July 29, 2014, 09:57:55 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Moderators: DreamGirl, LettingGo14, P.F.Change, Rapt Reader
Advisors: an0ught, livednlearned, Mutt, pessim-optimist, Turkish, Waverider
Ambassadors: BacknthSaddle, corraline, cosmonaut, DreamFlyer99, formflier, free'n'clear, HealingSpirit, Kwamina, lever, Love is Not Enough, maxen, maxsterling, NorthernGirl, OutofEgypt, woodsposse, ziggiddy
  Directory Guidelines Glossary   Boards   Help Login Register  
bing
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: TOOLS: Making necessary changes in our behavior and relationships (Step 17)  (Read 3725 times)
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« on: May 09, 2011, 08:52:19 AM »

This workshop is about us--about the changes in our behavior we have made (or are starting to see we want to make) and about new skills we are learning or have mastered and can share with others.

As you move through your healing journey, you begin to incorporate a new confidence into your life and your relationships. You're less reactive and though change may still be scary (it feels risky to most people), it isn't overwhelming. And you can start small.

Quote
I can make necessary changes in my behavior and relationships at home and work.

HEALING [Step 17]: This step challenges you to learn new interpersonal skills to replace old, maladaptive ways of relating. Like many survivors, you may never have learned these basic skills that are normally taught in a well-functioning, healthy family. As a result, your relationships may be suffering. In order to create more fulfilling relationships at home, you may need to develop some additional skills in the more personal realms of parenting, sexuality and intimacy. In addition, you may still be playing catch-up when trying to relate to others in competitive or even cooperative situations at work. This may result in discomfort, stress, poor work evaluations and even failure to achieve desired promotions or goals.

Assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership skills are among the many skills that survivors may need in order to relate more effectively in both personal and work relationships. Because you didn't acquire these skills in your biological family, you will now have to learn them and then adopt them as your own. With these skills available to you, you may find each day's tasks a little easier and more likely to yield positive results. With positive results comes more self-confidence in your abilities.



1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?

2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?

3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?

If you're this far along, sharing your experiences will help others and will give you an opportunity to reflect on and take satisfaction in your progress. If you're not this far along, you may wish to identify changes you would like to make and begin to set a plan to get there.
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton




Undertowed
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 636


« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 11:03:15 AM »

Working on this one issue with a BPD ex has blossomed into seeing unhealthy  relationships with a LOT more people including myself.  I'm re-examining past relationships and seeing the dysfunctional parts clearly.  A lot of people I refused to hold fully accountable I am now holding accountable.  I have much higher standards for admission into my life now.

The most interesting thing right now is discovering some pretty dysfunctional folks in my workplace.  I have a supervisor who is said to be a drug user and may have a pd.  Either way I'm changing how I deal with her.  I loved the whole feeling of a surrogate family but she is too much like my actual BPDm!  SO now I have adapted my schedule to avoid her as much as possible and it's made a huge difference.  I don't like to dread work.  It's been my favorite refuge over the years.  If I can't get back to that I may have to change jobs.  It would have been unthinkable before but now I prefer that to being ground down by an erratic supervisor who could get me suspended or fired just because she felt insecure or powerless that day.

I'm also working hard to get my ideals in line with the rest of my life so I'm not running from crisis to crisis.  I want to run on positive reinforcement not fear and pain avoidance.  For me that means that I take my emotions seriously instead of going into denial and forging ahead.  It's frustrating to stop and think so much when you are  used to charging after whatever you want.  But, if I charge blindly after every job, relationship, goal in a desperate need to feed my saggy self esteem, I open myself up to crisis after crisis.  I'm slowing down to investigate the red flags.  I'm being more protective of myself instead of jumping into the next whirlwind "romance".  I'm keeping a safe distance from abusive family members instead of blowing past it like it never happened then blowing up  when it reaches critical mass.
Logged
UKannie
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1031



« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 05:24:22 PM »

I can make necessary changes in my behavior and relationships at home and work.

I dunno, can I? I get kind of nervous when I read this stuff as I have hell of a long way to go. I was at relationships therapy earlier tonight with my boyfriend. We both have work to do. But I find it hard to hear. Sometimes when he or the therapist highlight stuff I need to work on I get angry. Or I laugh. Either way I get uncomfortable.

