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How our perceived entitlement to what we want is keeping us stuck and why we need to challenge what we believe we’re owed

Don't should yourself

I find with Baggage Reclaim, that there becomes a theme to the types of stories that people are sharing with me or a common thread in what it is that keeps each person stuck with their thinking and behaviour, and so far this year, that theme is obligation and entitlement. We’re either feeling duty bound even when we’re not, or we’re cycling through a thought process that rests on this sense that we’ve been and done all of the things that we feel that we’re ‘supposed’ to in order to have got what we desire and it hasn’t worked out, hence we conclude that we’ve either been robbed or that it must be due to us not being “good enough” in some way.

Due to having an overactive guilt thyroid, many of us end up being burdened with duties and this perennial sense of obligation to be and do the things that will ‘please’ others, often at our own expense. This in itself actually taps into the issue of entitlement, what...

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Being you is better than changing to appease someone who is threatened by differences

Wolf offended that little wolf doesn't want to blow down houses

It’s a pretty bemusing, baffling and sometimes downright annoying experience, when someone expresses discontent with who you are as a person by essentially claiming that who you are is ‘wrong’. It’s like, “You’re doing you wrong. It should be like this and this, not that.” Erm, who says? They’re not you.

What you can immediately learn in this situation, is that when person claims that you’re ‘doing’ you wrong, they hold beliefs that people ‘should’ be the same as them, or that they should at the very least be and do things that don’t rattle their outlook. They feel threatened by differences and may even perceive you being different or being reluctant to conform to their outlook on request (or demand), as you inferring that who they are is wrong.

What they’re really saying is that you’re not doing a very good job of being them. Of course you’re not – you’re you and...

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Loneliness happens when we stop expressing how we feel and lose emotional connections (The importance of self-care and safe people)

Being kind to you and expressing your feelings to safe people, shrinks loneliness

When we stop expressing how we feel, we lose, not only that all vital connection to ourselves, but we also end up feeling lonely due to a lack of emotional connection with people who are theoretically in our Circle of Trust. We fear that if we’re honest, that they won’t want to know us, will be angry, or will tell us that we’re wrong, so we don’t express our feelings and opinions as we don’t trust them to handle them.

It’s a vicious circle.

Something similar happens when we determine that we’re not liked, which may not be a statement of fact but more a statement of our perception, which will be skewed by any unhealthy beliefs. Of course, if we believe that we’re not liked then this will stop us from forging intimate relationships, because we’ll fear allowing a person to get close enough that they might know us and find something to dislike. In turn, low intimacy results in feeling lonely and we then judge that loneliness and feel...

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Why do we want to be liked by people who we dislike?

Girl thinking, I don't like her but what reason does she have to dislike me?

One of the things that fascinates me about human nature, is our irrational desire and sometimes need to be liked by people who we ourselves do not like. We can be mad at a person and decide that we don’t like him/her but then feel wounded and even rejected when they don’t respond to our dislike in the way that we would prefer. It’s as if we need the validation of knowing that they’re negatively impacted by our opinion. We want them to chase after us for our ‘like’ and when they don’t or it even becomes apparent that the feeling is mutual, we feel compelled to engage them in some way that may generate the response we want or that will let us gain clarification about their position, or we quite simply feel rejected.

Why do we need people who we don’t like or who we’ve even called out on something, to like us? Why do we need them to be ‘visibly’ affected in some way? And actually, while we’re on the subject, why do...

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There’s no point in following the ‘trend’ if you don’t end up liking or knowing you

Baggage Reclaim on following trends - I still can't tell you what the feck Twin Peaks was about

When I was a teenager growing up in Dublin and battling with that very typical desire to ‘fit in’ by being and doing what I thought everyone else was, my mother would trot out her standard line – “Would you jump off a bridge if someone told you to?” As one of only a few black kids around at that time, finding things to help me ‘blend in’ was very high on my agenda. I thought people would overlook my differences or even my ‘flaws’ such as my parents not being together, the big scar on my right leg, and whatever it was that I thought was ‘wrong’ with me that stopped my father from being in touch, if I kept up with whatever I perceived the trends to be. The thing is, this is not untypical of being a teenager whether you stick out like a sore thumb or not. We pretend to like bands we don’t like (The Clash), we claim to enjoy watching things that actually leave us scratching our heads in confusion (Twin Peaks), we...

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