We truly want our partners and loved ones to succeed in life. But many times we subconsciously belittle them to actually feel better about ourselves, because we might have a core belief of "Either You or Me/Strong or Weak" (what I call EITHOR 1).
This talk explains why we do it and includes examples of how such depreciating manifests in the clinic and life. Practical tips are given on how to allow yourself to really celebrate your loved ones. Recorded live on FB.
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Hello and welcome to the potential state. My name is dr SCL Romanelli and today I'm going to talk to you about why do we empower others but often little our partners. So for the past, over a decade now, I've been working with people all over the world, both in therapy and in workshops, and I was empowering them. I empower them to be bigger and stronger. I see the light in them and I celebrate that and I want them to bring even more of the light and the confidence and and all the talent and charisma they have. I've been doing this as a therapist, I've noticed as an educator, as a facilitator, the teacher. And I've always thought that was also doing that in my own family, especially with my wife and my kids. And recently what I've been noticing is that it's much easier for me to do it to people that I work with than the people in my own life. In the beginning I was ashamed of it and then I started owning it and then I started verbalizing it to myself. And then I started discussing with my wife and I was like, why is that? And I want to share two realizations that I've realized also working not only with myself but a lot in the clinic with this pattern. So why do we do that? Why is it easier for us to empower others and not the people that we love most? And the answer is kind of simple that people that we love most are part of our system. Refer back to the systematic change episode. So if I really, since I'm there, part of my system, so any change, any major change or second order change, they will have, will force change upon myself because I'm related to them. I'm married to them where I'm in the same household. So as much as I like them to change, I don't really want to change. So that second order change, that big change might threaten me. Okay. So that's one thing that I'm affected by their change. And the second is a core belief or minding your core belief is a very deep belief I've inherited or I taught myself at a very young age that it kind of, that's the way I see the world. So for many people, they have the following core belief, which I call Igor. Either it's like an either or these dichotomies, there's several of them. I'm going to be describing them next couple of episodes so that either one is either me or you. It can be both of us together or either I'm strong or I'm small. Either I'm perfect or I'm damaged goods. So this is either or either is like a goal . Then write these dichotomous thoughts that take over and kind of limit your life and limit your relationships. So, so some of us have this, this, this core belief, it either you or me, either I'm big or I'm small. So add that core belief to some of that's in my system. So if my wife's going to be big, that means I need to be small because we can't both be big. Okay. Or if it's my wife's getting the spotlight, then it's on my expense. So I can't have that. So the combination of being part of a system, having this core belief, this either big , I'm either big or I'm small, and one more thing, which is called the reflected sense of self. So refer back to the episode about differentiation. So for most of us, we start life from a reflected sense of self. Our sense of self is determined by the feedback we're getting from the others. If people think we're smart, we feel smart. If people need us, that means we're meaningful and we're important in the world. If people want us, that means we're attracted . If people don't want us, we're not attractive. If people don't think we're smart, that we don't feel smart. So when I have a reflected sense of self and my wife is less than me, or my daughter is less than me, my brother's less than me, then I feel good about myself because I'm in reflection to her compared to her, I'm great, right? But the second, if I really empower her, if she really becomes amazing and she's going to be bigger than me, then I'm going to, it's either big or small. So if she's big that I'm small, if she's powerful than I'm damaged goods. So I need to be little hurt or feel better about myself. So it's this lethal combination of reflected sense of self, a core belief that it's either you or me, either strong or weak and being part of the same system. Now I might have reflected sense of self and I might have this either or belief what , when I'm working with people that are not part of my systems, like my clients, my students or anyone who's coming to my workshops, then they're not threatening me. So they can be as big as they want . It does not threaten me. So I want to give a few examples of how does this look? How does this manifest itself? Now this is something that we don't usually admit. We don't usually own that shit because it's not something that's politically correct or it's not something that we have in our romantic , um , ideation of love and intimacy. But the more I'm looking at it, the more I see it. And the first example is this couple I worked with a few years ago that for 25 years he was the main bread winner and she was the housewife mother for and also , um, work different kinds of jobs and, and their bait , your fight was always about money. He felt like she wasn't working enough , she wasn't pulling her weight and she felt like he wasn't appreciating the efforts she was making. But what was interesting is a , they had that core belief and, but we usually what couples will do, they'll split , um , different dimensions of , of their life . So financially it's, he , he's strong and she's weak. Okay . But in parenting she's strong and he's weak. So he belittles her financially. She belittles him in his fatherhood and that's how they balance these things out. So we are working about, we're working on this. It took him a while to admit that and he kept saying, I want my wife to work , I want my wife to work. Of course I want her to succeed. But what came up is every time that she would kind of get a new job lead, he would be a little I , that's not real job or that's not going pay enough. And he'd kind of, you know, I'm demoralized her until she finally didn't take the job to go back to the homeo status of he's the over-functioning , he's the money, you know, earner and she's not pulling her weight. So I remember this one time I said, you know, let's just, let's just do an experiment at improv experiment. I hadn't stand for five minutes, give a monologue how much he wants his wife to work, how much she wants her to succeed and thrive and rocket in the world. And I said, okay, now let's take the shadow side, the part of you that your mat owning so much and you give us five minutes, why you want her small. How will that serve you? How will that, the secondary gains of that, right. Cause when I'd be little my partner then a that makes me feel good about myself. I feel like I'm , I'm a really successful person. B, it's an excuse to blame her for anything I don't like. Okay. Refer back to the money episode. Okay. And then, and then if I have the money, if I , if I'm overfunctioning here, if I'm big and you're small, then that makes me feel good. And when you gave that five minute monologue, something vital came out of him, not just his shadow , not just aggression, but as assertiveness of all these different parts of it. Most like it was like , um , like popping a zit full of these forbidden thoughts. And one was really beautiful