Quote
1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?
For me it's all about the changes I would like to make. Then I get worried about losing me ?. I am making some good, positive changes but I have a pretty big shopping list.

Quote
2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?

The main change is accepting I need to change. And also investing in therapy in a major way. And being really truly soul-baringly honest with them. In the past I have paid therapists just to prop me up/feed my ego (but to some extent that helped me survive so it wasn't wasted money  cry)

Quote
3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?
I'm not great at any of the above. I have to do all of those things in my job but I kind of fake them OK ? One thing I can do is make decisions. But I tend to make them fast and ruthlessly and, dare I say it, I sometimes get them wrong lol
Quote

What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?

For me at the moment it's the Board...therapy...books in that order.
I think the Board is helping me mourn properly and helping me realise I've been traumatised. I have learned to give myself a break.

The weird thing for me is that I have a gut feeling that my relationship, my (new) friends, my job are all basically good for me. I haven't quite mentally 'caught up' so that I can enjoy them. Possibly that means I'm hovering at step 15.

Thanks for this thread B&W xoxox

love Annie
Logged
DeityorDevil
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 553


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 10:27:16 PM »

Quote
1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?

2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?

Most of them... ;}

I'm a much more patient person, than I used to be, and less frenetic in general. I have a tendency to pile on a sense of immediacy and urgency to whatever I feel like needs done, and I'm learning to let go of that more and more. I think that I think both more, and less about other people. I'm more aware of their responses and needs, but less concerned with their opinions of me. People that I've found to be negative influences in my section of the world, I'm much better at simply letting go of them, rather than contorting my poor little braincell to understand how I've screwed things up to make things difficult.

Slowing down, and allowing myself time to process- sometimes it does take me a little longer to sort through things in my brain- lets me evaluate them in my own time, and reach my own conclusions, without necessarily trying to match my opinion with what I think will be perceived as a favorable response.


Quote
3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?

I've been through about three years of dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. Some traits, in leadership and assertiveness I've always had, but kind of got turned around about how to use them most effectively, or got stuck in feeling that I shouldn't be assertive, so I tried to squelch those traits. Some assertiveness is necessary, to be a functioning person.

I think I've always been kind of a hyper-listener. In that I take in more information that people mean to give, usually. Again, fine-tuning that, so that I can filter out the extraneous noise that is going on, and focusing more on what people are trying to mean, has gotten easier.

Communicating is something that most people can work on forever, me included. The process of translating and sharing one's thoughts to be understandable to someone else is perpetually mystifying. I'm still settling into the idea that not only are all other people's perspectives uniquely valid, but that that also includes appreciating that my own perspective is also valid. Not more or less valid than anyone else's, but equally important. Accepting that idea has also made it easier to make decisions. I used to have a really terrible time making decisions about things, because I would get hung up on the possibility of picking "wrong." And then what would happen if I did pick "wrong." Accepting that, when it's a matter of preference, that my choice is okay, no matter what it is, has made life a lot easier. Not being able to pick out which of four teas I like, in case the one I like is "wrong" is a very special kind of hell, and I'm pretty happy to be more or less free of that kind of thinking.

Most of my time and energy lately has been focused at figuring out what I would like my life to look like, and seeing how to make that possible.
Logged

"Sunny days wouldn't be special if it weren't for rain.
Joy wouldn't feel so good if it weren't for pain."
-Curtis Jackson
Cordelia
formerly salome
*******
Offline Offline

Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1470



« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 08:03:50 AM »

1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?

2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?

I'm getting better, like Diety describes, at letting go of my attachment to managing other people's opinion of me.  I've realized that it's rather inordinately terrifying to me to have people think of me as foolish, incompetent, inconsiderate, etc etc., and so I spend a lot of energy figuring out what people want and trying to provide that to them, rather than attending to my own experience.  When I've made progress in this direction, it's been an incredibly freeing feeling, being able to simply say what I think and do what I like without trying to manage and control my own and others' experiences.  Specific changes in behavior - these are very specific to my own life and interests, but: I've stopped trying so hard to win at games, I've allowed myself to just say things in social situations, without thinking about how the other person will respond, I've forced myself to have difficult conversations, where I really didn't like the other person's behavior and I didn't think they would like having that pointed out to them.  These have actually all turned out well, which makes me think I am maybe not pushing myself as hard as I could!   tongue

3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?

