Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses

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keepfighting

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Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« on: April 02, 2015, 01:42:57 PM »
Today I realized that it often makes me feel uncomfortable if someone is kind to me. Growing up the way I did, I've come to expect being pushed around, being ignored, being blamed for 'whatever', being (publicly) shamed for every little flaw I have, .... Kindnesses, on the other hand, put me instantly on my guard. The only 'kindnesses' I am used to (...and that's including birthday presents or hugs when I was injured), were 'given' to me with the understanding that I would be expected to repay them 10 times over - and at the giver's demand.

There are two thoughts that seem to pop up in my mind:

1) Shame. A very deep feeling of "I don't deserve niceness. I am not good enough."

2) What does s/he really want from me?

I wish I could break this cycle. Not only understand cognitively that  it's okay to expect and accept kindnesses from others, but also be able to feel that I deserve it.

Does anyone else still have problems with this? How do you handle it? How do you stop your automated thoughts that tell you you're not worth it????

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Warringmind

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 01:54:21 PM »
Hi keep fighting.  :hug:
Yes I have problems with accepting kindness.. Of any sort really. To be honest with you though I'm still working on handling it, and am not et able to stop my automated thoughts... In fact I sometimes purposely feed them. But what I wanted to say to you is, I'm not a professional by any means or an expert in this field but what you wrote about "I wish I could break this cycle" etc to me shows that you will eventually be able to break this cycle. The fact that you want to be able to break it and not just know you deserve it and that its ok, but to feel it too... Shows that you know there is a life out there that doesn't feel the way you currently do when kindness is shown and that you wanting to have that is such a positive sign I think. I wish I could be more helpful with strategies and ways to help you be able to accept kindness. But I'm sure there are many others on here that will be very helpful an have a few ideas for you. I really hope you can keep building on that want to change and find some steps to help you get there! I'm also sorry to hear about your experiences growing up with the "kindness" that was shown to you. Thank you for sharing that with us.

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Widdiful Falling

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 02:26:05 PM »
Hello!  ;D

I also struggle with this. For example, right now, I feel guilty because my SO brought me breakfast in bed, because I'm ill. Even though he continues to be amazing and wonderful every day, I still don't expect it, or feel I deserve it.

I've been trying to think about it from the other's perspective. They don't have an obligation to be nice to me, and it's entirely their decision. Being mindful of this when others are kind to me has helped me a lot. I don't feel quite as guilty, and I can rationalize it away. Hopefully, in time, it'll get so it's a second-nature reaction.

I think these feelings stem from the inner critic in me, telling me I'm not good enough to deserve kindness, and berating me for being selfish. It also tries to compare me to the person doing the kindness, saying, "why can't you be more like him?"

Are you in touch with your inner critic? Sometimes he feels like he's so much a part of me that I can't isolate him to call him out on his BS.

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bee

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 10:59:36 PM »
My T reframed this for me.
She asked me to think of a time when I did something nice for someone I care about. Something that I wanted to do for them. She asked me to remember how i felt doing the nice thing. Of course it felt good.
Then she asked why I want to deny others that good feeling?
Made me stop and think.
I'm still not good at accepting kindness, but this way of reframing it is helping the most so far.

Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 11:33:11 AM »
That's a very good way of seeing things. Thanks for sharing this, bee. I can relate to what's said here. Accepting kindness feels too much like I'm inconveniencing people.

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keepfighting

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 12:45:05 PM »
Thank you, Bee - reframing by change of perspective seems like a really good suggestion.  :thumbup:

WF - first off: You totally deserve breakfast in bed, especially when your sick.  :yes: Glad you were able to accept it!

Might be that the ICr is involved in creating the automated thought process. I am still a newby when it comes to ICr work but your insight has given me a lot of stuff for thought. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for your validation, WM - it means a lot to me.  :hug: Getting the feelings aligned with the cognitive knowledge is sooooo hard!

Cat - I understand what you mean when you say that accepting a kindness feels like you're inconveniencing people. It does - and it shouldn't. In the future, I'll try to think of it more like Bee suggested - like giving others the opportunity to feel good about themselves by being kind to me.

It was my birthday a few days ago. I knew no one would be coming who'd have any nasty backhanders prepared for me, yet the two nights before my birthday I still couldn't sleep. It came as a surprise to me when I realized that I felt tense and anxious at the thought of being spoilt and 'celebrated'. I felt like I'd rather that it was anybody's birthday but my own - it's harder to hide in the background if it's your own party...

