be a one of. They might not be aware of the affect their behaviour is having and be only too happy to change what they’re doing.
Perhaps they’re just testing the waters and seeing what one will tolerate. This might take place unconsciously and is therefore something they are not completely aware of. If one stands their ground, the other person might stop and start to behave in ways that are more respectful.
There is also the chance that they will just continue and then one will have to decide whether they need to spend less time around the other person or to no longer be around them. It can all depend on the kind of relationship that one has with the other person.
If this relates to a situation where one is in a bar or in a restaurant, then it is likely to be different to when this relates to bad behaviour in a relationship. Clearly, one will still need to stand their ground, but in this instance, one is unlikely to have an emotional connection with the other person.
When there is an emotional connection it can make it harder for one to recognise bad behaviour. Through being with another person for a certain time, one might have become accustomed to how they behave. They might also fear that if they were to speak up, that they might lose the other person or that it could lead to disapproval or rejection.
Whereas when it relates to a situation in a bar or a restaurant, it might not only stand out, but one doesn’t have as much to lose for pointing it out. If a waiter or a barman doesn’t acknowledge their transgression, one could simply leave the establishment for instance.
But at the same time, if one is in touch with how they feel and someone they are close to acts in a way that is inappropriate, it should stand out. The difference between whether one speaks up or puts up with bad behaviour can come down to how one sees themselves.
If someone was asked whether they deserved to be treated badly, they might disagree or they might agree. But actions speak louder than words and this means that if one wants to know what they truly believe they deserve, they will need to observe their behaviour.
While some people won’t put up with bad behaviour, there will be other people who simply put up with it. In their reality, this could be normal and just how life is.
It then might not matter whether it is from people they have known for years or a few minutes, as their response is the same. One might even wonder why they put up with it and don’t stand up for themselves. So not only are they being treated badly by others, they could also be beating themselves up for not doing anything about it.
Although one doesn’t deserve to put up with bad behaviour, it doesn’t mean they feel this way at a deeper level. Here, one can feel as though they deserve to be treated badly and that’s why they put up with bad behaviour.
Feeling worthless can be a sign that one is carrying toxic shame and this is more than just a feeling, it is an identity. It is not that one feels bad; it is that they are bad. So if one feels this way on the inside, when people treat them badly on the outside, it is not going to stand out.
When ones view of themselves is that they’re flawed and less than human, being treated badly is then nothing more than they deserve and this is why they put up with it. But while this is how one sees themselves and how they feel, it doesn’t reflect their true nature.
What this is likely to reflect is how they were treated during their childhood years. How they’re treated as an adult is then a reflection of what took place during these formative years.
This could have been a time where one was told that there was something inherently wrong with them and/or their experiences may have caused them to feel this way. Here, one may have been verbally, physically, emotionally and/or even sexually abused.
So time has passed, but one still carries the emotional experiences of the past within them. The toxic shame and the other feelings that have remained in one’s body will need to be faced and released. The assistance of a therapist or a healer is likely to be needed.
Oliver J R Cooper
If an alien came to planet earth and asked someone who they are, one is likely to say that they’re a human being. But without needing an alien to land on the earth, this is the description that one could use.
However, although one is a human being, it doesn’t mean that one acts like one. Instead, one can become a human doing and it is then not possible for them to just be. Their life can then be filled with the incessant need to do things or to be someone.
This then means that one is going against their true nature and has developed into something else. To be a human doing is not ones true state; it is nothing more than an adaption and so, one doesn’t have to stay this way.
A Way Of Life
It can all depend on if one is aware of what is taking place; as one might not realise that they’re no longer a human being. There is the chance that one has been this way for so long that they have forgotten what it is like to just be.
There might not be any examples around them of what it means to just be. The society they live in and the people they surround themselves with could all be the same. Without being exposed to examples of people who are able to just be, it is going to be less likely for one to realise that there is another way to live.
Being a human doing could be seen as the ideal way to live, as one will get things done and this will then lead to a successful life. If one isn’t doing things, they could believe that they’re wasting their life or that life is simply passing them by.
Based on this outlook, being a human doing is going to be far better than being a human being. But be able to just be doesn’t mean that one is being lazy or wasting their life, this is nothing more than a misunderstanding of what it means to just be.
How It Looks
When one is able to just be, it doesn’t mean that they just sit around doing nothing; what it means is that one will know at some level that they’re enough. Their value is not based on what they do and neither is it something they have to earn.
So when one does take action, is it not because they are trying to prove to themselves and others that they have value, it is going to arise out of their ability to just be. If one doesn’t feel as though they’re enough, they are going to feel the need to do things in order to change how they feel about themselves.
The life that one leads is then not a proactive life, it is a reactive life. Either consciously or unconsciously, one might believe that once they have attained something or become someone that they will finally be able to feel as though they are enough.
One might achieve something or change themselves in some way and end up feeling that they are enough. However, this is unlikely to last for very long and this why the need to be constantly doing something won’t subside.
Stuck On A Tread Mill
For a short time, one might be able to do nothing and then it won’t be long before they will start to feel as though they are not enough and then they will feel compelled to do something else. The cycle will then start all over again and is then like one is on a tread mill that they can’t get off.