I really like assertiveness training - the art of simply stating what you want clearly in a non-aggressive, non-manipulative fashion.  The book I always turn to for reminders on how that should work is "How to be an Adult," a fantastic book.  I also keep around and periodically refer to "Feeling Good: the new mood therapy," since I still fall into those cognitive errors, catastrophizing, minimizing, and so on.  I've read many other self-help books that are good on one or two issues, but you basically read it once and that's it - those two are the ones that I keep on my bedstand for regular reference.  I've had a good experience in therapy, though it works slowly and subtly and always in conjunction with my own efforts. 

Thanks for the thread!
Logged
BMama
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2486



« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 01:09:42 PM »

Thanks for your input so far, everyone.
I want to comment, but I'm in the midst of dealing with my uBPDm trying to break contact...which puts me back at square 1...it feels like anyway.  I have something to say on this, and want to see what others have to contribute.

I'm a much more patient person, than I used to be, and less frenetic in general. I have a tendency to pile on a sense of immediacy and urgency to whatever I feel like needs done, and I'm learning to let go of that more and more. I think that I think both more, and less about other people. I'm more aware of their responses and needs, but less concerned with their opinions of me. People that I've found to be negative influences in my section of the world, I'm much better at simply letting go of them, rather than contorting my poor little braincell to understand how I've screwed things up to make things difficult.

I'm feeling this, too.
Logged

Falling down is part of LIFE.  Getting back up is LIVING.
quartz
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 168


« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 01:36:53 PM »

Thanks for starting this thread. Very interesting to think about.

I would say that the biggest change that I've made recently is to start reacting differently to the requests that I receive from people. Before, my default was to try to figure out what they were asking, so that I could find a way to make them happy. I was striving to be a better person by meeting more of more peoples' needs (that was what I had been taught to do). Now, I purposely reflect on what do I want to do. What do I want to get out of this? What would be my preference?

So far, this has led to me going VLC with my entire family and with several friends. I am also standing up for myself at work. There has been some pushback, but I am prepared to accept that in exchange for having more control over my life. I asked for and got a raise, and I have started working with new colleagues who seem to appreciate me more than my old ones. I've also had some policies changed that will help to protect some of the junior staffers.

Most of all, I've noticed that by avoiding certain people, I have more time for things that I want to be doing. I am calmer and happier. I look much healthier too. I also feel better about myself for standing up for myself (esp. to my family).

I am still hoping to improve my communication skills. I notice that I sometimes let people steamroll over me in conversations that go on and on. And sometimes I'm the one doing the interrupting! This will take time but I think it will be worth it.

I still haven't sorted out what will happen vis-a-vis my family. I won't let it go back to how it was before, but I don't think everything is quite over and done with yet.

Logged
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 09:06:22 AM »

A follow up...have any of us transferred work skills to our personal lives and if so, how did that go?

For example, I work in an area that involves a lot of back and forth, critiquing and helping colleagues with joint projects and vice versa. I have been hypersensitive to criticism in my life and also a perfectionist. Both are legacies of growing up with a BPD parent; I had incorporated them and struggled with feelings of shame and failure if an error was pointed out or if someone had legitimate suggestions. Over time, I came to accept the give and take in a work context, see that it was a mutual project and that we could move forward even in a spirit of fun exchange, take criticism, reframe, take risks by trying out new ideas...most of the time, that made me a great colleague to work with, not a flawed and shameful failure.  smiley

As I saw the success of taking an "experimental" as opposed to an "absolute must succeed or die" approach at work, I also began fostering that new attitude in personal relationships. It has helped me a GREAT deal.

Thoughts on that, other examples, things you might try? A huge part of Step 20 is the willingness to TAKE RISKS.
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton


BMama
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2486



« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2011, 10:05:17 AM »

Yes.  I would say that I probably was able to make changes easier in my work life, and even in volunteering "jobs" that were then transferred over to my personal life.  Unfortunately, it didn't go over as well with my FoO.  HA HA.

