At certain times of the year, especially the holidays and anniversaries of personal significance, our minds like to wander and drag up the past regarding people who impacted us in major ways. Sometimes it’s positive nostalgia. Other times, there is a whirlwind of emotion. Most people are not out to intentionally hurt us. Oftentimes, the things people say or do is a reflection of their experiences. It is a culmination of how and if their needs and/or desires were met during the most vulnerable times.
The matter of being acknowledged at those pivotal points shapes what strategies we develop as an attempt to get heard. Those who had consistent, positive support systems where people continually showed up at their weakest moments will tend to be more vocal about their needs and will be quick to figure out how to get them met. However, those who encounter less than ideal situations on a consistent basis will tend to develop strategies to fill in the deficit (ex, passive-aggressiveness and other subtle manipulative tactics) and/or to deny their needs (ex. detachment or other avoidance tactics).
Thought for the week
For the exception of truly toxic and abusive individuals, those strategies typically don’t stem from ill-intent, but more as a function of coping in the world and as a trial-and-error process to figure out needs and desires. Saying that, we have the power to decide to what kind of energy we allow into our lives: dwelling on negativity or moving towards positive influences.