So if ones value is not based on what they do and something that exists within them, what is it that stops one from being able to realise this? This can be a sign that one is carrying toxic shame. What this will do, is cause one to feel flawed and it then won’t matter what they do.
Normal shame will cause one to feel bad, toxic shame will cause one to feel as though they are bad. But while feelings are involved, it is going to be more than a feeling. It will be something that has affected ones whole being and this is going to cause one to believe that there is nothing they can do.
Doing things is then one way for one to change how they feel about themselves. When this approach doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that one will allow themselves to realise this; as this could be too painful. It can seem as though one has to choose between feeling worthless or to live a life where they are always doing something, but there is another option.
How Did This Happen?
But before we look at what the other option is, let’s take a look at why one would feel flawed in the first place. This could relate to ones adult experienced and go back to what happened to them as a child.
Here, one could have experienced some kind of abuse and this then left them feeling as though there is something inherently wrong with them. One may have experienced physical verbal, emotional and/or sexual abuse.
These emotional experiences would have stayed trapped on their body and infiltrated their whole being. The beliefs that one has and the thoughts that their mind creates will reflect these experiences.
And in order for one to be able to be a human being and to longer be a human doing, it will be important for them to process these experiences. The assistance of a therapist or healer may be needed.
They will enable to one to go where they wouldn’t have gone by themselves and the support that they provide will enable one to tolerate their toxic shame until it is released. Along with toxic shame, one may also be carrying the following feelings: grief, abandonment, hopelessness, helplessness and even death.
Oliver J R Cooper
While each gender has the same value, it doesn’t mean that everyone feels this way. One can believe that men/women are worth more and this is then going to cause them to feel less than the opposite sex.
This could stop one from being able to have an intimate relationship on one side and on the other, it could lead to relationships that are out of balance and abusive. But as a result of how they feel, it could be seen as how life is and there is then nothing they can do about it.
It might not matter if one sees people who are in relationships where there is balance, as their mind could simply dismiss what they see. If they see other men/women who are with the opposite sex, one might believe that they are in the same position.
This could be the case, or it could be nothing more than a projection. How they experience life is then seen as being how everyone else experiences life. Although this will stop them from being able to move forward, it might enable them to experience less pain; at least in the short term.
One might be aware of how they feel, or it could be something that they are not aware of. Either way, it is going to define how one behaves when it comes to the opposite sex. Just because one feels below the opposite sex, it is unlikely to stop them from trying to connect with them.
No matter how one feels in relation to the opposite sex, the human need to connect is always going to be there. This need might not always be fulfilled, but that doesnt mean it is going to disappear.
The Other Side
When one feels less than the opposite sex, they can end up acting as if they are better than the opposite sex. This is then a case of going from one extreme to another and this then keeps their true feelings at bay.
One could be completely out of touch with how they feel and genuinely believe that they’re superior. For if they were to face how they truly feel, it could be too much for them to handle and so, it is important for them to maintain this illusion.
The need to be perfect can be the result of feeling that one is not enough. It is then not enough for one to look good or to be intelligent for instance; they are going to believe that they have to look immaculate and to be highly intelligent.
Being perfect can mean one thing for a man and another thing for a woman. It can cause a woman to become obsessed with her appearance and for a man to become consumed with the need to gain muscle, amongst other things. However, the opposite can also take place; it can all depend on the person and what is valued in the society they inhabit.
The ideal is going to be for one to feel that they are neither superior nor inferior, that they just are. But while this is the ideal, it is not ideal when it comes to making money from men and women.
For if one feels less than the opposite sex, they are highly likely to buy things as way to feel that they have value. Here, one could end up spending money on cosmetics, designer clothes and jewellery, as a way to increase their value.
So these corporations and other establishments not only prey on people who feel as though they are not good enough, they also cause people to believe that they need to have certain things in order to be enough. It is then a two way approach and one that can cause people to be the perfect consumers.
The question is: how on earth have human beings survived for so long? Some of the things that people are told they need today in order to attract the opposite sex weren’t even around a few decades ago.
The Usual Approach
Due to how one has been conditioned by society, when one feels as though they are not enough it can be normal for them to feel that they need to buy something or to become someone. What is not as normal is for one to ask themselves why they feel this way to begin with.
If one was to realise their value, there is the chance that they wouldn’t buy as much or if they did, they might spend their money on other things. When this is seen as the only way, one is not likely to change their approach; it then won’t matter if it is working or not.
Let’s say that one is able to cover up their feeling of not being enough through buying things and ends up with someone, it could still feel as though something is not right. Deep down, one will know that the other person is not with them for who they are, they’re with them for the image they have presented.
One is then single and feels as though they are not enough or they are in a relationship and feels as though it is for what they do and not for who they are. So why would someone feel as though they are not enough?
When someone feels as though they are not enough it could be because they’re carrying toxic shame. This means that one doesn’t just feel bad, they are bad. It is also not just a feeling; it is an identity and something that has consumed ones whole being.