I used to be a "need to be in charge of projects, couldn't delegate for fear of things getting screwed up, and I want to be the leader because only I know what needs done" type person.  Wonder where I got that from?  I also had difficulty taking criticism, to where I was immediately defensive.  I was also the type to participate in rumoring type discussions that were unhelpful to workplace morale.  I'm embarassed to say that...but I did it...so.

Anyway, I don't know when it happened that I started to realize mistakes were human, and sometimes the smaller parts of the engine (i.e. not the leadership roles, but the support ones) could make just as important an impact.  In other words, don't sweat the small stuff, and you're not less important to an outcome just because you're not in charge.

It was really organic, over time.  I wish I could pick an incident or share a specific story.  I think finishing my degree, and having success in the cohort of college classmates really helped me.  Once I got comfortable with that, I saw relationships with people and coworkers improve.  I still falter at times, with my husband, and even my kids, but I'm in a much better place.  I think I would be a much better coworker than I was even five years ago.
Logged

Falling down is part of LIFE.  Getting back up is LIVING.
Undertowed
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 636


« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2011, 11:59:54 AM »

It's funny you asked that B&W because a lot of the changes I started on my personal life were because of the success I had at work.  I began to realize that all of the skills I'd developed and the success I had could be duplicated in the rest of my life if I applied it.  So far so good.  My confidence is up and I see that even though my BPDm suggested no one would take me seriously, she was dead wrong.  As I began to take the risk of being myself instead of chasing her approval, I gained self respect.  That was because I had to believe in myself at work in order to sell people on my ideas.  I had to create a strong persona.  It worked just as well out of work as in.  I took more chances in romantic relationships and the sky didn't fall in as my mother suggested it would.  All of this because I felt I could have an impact on other people even though I could never seem to have an impact on her or my father.
Logged
runner mom
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 945


« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 01:25:00 PM »

1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?


When I can stop taking remarks from my H personally when he is distressed, it makes it so much better for us both.  That's a change.

Believing (which I never did) that I am not fundamentally flawed (the result of being told since childhood that all that went wrong was my doing) and seeing things beyond the FOG has been a change. 

Accepting that if a situation is not healthy for me and I've tried as best I can to fix my part in it, it is perfectly okay to excuse myself.  Today at work for ex.  Colleague was reaming out 2 kids.  She looked to me for support and I did not offer it bc I did not agree that they'd done anything wrong.  I didn't apologize for how I felt and after the girls left I did not defend my position.  My colleague was ranting about how awful they were and I tried once to point out a few facts about how they'd actually behaved and also said I felt badly for her that she was so frustrated by them.  The ranting continued and I excused myself and left.  THAT for me is huge.  Instead of trying to make everyone feel better and fix everything and lose sight of my feelings, I did it differently.

I am not focussing on what my H needs to change or how he needs to change it and instead am focussing on me and what I can change in me and in my life as a whole to find happiness even if H doesn't improve.  The more I've done this, the more motivated he's become to take on his own issues himself.  It's been pretty interesting to watch.

2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?

The changes to me have resulted in actual healthy interactions on a limited basis with my H.  I am not trying to change or fix or teach him about himself anymore.  I have compassion and empathy when he is hurting (less so when he's raging at me but now I remove myself before it continues further) and understand (or try to) what he is grappling with from afar.  We don't talk about bpd or alcoholism but they aren't swept under the rug either.  Instead we focus on ourselves and what individual work we are doing.  He's focussing on picking up some hobbies and has been talking to me about that, I'm focussing on figuring out what I want to do career wise since I have the opportunity to make a change...  We are nowhere near the epitome of health and things are tenuous, but bc of our individual work, we are more likely to be a healthy couple than we ever were before.

3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?

Assertiveness- I've learned that it is not selfish (through a lot of therapy and my T being patient and telling me the same thing over and over for the past year and a half) to put me at least as high on my priority list as my H.  When I fail to take care of myself I am of no use to anyone else.  I don't feel guilty about making myself a priority and that's huge.

