Over-responsibility and Over-eating ... Part 2
So how did we get to be this way?
We have been dished up an overly large slice of responsibility as a young child, possibly not in any spoken words, merely an expectation, repeated hundreds and hundreds of times. Then in order to either gain approval - or more likely to avoid disapproval from our primary care givers, we become masters at playing the role of Good Girl or Good Boy to get the external validation we crave. If this is the only way we can get that validation, people-pleasing becomes an ingrained part of our identity and soon we know no other way to be.
To cover up any deep feelings of failure and inadequacy, we overcompensate with this nasty disease-to-please.
Continuing on from Part 1, here are the next four personality traits of the over-responsible…
5 To an unreasonable request of our time and energy, we will automatically smile and nod our heads and say ‘Yes, okay’ when we really want to scream ‘No, get lost!’ Or we will stay silent while seething with resentment underneath. That resentment eventually spills out in the form of emotional eating, binge eating, or bulimia. We will abuse ourselves with this cycle as this is our well-practised and safe, non-verbal way to deal with internal conflict.
Practise saying your ‘no’ out loud instead of eating your ‘no’. After lots of No drills, when you need to get the words out in real life, you will find that challenging word will fall out of your mouth easier than in the past. You might even feel empowered when you deliver your definitive and very verbal No.
6 We feel the need to be entertaining and fill in empty or awkward spaces in conversation with others and generally be a super pleasant and polite person, even if we’re having a down day. We don’t want to bother others with our trivial issues so we don’t say how we really feel.
Remind yourself you are not a performing sea lion, it is not your job to make this person happy, you don’t owe them anything. Your job is to consistently practise letting yourself be an authentically honest individual who has every right to be who you are.
7 Guilt is ever-present in our lives. We feel guilty about what we ate, what we didn’t eat, what we should have said or done, what we shouldn’t have said or done. We may as well hang our heads now “Guilty as charged, your honour” is our silent anthem.
Haven’t you punished yourself enough already? Our guilt serves no purpose other than to help us improve our behaviour in the future, so focus on how you could handle the situation better next time. In whatever form works for you, practise letting it go and letting it go... it feels good and you will feel lighter, guaranteed.
8 We lose a lot of sleep worrying about how to solve all sorts of problems, or just worrying in general, like: how can I lose 5 kilos in 2 weeks? Or, how can I say no to this person without actually saying no? Anxiety, tension and stress are our constant companions – and what’s the best way of relieving anxiety? You guessed it, it’s eating! Giving our jaw muscles a workout, especially with crunchy things like nuts, biscuits, hard chocolate, chips, muesli bars, etc. Crunching hard really does relieve tension and we do feel better for 5 minutes.
A possible solution would be to look to the long term, longer than 5 minutes. Ask yourself how you’re going to feel 10 minutes after you eat all this rubbish. Ask yourself if you’d rather feel strong, grounded, in control and satisfied? If the answer is ‘yes’ then look at non-food ways of dealing with the source of your anxiety: like deeper breathing, practise tension releasing skills, physically stamp out your frustrations, rearrange your schedule to suit YOU for a change and book a Mental Health day off at work or off from your life.
© Copyright 2016 Karla Cameron
What You Think of me is None of my Business
Why do we let other people's comments have such an impact on us?