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On this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about how we can close the gap between who we say we are, what we say we want and what we actually do by becoming more of who we really are. In order to do this, we need to become aware of where we are playing a role or even several roles.

I talk about:

  • How the role we play is second nature because it’s a habit that’s gone unquestioned
  • Why the role we play is based on us having worked out the conditions for us to 1) be OK, 2) be perceived as good, worthy, lovable etc., 3) to get approval, attention, affection, love and validation or to avoid conflict, criticism, disappointment, rejection or even abandonment, and 4) to fix our family or to protect it (or a family member)
  • Some of the roles we think that it’s our job to play including being the one who always effs up or fails or the one who has to overachieve in order to elevate the family, or even the one who has to have problems
  • Why the role had its uses when we originally adopted is as a survival mechanism but it’s holding us back by being universally applied
  • Why roles are a block to intimacy and so of course we’re not going to be able to play a role and be happy at the same time
  • Why playing a role ultimately comes down to doing something because it’s what we think is expected of us not because we want to
  • The six questions:
    1. What are your rules? Look for shoulds and musts.
    2. What do you resist doing even if it would mean a happier life? E.g. Asking for help, letting family figure out their stuff, having boundaries. Why you resist is because of what you perceive as being your function within your interpersonal relationships.
    3. Who do you feel disloyal about? Or, put another way–who do you fear alienating and what are you doing in order to prevent this?
    4. What are the roles of individual family members? So, who’s over-responsible, the peacemaker, the least responsible etc., and how does this affect you and what you think is and isn’t possible?
    5. What do you say yes to automatically or even very quickly, even if it leaves you feeling icky and possibly self-critical?
    6. What do you always do in your friendships, romantic relationships etc? This will give you an idea of what you always see as your ‘function’ within relationships

Links mentioned

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Listener questions can be emailed to podcast AT baggagereclaim DOT com and if there’s a topic you’d love me to talk about, let me know!

Nat xxx

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