Here, one will feel flawed and that they are less than human. It then won’t matter what one buys or what they achieve, as this inner experience is going to stop them from being able to feel that they’re enough.
If one has always felt as though they are not enough it is likely to relate to what happened during their childhood years. Perhaps one was verbally, physically emotional and/or sexually abused during these years.
When a man doesn’t feel good enough, it could mean that his mother or another female figure shamed him and for a woman, it could be due to being shamed by her father or another male figure. However, this is not always the case and it could be due to their experiences with the same sex caregiver or whoever else was around during these years.
While one is likely to believe that they’re not enough, it is likely to be more than a belief. This belief and the thoughts that go with it are likely to be the result of how one feels. How one felt during their early years has stayed trapped in their body. When this shame is faced and released their beliefs will gradually begin to change, and so will their thoughts.
Other feelings are also likely to appear during this process, such as: grief, abandonment, helplessness and even death. The assistance of a therapist or a healer is likely to be needed. They will hold the space and play a part in one being able to tolerate the shame that is within them until it has been processed.
Oliver J R Cooper
It could be said that we live in the age of self improvement and this is not limited to one area of life. In America for instance, the self help industry takes in billions of dollars every year. So there is the chance for one to ‘improve’ their mind, body, physical appearance, relationships and personality, amongst other things.
For some people, self improvement is a big part of their life and something they literally can’t live without. And then there are going to be other people who might dabble here and there, and then people who have no interest in changing anything.
One might also find that they alternate between wanting to improve themselves and then slowing down or not even bothering. This may depend on what is going on in their life and therefore how they feel.
When someone is into self development, they might have a certain area that they like to development or they could have a number of areas. This is only natural, as one only has so much time and energy and it is not possible for them to focus on everything.
And while men and women can focus on the same things, it is also possible for them to focus on different things. For example, a woman’s main focus might be looking good and so cosmetics will be important for her. A man on the other hand might focus on his body and on getting the right supplements
One might feel the need to look good and this in part, is due to how society focuses on appearances. What matters the most is looking good and not on what is taking place on the inside. People’s value is often based on how attractive they are and not on their level of intelligence.
Very often, if one looks a certain way, they have made it in the eyes of the media. It doesn’t matter whether someone has morals or what their values are; it is primarily about image. So if one focuses on their appearance and does everything they can to look young, then they’re more likely to be accepted by others than if they were to develop their mind.
This is not to say that one can’t develop both, as there are going to be people who focus on both sides. Nevertheless, if one had to choose between the two and was in a position where gaining the approval of others was their priority, then focusing on their appearance might be the best option.
When it comes to inner development, one may have the desire to feel more at peace within or to change their self image. And if one is experiencing inner unrest or conflict and/or doesn’t have an empowering self image, then it is a good thing that they are reaching out for help. As opposed to suffering in silence and feeling like a victim.
Looking for guidance and wanting to gain a better understanding of oneself is one thing, it is another thing when it becomes an obsession. Just as there are some people who take pride in their appearance and others who are constantly changing how they look or who have the need to ‘look perfect’.
The world doesn’t stop and so, there are always more books and ways for one to change or to enhance their appearance. It is then not possible for one to settle down and to just be; there is always something else that they need in order to feel good about themselves.
If they step back and allow themselves to just be with their feelings and their thoughts, they might find that they’re trying to avoid what is within them. And that their obsession with self development allows them to run away from themselves.
One might feel as though they are missing something and this is then what drives their obsessive need to develop themselves. They believe that through reading another book or taking another course, looking different and/or through gaining or losing a few pounds that their life will change.
The Missing Piece
And like the missing piece of a puzzle, once one gets what they need, they will finally be enough. However, if it is an inner issue, it won’t matter what one does. What can create the illusion that one is missing something is when they are carrying toxic shame.
This could be something that one is aware of or it could be just out of their awareness. However, it will cause one to feel as though they are not enough and it doesn’t matter what they do.
And because of this, one can end up using self development as a way to elevate themselves and to finally feel that they have value. Toxic shame is something that will permeate ones whole being and is then not just a feeling, it is an identity.
It then doesn’t matter what one does or how they develop themselves, as one feels flawed and that is the end of it. Self development can be seen as the only option they have and how if they were to stop, they would soon come crashing down.
Healthy shame causes one to feel bad, but it doesn’t mean they are bad. Toxic shame causes one to only feel bad, but to believe that they’re inherently bad. The former is a vital part of having a conscience; the latter has no benefit to ones existence.
It is ones childhood experiences that are usually the cause; however, it could be an identity that one has formed as a result of their adult experiences. Verbal, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse can all cause one to feel as though they are inherently flawed.
The years then pass and this then becomes an inner experience that one does their best to avoid. When one feels ashamed, it is going to be seen as a reflection of who they are and this can then stop them from reaching out for support and dealing with their toxic shame directly.
Toxic shame and the other feelings that are associated with it are then trapped in one’s body and need to be faced and released. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Teacher, Author, Transformational Writer & 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.
A Dialogue With The Heart - Part One
A Dialogue With The Heart - Part Two
A Dialogue With The Spirit
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