The dance began each time I sensed irritability, restlessness or discontent in another person. My over developed sense of responsibility convinced me that I was the cause of their irritability, restlessness and discontent. My overdeveloped sense of responsibility led me to believe that I needed to “fix” their irritability, restlessness and discontent.
My overdeveloped sense of responsibility led me to believe that I could not be at peace with myself unless I fixed their restlessness, irritability and discontent. My overdeveloped sense of responsibility led me to become hyper vigilant in all my relationships. My overdeveloped sense of responsibility kept me frantic in all of my relationships.
In my ongoing state of anxiety I found myself engaging in a destructive “dance” — which occurred over and over again. The dance taught me that I had to make the person — who was restless, irritable or discontent — OK, before I could hope to know that we were OK. The dance taught me that if I made the other person in the relationship OK with me, then and only then could I be OK with me.
I found myself moving from one partner to another partner in the “dance” as I attempted to be OK with everyone — in each of my relationships. What I found through my participation in the “dance” was that each attempt to be successful in the “dance” was consistently met with new expectations. My efforts to make everyone OK with me were consequently rarely never enough.
Because the expectation “bar” was constantly moved, I continued to feel as though I was never enough and thus a mistake. Nevertheless, I found myself driven by the expectation that if I could “fix” people, I could feel safe and secure in my relationships and thus feel safe and secure in my relationship with myself.
Please read Part 3 for context. Thank you.
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