I’m a poser. I pretend to be someone I am not. I, like most of you, want people to like me and like what they see in me. In a lot of ways, I base my behaviors and decisions around how others may interpret it. I think I have a pure motivation, right? I want to be liked, I want to be a good husband, I want to be a good father. However, I often fail...miserably.
Growing up I was told…
‘You are not good enough’
‘You need to do better’
‘You should have…’
‘You are not valuable’
‘You are an inconvenience’
‘Stop talking…you are just a child’.
Although not using these exact words, this was definitely the message I received through both word and action. Needless to say, I ended up taking some of these messages to heart. I began to agree with these statements and turned the ‘you’ statements to ‘I’ statements. I began to internalize these truths and believed…
‘I am not good enough’
‘I need to do better’
‘I should have…’
‘I am not valuable’
‘I am an inconvenience’
‘I am not worth hearing’.
I can go on and on, but I think you get the point.
The reality is that hurt people, hurt people. You and I interact with wounded and hurting people everyday. I have found that they are also ‘posing’ as they set out to hide from something, are afraid, or set out to prove something or someone wrong. Out of our own woundedness or hurt, we often inadvertently hurt others.
As husbands we grow defensive if we feel any sort of criticism coming our way from our spouse. We are afraid of being wrong or messing up. Our defensiveness ends up hurting our spouse. As a wife, when we see our husband pulling away from us, it reminds us of our scars of being rejected. Out of fear or a plan to prove our worth, we can start nagging and pushing him away. Do you see how easy it is to fall into this trap?
As a parent, this is especially harmful because we are creating the very foundation our children will base their future relationships on. As a parent, we try to raise our kids the best we can. However, when misbehavior happens, we seek to control or fix it because it reflects bad on us as a failed parent. Sometimes we are trying to hide from the fact that our kids are having certain difficulties, making it easy to ignore the behavior. Unfortunately, what we initially try to hide from, was simply reinforced. Again, our own hurts are exposed, causing us to react in a way that is not helping our kids and we end up hurting our kids. Just as I was sent the wrong messages as a child, I often end up sending the same messages to them.
• Ask yourself, What am I trying to hide from? What am I afraid of? What am I trying to prove?
• Apologize to your spouse and children for not being the spouse or parent you want to be.
• Then, forgive yourself for posing. Now, let the work of healing begin. Some of you may need some extra help with the support of a life coach or a professional counselor.