Resolving Conflict- I'm working on and getting much better at not engaging in circular conversations-- with family, colleagues etc...   If a conversation or interaction is not going well, in the past I would have tried to make it all better, need to resolve whatever was wrong as fast as possible and wanted everyone to walk away happy.  That resulted in a lot of fighting and craziness bw H and I.  I'm getting a lot better at being able to hear him say whatever he might say and if it's not true, I recognize that debating that with him is not going to go anywhere.  I use phrases like "that might be the case", "I see", and "I understand".  He would LIKE for me to agree 100% and prove that I think as he does and sometimes even if I say the above, it still doesn't go over well.  When that happens I ask that we take a break and come back later if we want to.  Again, not always something he's eager to do but I make it about me and tell him I simply can't talk then and there and don't want things to get worse and we've successfully navigated around a lot of land mines that way. 

Acceptance- I don't know if acceptance is a skill but I have accepted that I can't change anyone but me.  And for someone who has tried her whole life to a) change myself into what I was told I should be or b) change others into what my definition of healthy is (ie: trying to stop H from drinking, trying to convince him to get therapy etc...) that is huge.  I can offer my opinion if it is asked for, I can offer advice if it is wanted, I can be supportive and compassionate, but I can not alter anyone's behavior, thinking, acting.  I thought for a long time I could.  I even thought that validating and using the tools here would help "change" and fix my bpd H and I think I missed the point.  The tools are for my benefit as much as H's.  If I use them and he happens to make changes, that's great but the purpose of the tools (as I understand it for myself) isn't to change or alter my H.  Same goes for applying this logic to the rest of my life.  Since I've accepted that I can not change others in anyway, I've felt a) way more peaceful b) happier  c) more compassion toward H than I have in a long time d) free to live a life where my feelings matter and saving others isn't my sole purpose.  Acceptance has been huge and what got me there was a combination of time, reading, therapy and connecting the dots about lots of different "stuff" in my life and being ready.  My T and others have said consistently that when one is "ready" to see and get it and make changes it will happen.  I'm not sure what made me be ready but it happened.  Perhaps having pretty much all security in my life fall apart within a 2 month span helped (seriously). 

Lost my job, marriage was in as bad of shape as it ever was and H and I separated, I had a health scare and wound up discovering I have a heart issue and am not on meds for it...  All this happened and I realized that spinning my wheels trying to control my world and things that I could not control was NOT adding to my life.  I focussed on what I could control and a lot of what had been so out of control (even with me trying to control it-- my marriage for ex) started to calm down and improve...
Logged
Marcie
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 471



« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2011, 12:07:26 AM »

Putting my needs first this the first thing that I have started doing
Logged
Cordelia
formerly salome
*******
Offline Offline

Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1470



« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2011, 08:11:38 AM »

A follow up...have any of us transferred work skills to our personal lives and if so, how did that go?

Hm, what my work always challenges me to get better at is clearly setting out the "rules" for a relationship.  I need to state what I want to happen, and help the other person understand how they can meet that goal.  That has been extremely helpful in my personal life, too, since in my family the "rules" were always unclear, frequently changed, and there was certainly no guidance on how to meet those expectations.  So it's been healing to create a space where everyone knows what they are expected to do, and if they have questions, these are addressed.  It's still a work in progress to feel entitled to set the rules in my own relationships in life, and to speak as openly and clearly about my expectations in those contexts.  But I think developing these skills is going to be helpful as time goes on, and hopefully it will feel more natural when I do make my needs and desires clear to others. 
Logged
blackandwhite
Distinguished Member
Administrator (Retired)
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 5584


Back to my old colorful self


« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2011, 09:08:10 AM »

Interesting that several of us have had skills learned at work (or volunteering) transfer into personal relationships. Usually at work things are more explicit--those rules that Cordelia mentioned. So instead of a huge iceberg with almost nothing visible over the water that was our FOO situation, much more of the iceberg can be seen and understood, which makes it less scary. (I know many do have weird work situations as well, but when things are going well in a work setting the rules are more explicit.)

I have another follow up. To what extent, if any, has radical acceptance played a role in your ability to make necessary changes in your own behavior at home and at work, the focus of this step?

