Do you seem to know others better than they know you?
Do you find yourself withholding information about yourself because you’ve seen what happens when you do?
Have you felt lonely and as if you can’t trust others?
When we are not integrated, we can be withholding and distrustful. This is an unsustainable way of being. The stress builds up, and before we know it, we’ve gone from being an idealistic visionary into a corporate “drone”, wondering where along the way we lost our sense of self.
The point of loss usually comes at a time when we accept that we cannot show our authentic selves to the people around us. A project we used to love is now a series of passive actions. The people we used to love working with no longer see us as the person we really are.
Trust has eroded. Enthusiasm lowered. Everyone is just trying to survive.
There are 4 main ways of breaking the cycle of withholding and distrust.
- Get to know yourself and share small parts of you with others to see how they respond.
- Sometimes others don’t respond well to what we share. To regain the sense of who we are, we must see ourselves reflected in the eyes of others. This is called normalization of who we are. If that is the case, choose another audience. Find new people who enjoy the same things that you do. They are likely to want to hear you share about yourself.
- Ask for your needs to be met directly and be OK if others cannot meet your needs. Don’t make it about you.
- Don’t give up too early. If we have experienced belittling or rejection in the past, don’t assume it will happen again. If it does, call it out, but don’t assume it. Give both yourself and others a chance to change their behavior.