Do you have any "poor me" thoughts? These thoughts creatively hold you in a space you don't logically want to hang out in, however, part of you enjoys the feeling of victimhood. No. This does not make sense. This is not logical. This is emotional. Remember as a child when you would receive sympathy from a parent, or teacher, or anyone at all? How did it feel? Good? Did you feel seen? Did you feel understood? Did you feel emotionally validated? Probably yes and if you have been following or reading any of my content, you have come to learn that being seen or understood is one of the 4 primary or basic needs of our minds. (Seen, heard, wanted, safe- the four basic needs= feeling loved)
Poor me thoughts serve the purpose of getting one of those basic needs met. Is it a childish coping skill? Yes. Have you outgrown it? Yes. Are you still using it? If you have "poor me" thoughts floating around in your mind that you entertain from time to time, then yes. If you find yourself whining and complaining about life to others instead of taking positive actions to change or accept your situation, then yes. These behaviors all stem from the poor me victim mentality.
Let's say goodbye to this childhood coping skill. We know it's helping us feel seen or understood, which is one of the four ingredients of concluding we must be loved. So if we are going to get rid of this method of feeling seen or understood, we need to replace it with a more adult method.
How does an adult cope? An adult will see that it is not them that has this need, but is a need of their own inner child or their mind. When the inner child begins to have poor me thoughts, or begins to whine and complain, the adult caretaker of this mind, sees that their mind is needing a little attention and has begun acting out with these behaviors to feel seen. In the past it has reached out to others and with no adult caretaker in charge to redirect it, it went out and told it's troubles to anyone and everyone who would listen, agree, and give sympathy. Your job as the adult caretaker of your own mind, is to be the one your mind reaches out to.
Yes, have a conversation with yourself. Close your eyes. See your own mind. See how it's feeling. Ask it what is wrong. Ask it what it needs. Reassure it. Let it know it is safe. Let it know you are taking care of it. Let it know there is nothing to be afraid of. Talk to it as you would a scared child. Recognize it's fear. Calm it's fear. Recognize what it is really asking for in that moment of whining and complaining. Just like children whine when tired or overwhelmed, our minds also do this. You may need to give your mind a break. It may need a nap. Just as children become spoiled by having all of their expectations met by others if they whine and cry loud enough, you may need to teach your mind to let go of expectation on the behaviors of others. Other people get to have lives that put themselves as priority instead of always making you and your needs the priority. Your child may not understand that truth yet.
If you have found yourself in a dysfunctional friendship with a needy mind who is looking to you to be their caretaker, don't enable them. You know what they are wanting. Help them to begin to give this care to themselves by refusing to jump in and constantly soothe their fears or give sympathy or support for their negative feelings towards life or others. You may find this challenging, however, if you continue to be what they should be for themselves, it will exhaust you. You will have nothing left for them or for you. Teach by example. Step out of the way by giving no comment when they are wanting you to play the role of their caretaker. Silence speaks volumes. You don't have to leave them or shun them or be cruel. Be kind and compassionate but help them see that comforting their mind is their responsibility.
I've been on both sides of this type of relationship. It never ends well for either person.
Take care of your mind. Allow others space to learn to care for their minds. Leave whining and complaining to the children who are actually children. Then help those children move into adult understandings and coping skills.
Hey, it's me!!..Angie Johnsey. You may have seen me with Valerie Bertinelli on the Today Show being called the "mind coach". I love helping people like you find relief from all of the "crazy making" that our minds can get in to..Did you hear about the Tidy Mind Map? Yep, I'm kind of the personal organizer for your mind. I'm glad you are here.. I have so much to share with you. Pull up a chair, let me help you unwind your mind, and let's hang out.
we need to talk.