Quote
There are three parts to radical acceptance. The first part is accepting that reality is what it is.  The second part is accepting that the event or situation causing you pain has a cause.  The third part is accepting life can be worth living even with painful events in it.
--Marsha Linehan
Logged

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else.
                           --Lucille Clifton


greenjay
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 125



« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 10:40:58 AM »

Radical acceptance has played a significant role in helping me move forward into a healthier and happier way of life. "Accepting that reality is what it is" was a very painful process, and a process that did not come easy. Accepting my FOO for who they are and what they are and accepting the fact that they are responsible for their own choices was difficult and heartbreaking. Once I "got it", a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders and it felt so good. It has been a long process in learning how to "stay out of other people's business" and focusing on myself. Sometimes I fall back a few steps, but I feel as if I am on the right path. I find that when there is imbalance in my life (let my exercise routine go, not eating as well as I should, not meditating/praying regularly, etc) then the "should, could, would's" and all the crazies creep back in. So round and round it goes, but at least I am in a place where I am aware of it, can identify it and can take a step back and act on it (vs. react to it). The pain of all of the loss I have had over the years will never go away, but today it is manageable pain, and the life that I have made for myself is DEFINITELY worth living. Thanks for posting. 
Logged
BMama
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2486



« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 02:58:11 PM »

I have issues with radical acceptance...in that when do you apply it, and when do you know it's not good to accept something as it is.  Maybe I'm just not to the RADICAL part of it yet?
Logged

Falling down is part of LIFE.  Getting back up is LIVING.
DeityorDevil
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 553


WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2011, 05:07:15 PM »

I like radical acceptance. It's that crazy idea that reality is real. Sometimes things suck, and the reality is that they can be changed. Sometimes things suck, and reality is that they're not changeable by me.

So it goes, from birth to death, just like that.

Pretty sure there's a recovery-ism about that too... something about the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

If reality is real, I have no other option than to interact with it as it is, not as I want it to be, not as I think it should be, just as it is. The reality is, my father is a pretty unpleasant person. He, unlike wine and scotch and most cheese, does not improve with age. My mother is a person who is probably in a lot of personal pain, but who also takes that out on other people. Reality is... interacting with them isn't good for me. All the "if only's" in the world don't change that for me, so I might as well accept that-  that is who they are, and continue on my way.
Logged

"Sunny days wouldn't be special if it weren't for rain.
Joy wouldn't feel so good if it weren't for pain."
-Curtis Jackson
BMama
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2486



« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2011, 10:44:08 AM »

I forget about that one, DorD...the Serenity Prayer.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I like this.  I always feel like radical acceptance means that you get stuck in the "accept the things I cannot change" part.

However, even in dealing with PD's, you CAN change...something...yourself, your interaction with them, whatever. 

It's possible I just get hung up on the word radical.  I guess I do understand it as it relates to the prayer above.  Maybe it should be the definition? 
 lol

I'm a glass is half full person, I don't know how, probably I was just born with a temperament that would look at a situation and try to figure out how to fix it...whether I was really able to or not.

So, for me, it's not so much about understanding radical acceptance as it is putting it into practice against 37 years of biology, nature...and nuture (or lack thereof).
Logged

Falling down is part of LIFE.  Getting back up is LIVING.
DeityorDevil
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 553


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2011, 12:44:05 PM »

I forget about that one, DorD...the Serenity Prayer.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I like this.  I always feel like radical acceptance means that you get stuck in the "accept the things I cannot change" part.

However, even in dealing with PD's, you CAN change...something...yourself, your interaction with them, whatever. 

It's possible I just get hung up on the word radical.  I guess I do understand it as it relates to the prayer above.  Maybe it should be the definition? 
 lol

I'm a glass is half full person, I don't know how, probably I was just born with a temperament that would look at a situation and try to figure out how to fix it...whether I was really able to or not.

So, for me, it's not so much about understanding radical acceptance as it is putting it into practice against 37 years of biology, nature...and nuture (or lack thereof).

