The House Rules: Inherited Lessons In Love

Our home environment is very much a school…it educates us on the type of lifestyle we should (could) lead, it advises us on the rights and wrongs of human interaction and it installs beliefs and idea’s to maintain the complex dynamic of the family structure.

A healthy home can facilitate identity, acceptance, validation and growth.

But an unhealthy home environment can have the reverse affect.

“You should never stand up for yourself”

“You are always wrong”

“Never raise your voice to me”

The 3 quotes above represent a small snippet of the beliefs my client Susan inherited from her parents. Both had many unresolved issues with their own parents (and each other). They also refused to take responsibility for their relationships and choose the easier path…projecting their anger onto their daughter (see my video below on projection), installing negative beliefs around herself and the outside world. As a result, Susan’s self-worth was contained within these unwritten house rules and to rebuild her worth, we had to challenge each belief and reinforce its falseness:

“You should never stand up for yourself”

They would constantly criticize her on her appearance, her life choices and her relationships failures. When she fought back, they would either launch into a tirade of abusive language or withdraw, refusing to speak to her for months. These experiences taught her the perils of defending oneself and she avoided conflict like the plague.

I asked her to find examples (outside of family) of where she did have no choice but to speak up and fight back. There were times in work, with friends and with partners. In each case, while the external outcome was not always positive, internally she felt a strength which comes from the alignment of feelings and behavior (aka congruence). Overtime and despite her past experiences…she knew she had every right to stand up for herself and started to break this inherited rules.

“You are always wrong”

Masking their own inadequacies, Susan was told repeatedly by her parents that she was wrong and they were right (no matter the topic).

And so we questioned the source of this “information”.

Susan had managed to forge a very successful career, had a great circle of friends and was financially independent…proving that she was FAR from always wrong.

“Never raise your voice to me”

There is a time for a calm and reasoned response. But the weight of constant crossed boundaries and disrespectful attitudes take their toil and an emotive reaction is often the only way to be heard.

But when this is shut down with an exponentially greater emotive reaction, we learn to put up and bottle up. This then leads to all manner of psychosomatic symptoms, such as chronic stress and high blood pressure.

And so Susan’s anger was repressed…until she had enough and finally discovered the power of her voice.

We can’t read minds and we can’t presume everyone knows how to treat us. Susan came to the conclusion that whether it was a quiet chat or direct challenge, she had every right to raise her voice if she was being ignored and overtime, found a confidence she didn’t know she had.

So with this mind, what lessons have you learned about love and life?

Do those lessons serve you or are they holding you back?

And as an adult, is now the time to finally rewrite the inherited house rules and become your own teacher?

If you have any questions, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and please don’t hesitate to share this article.

Take care


PS. If you enjoyed my articles or videos, or would like help with working on your self-esteem, then you will love my online personal development program, The Self-Esteem Blueprint, where you will empower yourself with knowledge and tools to take control of your stress and worry, your relationships, your boundaries and your self-worth. The program is open for registration NOW and I would love to have you on board.

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