It’s time for another episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions.

In episode 56, I cover:

Expecting people to be mind readers: Ever held back on saying or doing something because you wanted to test someone out? Do you do lots of nice deeds and then feel disappointed that the consequence that you were expecting didn’t come to fruition, even though you didn’t tell the person in question why you were doing or what your expectations were? I talk about why expecting people to be mind readers is damaging not just to our self-esteem but also to our relationships. | Post: They Had a Life Before You. Acknowledge The Backstory.

People show us who they are: For a lot of us, when somebody behaves in a shady way or they don’t live up to our expectations (they act differently to what we would in that situation or they don’t live up to the picture we’ve painted in our head), we blame ourselves. We ignore the fact that they have a backstory and we see ourselves as being someone who is unworthy that attracts shady or disappointing folk.

Key points include:

  • People show us what we’re not.
  • These experiences are repeat lessons trying to show us that this is how some people are, which if we acknowledge this, we can open our eyes about someone else from our past and forgive us.
  • Who a person is and what they do, is their actions. If they have previously behaved in a manner that runs counter to the expectations we have for them or even what they themselves have promised or inferred, we’re setting ourselves up for a fall by ignoring this data and opting for the dream.
  • As a society, we have to stop peddling the lie that people wouldn’t do the things they do if they weren’t provoked into it by the deficiency of others.
  • Responsibility–when we acknowledge our own unhappiness in a situation, instead of blaming ourselves or even blaming others, we can acknowledge that life could be better and look at what we can do for ourselves.
  • Ask the questions: Why do I blame myself for this and if I didn’t, what would that mean about past interpretations? Why do I have these expectations of people or a particular person? Why do I need this to be true?–What do I get to avoid? Where do I get to be the victim again? Where do I get to be secretly pissed off with others?

Resource: Unsent Letter Guide

Delaying gratification: Are you willing to give up a small satisfaction today (something that you habitually do for instant gratification and short-term highs) for something greater in future? I explain why we have to remain in touch with how we want to feel and our greater needs and desires beyond the now so that we can recognise the short-term acts that take us away from who we are and where we want to head.

Resource: How To Self-Soothe Guide

Listener Question: Ivy discovered a rather unkind list that her long-distance boyfriend had written about her that included a particularly judgemental remark about the fact that she’s not a virgin. She wants to know whether his actions towards her are justified and whether she made a mistake in being “too honest” about her past. | Post: Disclosing Your Past and Insecurities

What I Learned This Week: Don’t be too quick to assume the worst. When you have past experience of something and then you go to try again in a different way, doubt can mean that your inner critic shows up and tries to create major drama.

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Nat xxx

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