Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Self-defeating Emotions

I'll probably be accused of getting way too introspective in this blog lately, but I've been thinking a lot lately about self-defeating emotions.

We all have them, to one degree or another. I'm talking about the sort of lack of self-confidence that tells us it makes more sense to do the wrong thing, and be secure that we know it's wrong, than try to do the right thing and be uncertain. It can be as simple as not knowing how to pronounce a word, and saying it wrong because you're not absolutely sure how to really pronounce it (but are sure that how you said it is wrong).

Or the person who really wants to be loved, and treats the person you want love from badly, hoping they reassure you in return by continuing to love you.

There are lots of other examples, but they're all ways that we act contrary to what we really want, because we're not brave enough to risk the failure of getting it.

Okay, so enough depressing introspection. Why am I thinking about this sort of thing? Because I'm thinking about what I'm really teaching my daughter about how to be a well-adjusted adult. She observes everything that happens around her, and is putting it all into her subconscious for later use in developing emotional reactions to what happens in her life.

I'd really like to make sure that I'm not setting her up with the same issues I have. Like any parent, I'd like my daughter to be better than me, and have bigger and grander issues than me. ;-)

Seriously, it's worth taking a hard look at what your behaviors teach your children, if you have any or are thinking about having any. It isn't always pretty, but the action of introspection can help you to identify and, perhaps, break out of the patterns you've set for yourself.

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