Our guest, Dr. Paul Meier of The Meier Clinics (www.meierclinics.org) answered a question from a listener about the patterns we fall into in relationships. Check it out:
EARLY CHILDHOOD AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR ADULT LIFE IF YOU LET IT:
WHY WE PICK REJECTING RELATIONSHIPS
EMAIL QUESTION FROM KLOVE LISTENER:
Dear Dr. Meier,
I grew up in a home with a critical and rejecting father. Now I am 27 years old, a successful professional woman. I would love to fall in love and get married and have children some day, but I seem to attract men who are nice at first, but end up being critical and rejecting like my father. Do you have any suggestions?
ANSWER: Yes Briana,
According to psychiatry research, about 85% of our adult personalities are laid down by our sixth birthday—the way we look at life, at men, at women, at marriage, at God, and even at ourselves. We tend to see ourselves in the eyes of our parents. If they are rejecting, we erroneously think we are rejects and deserve to be rejected. If abused, we erroneously think we are trash and deserve to be abused. If loved and respected, we have a healthy love and respect for ourselves, and do not put up with rejection, chauvinism or verbal abuse from potential lovers, friends, co-workers or even churches. A woman who grows up, therefore, with a critical and rejecting father will tend to have low self-esteem, and to be automatically attracted to guys like that when she is old enough to date. She would try to fill the “hole in her soul” that her father left there.
In therapy, Christian counselors would help you to do the following to help you to get over your addiction to rejecting people (known as CODEPENDENCY):
1. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. Realize that your life is being hurt greatly by lies you learned in childhood and that the truth will set you free from most of the misery you are facing.
2. GOD WANTS YOU TO LOVE AND BE LOVED. Realize that God wants you love and be loved by people who know the real you and love you just the way you are without using you in unhealthy ways.
3. WE ALL TEND TO NATURALLY REPEAT CHILDHOOD PATTERNS. Realize that we all tend to repeat the patterns we get used to in childhood, so avoid critical and rejecting friends and boyfriends. The more you love and are loved by healthy friends, the less needy you are. And the healthier you get, the less needy you will be, so your “blinders” will be removed, so you won’t be fooled by rejecting people.
4. BECOME YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND. Decide to become your own best friend, and make a written pledge today in the back of your Bible to make an effort to quit saying negative lies to yourself, and only say to yourself what you would say to your best friend under the same circumstances. If you lock your keys in the car, don’t lie by calling yourself a stupid idiot. Tell yourself the truth that you would tell your friend if she locked her keys in the car—“Welcome to the human race. We all make mistakes.” The more you love yourself in a healthy way, the better choices you will make in your relationships.
5. GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR EMOTIONS. Become more aware of your true emotions, rather than stuffing them. Hang out with friends with whom you can laugh, cry, confess, share anger, share loneliness, and who will share their emotions with you as well.
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If you missed what Dr. Meier had to say, please listen here.