#314- Self-Protection Leads to More Pain, Not Less

#314- Self-Protection Leads to More Pain, Not Less

#314- Self-Protection Leads to More Pain, Not Less

You know those strategies you have to emotionally protect yourself from pain? Yeah, they don’t work. Because there is no such thing as emotional protection; you still get hurt, you’re still in pain. Safeguarding against it is an illusion, and half the time those same strategies actually help CREATE the pain you’re in, so the very thing you’re trying to avoid happens anyway. What are these protective mechanisms? Avoiding, shutting down, acting self-righteous, lying, violence, having a meltdown and enabling others’ poor behavior, to name just a handful. These strategies are not how you form connections with people.

Let’s say you are jealous of the time your partner spends with friends, so you have a meltdown or give him/her an ultimatum whenever they go out. You think you’re protecting yourself from the pain of being abandoned, but you’re really just pushing your partner further away. Then you feel shame or guilt for what you’ve done. There is a reason you believe you can’t handle the pain you’re trying to protect yourself from, so look within to find out why that is. Do you need to make sure someone is a good person before getting close to them? If so, where does that come from? Know where your motivation is coming from. Self-protection is not the path to happiness or connection with other people. When you feel yourself engage in distancing strategies, catch yourself and do the exact opposite of what feels comfortable: open up and express what you’re feeling.

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