Perfectionism in Relationships The Shadow Side of having High Standards
Do you ever admire and trust in others very quickly while being hard on yourself and the people most closest to you?
Do you tend to be critical and strive for constant improvement with yourself but even more so with close family and partners?
This comes from a place of protecting a very vulnerable part within you. This comes from witnessing and anchoring in a belief that family, the closest people to you, can hurt you and not understand the pain they caused nor seek to repair it. There is a high probability that your needs weren’t met by them at a fragile young time in your life, when your survival was dependent on them meeting those needs.
If resolution to that extreme emotional stress wasn’t resolved, it leaves a scar within you. In fact, this is trauma. This specific hurt can lead to a protective mechanism that creates “high” standards to move as far away from that “low” hurt as possible. This develops into an instinctual response for constant want of improvement in others that stems from a direct hurt that disappointment and neglect has brought you.
It is a complete energetic match when you are repeatedly hard on someone else that they will numb out and not feel supported or valued by you, which in fact stems from their past hurt of not feeling supported in the way they needed to by their caregiver/s. You are really just wanting to be deeply understood and heard. But the association of that happening with you being disappointed is so strong that you react in a harsh way instead. Which just makes the other person tap out even more! These two protective responses tend to feed each other in the most painful way without even our conscious awareness of what is actually hurting us.
Realize where the real hurt really lies. Call on guidance and courage for this in any way shape or form. When has the current fear or stress happened in the past? For me it brings me back to not feeling heard by my dad. Him not meeting my expectations of a father. That stemming from being deeply hurt from his protective mechanism that keeps him safe by tapping and tuning out when intimacy arose. Me being let down hurt so deep that it turned into a belief that I am not good enough so I must strive to be better. So that I then can be loved and heard.
It turns into a pattern where life creates situations where I don't "perceive" to be really heard, and mirroring that rejection so to say from that protective voice inside "SEEE, you really aren't worthy of being heard. They must not love you and you are the one that is in the wrong. Thats why we need to be better. So we can be good enough to be loved." It turns into a protective mechanism where I get frustrated and upset when others don’t see or hear me the way I need them to. It turns into an OBSESSION to be heard and felt. It turns into wanting them to change so to meet my now high standards I have so I don't get hurt by them. It turns into a resentment to those that I "perceive" can’t meet that need. I importantly quote "perceive" because it doesn't mean that people aren't hearing me or love me. Im just making it mean that they aren't when they do certain things that trigger me. This is momentarily living in the past.
This is the pain and shadow part of relationships. This is when you realize that if you don’t become conscious of what you are making things mean, you will continue to project a hurt from your caregiver onto your current partner. This is the pain of making current situations mean something that hurt you so deep in the past. This is where you can lose people and most importantly yourself to a part that is dying for approval and understanding. This is where a perceived loss takes over your life. This is where you don’t appreciate what you have because you're blindly fixated on the past.
And THIS is the biggest meditation bell to go sit with yourself, to move directly towards that part in time, completely let yourself loose and FEEL what your mind made not okay to feel because it was too much at the time. This is where you let your heart guide you back to these feelings in your mind. This is when you say YES THAT FUCKING HURT I NEEDED YOU AND YOU WEREN’T THERE and me feeling like this is COMPLETELY VALID. Cry child. Cry till you fall into yourself with full allowance. It was suppose to hurt. Its okay to feel. Its okay to feel. Its time to reclaim your present moment back. Its time to live now.
Then once this feels like relief, visually get yourself to safety. You can do this in a couple of ways. One way is you can change the memory in any way you like. The only rule is that you completely feel resourceful in all that you do. Give yourself permission to make it how you would have dreamt it to be. Use your imagination. Another way is to hand the repair to the intelligence of your body. Visualize a strong graceful light repairing and remembering your beautiful skin, your gentle heart and your warm sunshine-filled belly. Allow it to spread like wildfire or a rushing river washing away all of the stagnant and stuck hurt that doesn’t serve you. See it being offered up to the river without judgement. Recognize that you are love. That you are a fresh seed bursting with pure potential. Recognize that you have the capacity now to water this seed with whatever you choose-- Love or disgust. You have choice now. You choose.
Both of these tools of repair are literally creating an alternate reality and healing your past. It is literally reclaiming back the life force energy that was stuck in those memories. This is a form of soul retrieval. Because of this, be gentle on yourself. Any feeling that feels like a push, visualize opening up a door so it has more space to roam. Allow yourself to bring softness to whatever is hard. Ask for extra guidance from higher forces or visualize someone you admire to come aid in this allowance. You have power now. You have choice. You are life itself expressing itself as a unique seed. You are worthy of that which you need and desire. When you feel ready, start looking for the gifts in the people most closest to you in your current life. Start breathing them in without needing them to be better in any way. They will appreciate the support and softness, I guarantee.