Author’s Note: Not everyone will be emotionally developed to a stage where they can accept the realities presented in the following article.
It’s always easy for “I”, “me” or “my” to accept responsibility for our accomplishments in life. Meanwhile our failures mostly have long and complicated reasoning behind them, generally concluding it someone else’s fault.
Many are quick to take offense at the truth: we ourselves are the cause of most of our own problems.
While seeing our self in a more active role, will certainly empower us to take control back of our lives. It is also something most of us actively avoid.
My Husband Never Wants to Talk 🙁
Why Codependents Struggle With Conversation Skills
Codependency develops, it is said, from a childhood spent taking care of a self-centered, drug-addicted or alcoholic parent.
Let’s consider the type of conversation this type of parent may have subjected their child to growing up.
You’re so Special
The story begins with mum (or dad) sitting at home drinking (or taking other drugs), perhaps feeling rejected by an absent spouse. Other family, including the absent spouse, would generally expect one child, more than others in the family, to stay home and ‘take care of mum’; praising this child repeatedly as being ‘good’ for doing this. Adult family members would continue treating this child as good and special while in truth using them to solve a problem they were not up to resolving themselves. The family wasn’t in fact honoring the child but leaving them in a situation where a selfish parent would treat them as little more than an emotional dumping ground for this parents bitter and self indulgent monologues.
The parent may likely have accused the child of not talking to them (just like their absent spouse). The truth was, however, it was this parent themselves, who was likely leaving little genuine possibility for conversation.
Family may have told this child repeatedly how ‘special’ and important they were . . . but never just for being themselves. To the contrary, the child was only told they were special when they sacrificed themselves taking care of the selfish parent’s immature needs.
What conversation skills is a child likely to learn (or fail to learn) from this experience?
- To look for people who they can dump their problems on?
- To expect uninterrupted attention for negative mind states and self pity?
- That blaming and complaining are normal conversation?
- For a person to really ‘open-up’ when talking, requires them to be drunk or otherwise intoxicated?
The truth is, good conversation is anything but these things and is what gives a relationships its life and depth.
If you are complaining your husband never wants to talk to you. I wonder . . . are there conversation skills you might learn to make that easier?
It amazes me the amount of time and money people spend on their appearance, while never considering what comes out of their mouth!
Narcissism Produces Poor Conversationalists Too!
Narcissistic individuals have learned poor conversation skills as well. Usually more in the realm of how to lie to get away from this type of emotionally demanding parent at home. “Yeah sure mum, I cleaned my room . . . you are the best, I will see you later.” they say, while scooting out the door with these tasks left undone.
This, while their ‘good’ codependent sister or brother sat at home, ‘taking care’ of mum (or dad). Because dad (or mum) isn’t home (again) or perhaps has left permanently this time.
Do you begin to see how this pattern plays out in families over time?
In the (members only) series below, I tackle the enormous gap left in the lives of people who grew up in these type of dysfunctional homes.
How many hours each week do you spend on your appearance? Do you work out at the gym? Visit the hairdressers? Buy clothes? Put creams and potions on your face, nails and lashes? I wonder . . . is there just one of these routines you might swap to learn better conversation skills at home?
My master class includes this series; where for a low monthly subscription, you will also receive personal and group support.
In this series I am going to teach you how to engage people in authentic conversation. Conversation that builds warmth, trust and lasting friendships over time.
I personally have a wound in this area and so addressing this gap in myself took time and courage. My conversation skills are still a work in progress, but together we can help each other stay on track.
In Part 1 of this series I will share some simple and super easy techniques (you can begin to use straight away) to draw people out in conversation and get them to connect with you quickly on a deeper and more intimate level.
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