...belittling beliefs

The rigid rules and negative messages that we were taught and that we learned to believe about ourselves. One of the ways that troubled families are dysfunctional is by the parents’ or other parent figures’ creation of rigid rules. In an attempt to survive, the Child incorporates these rigid rules into its subconscious mind, where it can remain and create pain for it—until it begins its healing in some way.

Negative Rules (Negative Messages)

Don’t express your feelings. (Shame on you)

Don’t get angry. ( You’re not good enough)

Don’t get upset. (I wish I’d never had you)

Don’t cry. (Your needs are not all right with me)

Do as I say. (not as I do)

Be 'good', ‘nice’, 'perfect' (Hurry up and grow up)

Avoid conflict. (Be dependent)

or avoid dealing with conflict (Be a man)

Don’t think or talk; just follow directions. (Big boys don’t cry/Act like a nice girl/a lady)

Do well in school. (You don’t feel that way)

Don’t ask questions. (Don’t be like that)

Don’t betray the family. (You’re so stupid/bad, etc.)

Don’t discuss the family with outsiders. (You caused it)

Keep the family secret. (You owe it to us)

Be seen & not heard! (Of course, we love you! I’m sacrificing myself for you)

No back talk (__________)

Don’t contradict me (How can you do this to me?)

Always look good (We won’t love you if you … )

I’m always right, you’re always wrong (You’re driving me crazy! You’ll never accomplish anything)

Always be in control ( It didn’t really hurt )

Focus on the alcoholic’s drinking or troubled person’s behaviour ( You’re so selfish! You’ll be the death of me yet)

Drinking/troubled behaviour is not the cause of our problems (That’s not true I promise…though breaks it. You make me sick)

Always maintain the status quo (We wanted a boy/girl)

Everyone in the family must be an enabler (You________________)

-Charles L. Whitfield


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