Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Philip G. Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University suggests that there are small steps which can bring out the "inner hero" in anyone. Zimbardo maintains that heroes are "sociocentric," noticing other people in need and offering help. Therefore, a potential hero does not necessarily need to save someone from danger, but can simply be observant and commit a small act of kindness, such as offering a compliment.
For Adult Children Of Alcoholics and those from dysfunctional homes, even a small act such as this can be difficult. Reaching out, giving compliments and expressing feelings (joyful or otherwise) is something many of us have been expressly "trained" not to do.
ACA Promises: Our self-esteem will increase as we give ourselves approval on a daily basis.
Here is where you get to take action against the old mindset that may still be enslaving you. Try this experiment that is simple but not necessarily easy: Give someone a compliment for no apparent reason. Even the thought of trying this may feel uncomfortable because you are breaking all the old rules (don't feel, don't talk, don't trust)! Perhaps the fear you feel here is in direct proportion to your need to do this.
The point of this exercise is to, in small way, do the EXACT opposite of the learned ACA behavior that may still be hampering you in many areas of life. Over time, as you get used to expressing yourself this way, you will find it easier to compliment yourself and generate your own positive feelings and self love!
By "reparenting" yourself this way, even though it's not always easy, your inner child may start looking at you as his or her own courageous hero. Your inner blame mechanism will be short circuited and replaced with feelings of self worth and value.
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children
Posted by C at 10:53 AM