I think real radical acceptance, might not even be the "accepting" part of that prayer. It might lie in knowing the difference. If you can tell the difference between what you can change, and what you can't, that's pretty dang radical, I think. It's pretty rare that a situation arises which is completely unchangeable. However, it could be that the only thing we can change, is ourselves, our responses, our attitudes- which is scary! No wonder it takes courage. smiley Radical acceptance, at least I as I've parsed it out of the Serenity Prayer, is often acceptance of that idea. That 90% of the time, the only thing I can change about reality, is me. Fortunately, 95% of the time, that's enough. ;}
Logged

"Sunny days wouldn't be special if it weren't for rain.
Joy wouldn't feel so good if it weren't for pain."
-Curtis Jackson
Cordelia
formerly salome
*******
Offline Offline

Home Board: FM-Healing
Posts: 1470



« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2011, 04:31:04 PM »

I like radical acceptance. It's that crazy idea that reality is real. Sometimes things suck, and the reality is that they can be changed. Sometimes things suck, and reality is that they're not changeable by me.

This idea has really grown on me.  At first it was confusing and upsetting.  I think because I was both confused about what the reality actually was - was my mom misunderstood?  Was I treating her cruelly and causing her to lash out?  And because I had the idea (passed down from generation to generation in my family, to this day  rolleyes ) that if I didn't like how things were, it was my responsibility to take the initiative and go out and get what I wanted.  Good advice in many circumstances, not so much when dealing with other people's behavior. 
Logged
BMama
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 2486



« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2011, 08:22:50 PM »

Yes, at first I took Radical Acceptance as you have to accept this person for who they are.  Meaning...tolerate their garbage b/c there's nothing you can do about it.

At an early therapy session, my T described it as "letting your mother be the person she's going to be" and the sooner you get used to that idea, the sooner her behavior will not surprise you, and it will be less likely to bother you.

The problem I'm still having with that, is that she pulls out new stops, and so it's difficult to predict her behavior so that it doesn't bother me.
Logged

Falling down is part of LIFE.  Getting back up is LIVING.
midnightfrost
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 56


« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2011, 11:23:17 AM »

1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make? and 2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?

I've recognized I needed to approach the world differently. It was always from the waiting for catastrophe to strike mindset. I wanted to start approaching life from a more relaxed go with it perspective. I started with a workbook on PTSD http://www.amazon.com/PTSD-Workbook-Effective-Techniques-Overcoming/dp/1572242825/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305735305&sr=8-1 Then I read a lot of books on anxiety and also on Buddhist philosophy. This workbook on anxiety was a huge help for me: http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Acceptance-Workbook-Anxiety-Commitment/dp/1572244992 I also read Buddhism without Beliefs http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Without-Beliefs-Contemporary-Awakening/dp/1573226564/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1305734100&sr=1-1 and I listened to a lot of talks and guided meditations by Gil Fronsdal at Audio Darhma http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/1/ I still struggle with switching into crisis mode. But I notice it sooner now and take a step back to take a breath and gain some perspective. In general I feel more at ease. I have less headaches, stomach problems, and I sleep better smiley 

I also wanted to change the way I interact with people. I tend to try to mind read. Always trying to figure out what they are really thinking and feeling. I often feel like people are harshly criticizing me for everything. The mindfulness stuff seems to help with that too. I'm working hard on letting go of those kind of concerns. Intellectually I know I can't control what other people think or feel and worrying about it doesn't do me any good. A little progress at a time. I am having more meaningful interactions with people and I think its because I'm more plugged into the conversation. 

3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills?

Concerning communication I watched videos on youtube about validation and communication. I read about assertive communication and other communication techniques. I still feel pretty rough here. I'm reading How to Communicate at the moment http://search.barnesandnoble.com/How-To-Communicate/Matthew-McKay/e/9781567316513 I still struggle with communication. I often felt like I had to struggle to get any words in edge wise growing up and now I tend to feel like I have to hurry up and say what I want to or nobody will be available to listen. I think as I build a stronger social network that will help too.

I do a lot of internet surfing regarding the rest. I try to pick up skills here and there. I watch others negotiate problems too. 

Logged
midnightfrost
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 56


« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2011, 09:31:33 AM »

I just posted a response to the initial question before reading everyone else's response. I'm amazed by how similar our struggles are! Thank you all for sharing you resources and technique.


Pretty sure there's a recovery-ism about that too... something about the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I struggle struggle with acceptance and detachment too. This adaptation of the serenity prayer speaks to me.

Quote
May I choose to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.

