Growing up to be the good child seemed like the perfect way to be loved and adored. Hearing your parents, teachers and other significant adults label you as a good boy or good girl meant the world until it was the very thing that started to be a problem.
- A good child never learns to say no
- A good child does things to please others even if it makes him/her uncomfortable
- A good child needs to be appreciated and validated…all the time… to feel worthy
- A good child learns to mask his/her true emotions just because it may not be liked by others
- A good child feels responsible for the emotions of those around
In short a good child is rushed through the process of childhood and thrust with roles and responsibilities of an adult caretaker.
But as soon as these children hit teenage or young adulthood their world begins to fall apart. Now anxiety, worry, stress, feeling of inadequacy, poor people skill, challenging relationships becomes a prominent feature. And now they have to either spend their adulthood tussling to break the façade of the “good child” or go through life feeling unheard, misunderstood, resentful …in short struggling to be happy.
Why? Because now the expectations to qualify as a good child become more and more complex.
If this resonated with you, no you are not alone and yes these are things you can do to become a more authentic adult.
1) Saying “No” is a good thing – You owe it to yourself to prioritize your wellbeing over others’. Saying no may make you uncomfortable but that does not mean it’s wrong. It’s just out of character for you. And anything new can make you feel unsettled. The outcome of learning this skill is that you will find more time for yourself, you will find minimize uncomfortable situations for yourself, you will wake up with lesser anxiety and fewer obligations.
2) There is no perfect “you” – there is no perfect person. We are all flawed creatures. And fighting your inner self everyday to appear perfect to the world is the biggest disservice to the unique self that you are. Despite your best attempts, people around you will be unhappy or dissatisfied (even your loved ones) – you will just have to learn to accept that. The question you need to answer at the end of the day is “did I really make my own choices or those that made other’s happy”
3) You have an inherent worth – we all do. And this worth does not come from who we please or the accolades we earn or the money we make. You are worthy of love and respect just the way you are.
4) Asking is the only way – to get what you want, you have to ask. No one has to read your mind; no one is supposed to know what you need. Instead of waiting for others to meet your expectations and then feeling sad or resentful when they don’t, put in words what you expect from them. It’s that simple. Asking is not selfish; asking does not make you any bit less. Being able to state your need clearly is a skill and a sign of good self worth.
5) Get ok with failing – we all fail. We all fail multiple times. It’s not an indicator of our capacities or intelligence. Your procrastination, your excessive worry of outcomes, your obsessive need for perfectionism is pointing towards this fear. Take small steps, make daily marginal progress but keep moving.
To sum it up
“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for
what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.”
― Rita Mae Brown
For more such articles and content on health & wellness, don’t forget to follow us!