about as , and when, as he was doing it, his wife wasn't going to discuss it , but she actually felt validated because she's been feeling that for all these years. This double message or kid is subtext, which she was getting him when it comes to parenting, please have watch to be an active parent . But whenever he came in she'd be like, that's not good enough. That's not how you do it. So she'd constantly be little him next to the kids and he would be a little her about money. And so that's one example. And I want to give you another example of a moment where I experienced it on my own flesh and blood. So as I've been saying for many years, right, it was much harder for me to celebrate and really empower my amazing, beautiful, talented, smart wife. And this past weekend she was practicing her talk, which is called breastfeeding according to the world health organization, a very powerful essay about the patriarchy and the intrusiveness on women's bodies and their ability to choose which I will put the link in the bottom and something happened there and suddenly my heart was open and I felt I really wanted just to celebrate her. So I said, stop, let's record this semester. Let's take out the tripod, let's take out the microphone, stick out the lights, let's give you a full production of this. And for moment there she was like one of my students on stage and I am applauding her and I'm not feeling threatened. And I feel like seeing her in all her glory and her might and her beauty and her passion and her calling in this world. And it was almost for like a second I realized what the still pedal says about objectifying your partner to enable a more erotic life. But I saw this in a sense of maybe help yourself objectify your partner to the sense that you could actually celebrate her or him without feeling threatened because it won't be at your expense because you can actually see him or her as a separate entity that has nothing to do with you right now. And it's them and they're in the spotlight. And that was a beautiful moment. And it is almost like this moment of reaping the benefits of super hard work. Because the question is how do you do that? How do you allow yourself to feel differentiated enough, strong enough, solid enough to really truly celebrate the people that you love, the people that are part of your system? So here's the short answer. A lot of work. First of all, it starts with reflection to realize you even have that year or that you really feel like it's either you or me. Either I'm big or I'm small. First realized that , think about that. Then own it. Remember the three stages of change , awareness, then ownership or we call it own your shit. Own your shit. Yes, I do that. I'd be little. The people that I love in my system make me feel strong because the threads me, if they're going to be too big, because if they're too big, they might leave me because if they're too big, they won't celebrate me because if they're too big, I will feel small. Say that, own it. Say the thing would be same improv and then share that first with yourself and then with the people around you and then through blood, sweat and tears and zillions of regressions back to the old dance. You will have this moment like I had this past weekend where you can really applaud and celebrate and when you have that moment it will be weird. It will be different, but it will be. So Victoria's and you guys were both cherished . It obviously will slip back to the old dance, but with time and practice you'll be able to do that more and more and more. And I'm reminding you, if you belittle your partner, at the end of the day, that partner is feeling it and he or she is going to grudge have a graduate with you. They're going to blame you for not going all the way for not showing the full color in the world. And if you don't want to have bitter partners , kids , parents, or siblings blaming you for their lack of success, for their not manifesting their calling, you better start celebrating them. And how do you do that? Stage one, meditate on our core belief. Do you have that core belief you door one, either in big or I'm small, either I'm strong or I'm damaged goods. Do you have that? Does that still serve you? Write down the game , the secondary gains and secondary losses of believing in that and then choose one relationship that you feel is strong enough that you could actually try something different. Share with that person either . This episode or this idea and then take it, take a moment, take a session. And just even if you have to fake it, really believe in it, really empower them. Really see the best in them and say, give me more of that amazing and more and bigger. Yes. And then, and even if it doesn't come to you naturally, say it more and more and more. Ah, I remember one time my daughter was singing and I were in the car and I was like, Oh , I was making a lot of noise. But then I said, you know what ? You go for it Laila and you sing. And I said louder and bigger. And for a moment there she wasn't. My daughter , she was as amazing growth, was exploring her little bit , their power. I said ladder me opened the windows and more and he sang together and we let all that out. So in the beginning was a top down process, but a certain point I was such a joy of seeing her. Seeing her finally expressed are all full shade, which is obviously that's our rebellion, mingle mule calling is to help a whole generation of women to feel strong and empowered, not apologize for who they are. Check the episode on the new rethinking of female empowerment. So do that. Prepare your partner to be open and to accept that in the beginning they will know how to eat, that they want to, what to do with this free love with this amazing empowerment. Tell them just to breathe into , hold on to themselves. Tell them how to block off, tell them how to shut down. If at a certain point they feel like it's too much time to do a timeout with them, breathe and digest this and then keep going. Really give yourselves a session when that is done. Do not exchange roles. If you change roles too fast when it happens to you, you will not believe it or you feels forced or chorused . So take a second, just pause there and do something else. The following day, talk about it a week later. Reverse roles and have your partner send out our colleague, whatever really, really, really loves you and empower you and teach you are amazing and just let all that in and believe that they're doing it because they really want to celebrate you. They want to break free of this either or. Mole has been locking you guys both down. Once you do that a week later or something, reflect what happened there. How did that change you? How did that change your relationship? Is it possible for both of you to be big now for referring back to the concept of differentiation, which NARS defines as being connected to myself and also being close to the other. Perhaps in this week , this prison we can give the reframe of being big. Both of us can be big. It's not either you and me. We can both be big and we can both be close. And just like the metaphor of a candle lights another candle doesn't, doesn't diminish from the original candidate , can be to Candace or can even brighter light together. But for that, the only way to see the light is the only shadow on your shit with the either or on your shit. The ever reflected sense of self name it it . The second I'm verbalizing it, I'm actually taming that I'm actually bigger than that thought so I can actually choose differently and then go for it and bring that bomb of free love, free empowerment of whole heartedly belief in that other person and see how that just enriches your relationship. So my name is dr several Minnelli and this is the potential state. I'll see you next time.