This really hits home for me. I can't sit around and wait for things to get better I have to make changes for me through my behavior and my life choices. Though I accept someone doesn't mean I continue to interact with them though. I can accept that they are who they are and that I can choose to move on from that unhealthy relationship. Any how this is what I'm working towards.  Sometimes I make healthier choices than others.  wink
Logged
ShieldsUp12
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 544



« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2011, 10:10:22 AM »


1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?
The first change I realized I needed to make (thanks to this board) was to respond and not react! What a difference that has made in my life. That lead to mindfulness (also something I read up on via this board and printed out the mindfulness explanation herein) which has also made a big change in my life. I am getting better at anger, but I still need to work on it. Another thing I am still not totally comfortable with, oddly enough, is Assertiveness and Conflict Resolution. This is weird to me because I was always the "peace keeper" in the family, but it was really all about "people pleasing" and making excuses for ubpdm's bad behavior. I find the Assertiveness and Conflict Resolution are really obvious at work. I will do it, but I feel really unsteady at it and often feel badly when I have to ask that people do their job (LOL - I'm in a middle management position, so YES, that is important to learn to do!)

2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?
The change in responding v. reacting and mindfulness have lead me to experience a lot more inner peace. Realizing I don't have to say "how high" when someone is saying "jump" - and do it immediately - is really a great gift. It also gives me more time to actually think about what is really going on in a situation.

3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience.
What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills? The tools I use are therapy (haven't done in a while, considering new therapist?), this board, and books, usually ones that are recommended on this site. Like I said, I need to work on Assertiveness and conflict resolution. I will do them, but I always feel uncomfortable because I am convinced the other person hates me afterward. I would like to get more neutral in how I feel when being assertive. I'm good at listening, getting better at decision-making, but I am uncomfortable with some forms of negotiation - only the negotiation involving money though. Any other kind of negotiation is fine.
Logged
OTH
Emeritus
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2314


It's not too late to make better choices


« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2011, 11:56:48 AM »

1. What changes in behavior have you made or recognize you would like to make?
I never considered my emotional health before. I always took it for granted. I pay attention and feel my emotions now. I try to make sure my actions, emotions, and values are in sync.

2. If you've made changes, what are they and what has been the result?
I am not reacting to other people's problems as I did the past. My need jerk fix response is in check. I'm more focused on my own needs

3. Have you learned new skills, like "assertiveness, listening, communication, decision-making, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership"? Share your experience. What tools (books, courses, therapy, other) have helped you learn and apply these skills? Acceptance. Definetly acceptence. Radical acceptance is a very powerful tool. Not having to dwell on things I don't need to dwell on (and is not my primary responsibility) is a very positive new skill I am developing.

Logged

Mary Oliver:  Someone I loved gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift
Marcie
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 471



« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2011, 01:17:23 AM »

the hardest thing for me to accept is that he had an illness and that it was very unlikely that he would change.
Logged
Links and Information
Tools
Validation
Ending Cycle of Conflict
Triggering and Wisemind
Values and Boundaries
Becoming more empathetic?
On-Line CBT Program
>> More Tools

Video
What is BPD - Family
What is BPD - Romantic
What is BPD - Child
End the Cycle of Conflict
Validation Skills
Empathy Skills
Parental Alienation
Dialectal Dilemma (audio)


Book Reviews
Endorsed Books
Other Staff Reviews
Member Reviews
Articles - New
Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde
Diagnosis of BPD
Treatment of BPD
Series: My Child
Series: My Significant Other
Series: My Parent/Sibling
Series: My Failing Romance

Articles - Archive
Symptoms of BPD
A Clinical Perspective
Supporting a Loved One
Helping Him/Her Seek Treatment
Treatment of BPD
Leaving a Partner
Depression
Codependency
Sexual Addiction
Healthy Relationships

Content - Messageboard
Top 50 Questions
Top Workshops
About Us
The Mission
Professional Endorsements
2,000 Member Testimonials
Policy and Disclaimers
Blog


Messageboard
Directory
Guidelines
Appeal Moderation
Help-Technical
Manual

Donations
Become a Sponsor
Your Account

Other
Domestic Violence Crisis
Suicidal Ideation

EMERGENCY
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2010, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!