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Showing posts from April 20, 2010

some tools for breaking bad habits

Our "character defects" or, better put, coping strategies, start childhood—they begin as ways to navigate through difficult, challenging interpersonal situations. In our earliest years we feel especially vulnerable, as we are so dependent on others for our basic needs. Traumatic interactions to even the most benign, negative reactions from family members, teachers and social peers can appear to be threats to our survival.

And so we choose short term "survival" behaviors that "rescue" us difficult quickly from tense situations. Over the years they become ingrained, nearly automatic:
—hypervigilance, or monitoring others' subtle facial expressions, trying to read their minds, so we can anticipate their actions towards us
—throwing fits or talking ceaselessly to gain attention
—exaggerating when we think our experience wont be interesting enough to warrant needed attention from others
—yelling and resorting to dramatic extremes to stop people from doing what…