September 11, 2020
Ever wonder why you are the way you are? ME TOO. ALL THE TIME. And now thanks to covid, I have even more time to ruminate on my personality.
Also thanks to covid, I now have a fresh supply of anxiety. Knowing more about psychology helps me manage my anxiety.
Now I can be like, “that’s just my story pattern. I don’t actually need to fret.”
What is a story pattern? Thanks for asking! (I knew you would :))
To understand that, first we need to talk about attachment styles. Everyone falls into one of these three categories:
If your parents were predictable with their love, encouraging, and validated your emotions, you’re one of the lucky ones who has a secure attachment style! You most likely believe the world is a safe place and you’re not afraid to take risks in love or life, since you came equipped with a secure foundation.
If your parents were unpredictable, hot and cold with their emotions, you may have an anxious attachment style. Since you never knew how the people you loved were going to react, you may be a little anxious. In relationships, it shows up as neediness. The anxious partner frequently looks for reassurance, since they learned early on that feelings can change rapidly. When reassurance isn’t given, anxious attachers can get demanding/angry in their desperation to know their partner won’t unexpectedly leave them.
If you ever got the vibe growing up that it’s not okay to talk about emotions and that emotions are a weakness, you may be an avoidant attacher. Avoiders may have trouble giving comfort to others or understand why they are ‘so emotional’. They have trouble being vulnerable and try to stuff their emotions down. Their challenge is to see that emotions are a normal part of life and not something to be ashamed of.
Ok, now I’m going to take things up a notch. If you ever wonder why you fight with anyone, it’s probably because they are pushing the button on your “story pattern”
In life, we may have had some struggles or traumas. Maybe your parents divorced, maybe they always blamed you for things, maybe you were bullied at school. These struggles can form ‘patterns’.
For example, if your parents weren’t attentive, you can repeat the story of “lonely child” if your friends don’t want to hang out (it repeats, hence it is a pattern).
Realizing that the enemy is the pattern, not your friends, is the tricky part. Naming your pattern and recognizing when it pops up is the key!
Once you recognize your pattern, you can swoop in with some loving self-compassion. “It was so hard when I was lonely as a child. Just because my friends are busy this weekend doesn’t mean they are abandoning me.”