If a man spends most of his life doing what he can to please others and his mother, in particular, it is going to mean that he is primarily focused on what is going on without. What is taking place within is rarely, if ever, going to something that he is aware of.
This is likely to mean that the needs of others will be seen as his needs; he won’t know the difference. And, if the needs of others are seen as his needs, it is to be expected that he will feel compelled to meet them.
Playing a Role
So, although he will be a separate individual who has his own needs and feelings, he will act as though he is here to serve others. In general, he can create the impression that he is needless.
By being this way, it is likely to mean that he will receive a fair amount of positive feedback. The attention, acceptance and approval that he receives from others - ego love – won’t allow him to live a life that is deeply fulfilling though.
Still, he could do what he can to ignore how he really feels and what his life is really like and to carry on as normal. Therefore, the feedback that would shed light on the fact that he is going against himself will be cast aside.
There can be moments when he consciously denies how he really feels and moments when this takes place unconsciously. Either way, he won’t be willing to be with what is going on for him.
One Big Struggle
Keeping how he really feels at bay is going to require a lot of his energy and a lot of his energy is going to end up being held deep inside him. The reason for this is that the emotional pain that he denies will also be made up of energy.
With this in mind, the longer he behaves in this way, the harder it will be for him to behave in the same way. As a result of this, there could come a point in time when he will break down and no longer be able to be there for others.
The ideal would be for him to be able to change his life before he gets to this point. What could play a part in this is if he was to end up getting into a relationship, as his partner could point out that he is not taking care of his own needs.
She could see that he spends a lot of time being there for others and his mother, in particular. This doesn’t mean that he will simply accept what she has to say, as he could become defensive and deny what she says in the beginning.
A Matter of Time
But, as time passes and if he reflects on what has been said, he could gradually come to see that he is out of balance. He could see that when he is around others, who he is typically doesn’t show up.
When this happens, he will lose touch with his feelings and needs, his body, and he will be estranged from himself. He will then act like he is an extension of others and his true self won’t see the light of day.
When he plays his role of being there for others and is living on the surface of himself, his physical self will be seen but his inner self won’t be seen. Due to this, regardless of how much time he spends around others, he is likely to feel invisible and ignored.
For this to change, he will need to express his needs and how he really feels when he is around others. By revealing what is going on within him and having other people see these parts of himself; his true self will be able to receive the nutrients that it needs to feel full and alive.
A Strange Scenario
What this comes down to is that he is an interdependent human being; he needs others. In addition to him acknowledging his own needs and feelings; he will need other people to do the same thing.
Considering this, if he needs to be both in touch with himself and to express himself to live a fulfilling life and this part of him needs to receive the right nutrients from others, why would he spend so much time being out of touch with himself? To understand this, it will be necessary to take a closer look into his early years.
During this stage of his life, his mother may have used him to fulfil some of her unmet adult and childhood needs. This would have meant that most, if not all, of his developmental needs, would have been overlooked.
Not only would this have been incredibly painful, but it would have caused him to believe that his needs and his self were inherently bad. To receive his mother’s attention and conditional love, as opposed to being disapproved of, punished and/or abandoned, he had to be who she wanted him to be and to do what she wanted.
Instead of seeing him as a separate being that needed her love and nurturance to grow and develop, she would have unconsciously seen him as an extension of herself. He would have had to adapt to what was going on by losing touch with his true self, his needs and feelings, and creating a false self that would allow him to survive; it wouldn’t have been possible for him to say ‘no’ or to get away.
The trouble is that as he was egocentric, he wouldn’t have been able to see that there wasn’t anything wrong with his needs or his self. Being seen - expressing his needs and feelings - at this stage of his life would have been a threat to his very survival and now he’s an adult, it will still be seen as something that would cause him to be harmed and/or abandoned.
If a man can relate to this and he is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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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.