Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

Confrontation_IWhen I started my recovery, my life was full of tons of failed relationships. Time after time, an issue would arise, and the friendship would be over.  When an issue arose, I would either run for the hills, or suffer in silence and pretend there was not a problem.  Usually it was a combination of the two – I suffered in silence, playing the victim until I exploded due to resentment.

Has this happened to you?  If so, did you notice a pattern in the way you handled things, and what are the ways you handled them?

As codependents, we are exceptionally good at taking one for the team And being martyrs.  We refuse to see Our part in issues and are the victim of whatever situation we are in.  This leads to resentment because we have never given the other person a chance to correct whatever it is we took issue with.  Eventually, this resentment becomes too much and we explode.

Running away from things was also an easy way out. Rather than sit down and talk with someone, we refuse to take accountability for the relationship. If we run away, we lose out on the chance to make things better and for the relationship to grow stronger.

Sticking around when things get hard is new to me.  It took me a long time to become aware of the times I was running. What are some of the ways you were able to become aware of what you were doing? What did it teach you about what you need to do for yourself?

Once you figure out the signs you need to look for, learning how to set boundaries is great for helping deal with this problem.  A simple formula for setting a boundary with someone is the following:

Using “I” statements, let the other person know how their behavior or action makes you feel

Let them know exactly what action it is that makes you feel this way

Tell them what you intend to do if the situation arises again

For example, if my friend had been yelling at me and I wanted to set a boundary it may look like this:

I feel disrespected as though I’m not really your friend when you yell at me. If you do it again, I will go home.

If you get stuck, this formula is really helpful and easy to follow!

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

fomoFOMO: Fear of missing out. We’ve all experienced this phenomenon in one way or another.  Maybe you didn’t want to come inside and do chores as a kid because you didn’t want to miss anything. Or maybe the travel photos on all of your friends social medias make you feel ill because you want to be there so badly. Think back to a time that you personally have experienced this.

I believe that FOMO is somewhat like shame: FOMO can cross over into a toxic area where it is not longer healthy for us, and can even begin to harm us.

I believe the people that are most at risk of falling prey to FOMO are codependents and love addicts. We spend so much of our time dwelling on what we would like life to look like. We think about the things that we want to have but don’t in our own lives and in our relationship with others.  We begin to compare ourselves to them, and that’s where the downward spiral begins.

Think back to a time where this has happened to you. Looking back, what happened to your self-esteem when you got to the point of comparing yourself to others?

Lowering our feelings of worth and self-esteem are the main reasons we cannot continue to compare ourselves to others. We are not anybody else, and by comparing ourselves, we are trying to achieve an impossible standard.  As many of us are perfectionists, we cannot let this rest. We get caught up in trying to make sure we are the perfect person, or that our relationship is perfect.  We struggle and continue to fail. We can only be ourselves, and nobody can ever attain perfection.

Another aspect that we need to consider when experiencing FOMO is that a lot of times, we are seeing a curated version of someone’s life, not all of it. It’s like we are seeing the trailer of their movie versus the movie itself. We forget that others are imperfect people as well, and we cannot base our life based on a snapshot of someone else’s…Chances are, their life isn’t perfect.

I would like you to come up with a few ways (1-3) that you can handle FOMO when it appears in your life. Write them down.

My tips for beating the fear of missing out:

-Delete social media that makes you feel this way often

-Set limits for yourself on whatever activity it is that makes you feel as though you’re missing out

-Think of a way to catch yourself mentally when you find yourself dwelling or comparing yourself, and be kind to yourself in the process.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

detaching     We all have people we are attached to.  Some attachments are different than others – for instance, the attachment to our parents will be different than the attachment to our friends or partners.  As love addicts and codependents, however, we often find ourselves too attached to someone.  We can’t get over our last relationship, and we cannot let go.  Think about who that person could be or has been for you.  Did you get over them, or are you still trying to?  Now think about what is keeping you from letting go.  Often, we are so loyal to someone that it ends up hurting us.  Can you think of someone that you may have been overly loyal to?  With the right tools, you can detach with love, too.

So what does it mean to detach with love?  It means being able to take care of yourself before taking care of anyone else.  It means letting go of people, places, and things.  We don’t have to give something up entirely, though sometimes that can be the most loving choice for yourself.  Detaching with love is about doing what you can to take care of yourself in the most lovable, respectable manner.  It’s okay to let go, and to allow them to live their lives the way they see fit.  Think back to the people you chose.  Is there someone you need to detach with love from?

It can be tricky to discuss detaching with love, because there is no physical representation that we can hold in our hands, or explain the directions to.  This is one that we have to give to our higher power.  Our higher powers will guide us to the best route to take with whoever or whatever it is we need to detach from.  We can ask our higher power to help us detach with love, and to give us the strength and the courage to carry it out.  Go ahead and ask your higher power for help now.  The answer will come to you, but it is up to you to take action.  Maybe you need to text your kids less during the workday, or maybe you need to cut ties to an ex to get over them.  Whatever it is you need to do to take care of yourself, remember that it is okay to let go, and focus on yourself first. What action(s) can you take today to detach from someone?

 Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

boundariesMany of us have heard of boundaries, but have no idea what they are, or we don’t put them to use.  Think about what a boundary is to you. For me, I think of a fence along a property line.  Setting boundaries for ourselves is the same idea. We create a road block that we guard day and night that nobody can get through…unless we let them. Holding firm to our boundaries is what helps us stay on our side of the street.  Boundaries teach people how to treat us and show that we take care of ourselves.

I want to do a little exercise today, and I hope you’ll find it as useful for setting boundaries as I did.

First, think of a boundary you’d like to set with someone. It can even be yourself! Those boundaries are often the hardest to keep.

The first part involves the feelings you get from a particular behavior or action. How does it make you feel? The second part involves what exactly that behavior or action is. The last part is where you set your boundary. What will you do if the behavior happens again? Let’s go ahead and put it all together.

A friend of mine was very passive aggressive during a disagreement between us. What boundary could I set for that?

BOUNDARY:

I feel very defensive and upset when you communicate with me in a passive aggressive way. If it continues, I will no longer engage in the conversation with you and I will walk away.

Coming up with a boundary is the easy part. Actually setting one is a different story. Many of us are afraid of the other person’s reaction, so this process can be hard. We think we don’t deserve to take care of ourselves, but that isn’t true. We are all deserving of self-care and self-love. Try to set a boundary today and stick to it – even if it’s with yourself!

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/