But that was only the occasion that brought this problem to my attention - sometimes even thanks or a pat on the shoulder can produce the feeling of unease/discomfort.

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Salsera

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 06:54:38 PM »
Today I realized that it often makes me feel uncomfortable if someone is kind to me. Growing up the way I did, I've come to expect being pushed around, being ignored, being blamed for 'whatever', being (publicly) shamed for every little flaw I have, .... Kindnesses, on the other hand, put me instantly on my guard. The only 'kindnesses' I am used to (...and that's including birthday presents or hugs when I was injured), were 'given' to me with the understanding that I would be expected to repay them 10 times over - and at the giver's demand.

There are two thoughts that seem to pop up in my mind:

1) Shame. A very deep feeling of "I don't deserve niceness. I am not good enough."

2) What does s/he really want from me?

I wish I could break this cycle. Not only understand cognitively that  it's okay to expect and accept kindnesses from others, but also be able to feel that I deserve it.

Does anyone else still have problems with this? How do you handle it? How do you stop your automated thoughts that tell you you're not worth it????

Yes, me too. It's an awful feeling, I know.

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Sandals

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 11:42:36 PM »
I'll ditto all of this re: difficulty accepting kindness & I'll raise you compliments and support. ;

I've been reading a lot of John Bradshaw lately - if you're interested, I recommend starting with Healing the Shame that Binds You. It's powerful and there's a lot of exercises in it to help you start your journey towards releasing the shame and accepting all that you truly are worthy of. :hug:

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fairyslipper

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 08:39:44 AM »
I still struggle with this one often.  :hug: One thing I have noticed though is although I DO have several very nice and sincere people in my life, I still have many that aren't. I am doing some very serious house cleaning at the moment because it is becoming very apparent to me that I NEED to have people that are sincere, authentically loving, and that expect nothing back in return. Right now the ratio is way out of balance. I am not sure if this is the situation for you, but I believe we can feel this way because forever it was "normal" for us to be treated this way....I feel that by getting rid of the people that are not sincere,  who ignore us and are genuinely unkind, we will get to a place where we can trust people's kindness because we have lived enough of it at that point. I think it is two fold for us, just let the good in when it comes and get rid of anything and anybody that reinforces the old. That is my goal right now and little by little I am SLOWLY seeing it work.  :yes:

I love this quote "When you are mirrored in love,  you see yourself clearly" Cheryl Richardson. "Clearly" could translate, deserving, and worthy, for us.

We have not been mirrored in love for most of our lives. When we finally are surrounded by real love, even if that means only our self love for a time I do think things will get better in this area.

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Salsera

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 09:42:08 PM »
I believe we can feel this way because forever it was "normal" for us to be treated this way....I feel that by getting rid of the people that are not sincere,  who ignore us and are genuinely unkind, we will get to a place where we can trust people's kindness because we have lived enough of it at that point.

 :yeahthat:

However, it is a long road. The longer I stay away from them, the better I feel.

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alovelycreature

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2015, 02:55:53 AM »
I was just talking to someone yesterday about how I struggled with this! There is a large sense of not feeling you deserve the kindness. I also wish I didn't feel that way. I also always cry when someone does something nice for me. I hate doing that also. It feels over the top, but I just can't help it.

WF was right about viewing it from the other person's perspective. If I did something kind for someone else, I wouldn't want them to feel bad. Thanks for sharing... will try that. :)

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littlepalm

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2015, 04:42:40 PM »
 :yeahthat:

Thank you for this thread. I have an issue with accepting presents, as well as kindness, or even a compliment.

I consider myself extremely kind. When functioning enough to go shopping and in the past, I loved buying presents and wrapping them. No one appreciated any of it. :pissed:

During my childhood, my PD mom was unable to purchase Christmas presents for me, her only child. Sometimes I would be given money to buy them, wrap them & put them under the tree. She could not lift a finger. Her excuse "I am not a shopper" :thumbdown:. Sometimes I would receive cash~at that age cash was similar to receiving a box of dirt. I did feel & know, if i mattered to her, she would go out shopping & buy & wrap the presents. I did not matter. I knew my friends mattered to their parents, as did my cousins from PD mom's FOO. I could never figure out why.

I now know it was not me at all, it was her.

 :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Still having trouble expecting and accepting kindnesses
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2015, 10:13:50 PM »
 My NPDM did give gifts but like KF they came with lots of expectations and strings, they were never given out of love. That's great that you do know it was her and not you LP  :applause: