I hope I’m not the only wong that is so ready for the new year to begin. No? Okay, fine then, go sit on a bench.
Kidding…about sitting on a bench. You can just imagine you’re sitting on it.
I was doing some clicking around Psychology Today’s site and came across a couple of good reads, one about unsolicited advice and the other about coping with coping. The latter clicked profoundly with me since I’ve finally realized I’m ready to let go of some old habits and ways of thinking (–even if I’m mostly alone in this introspective eureka experience). The last paragraph in the article discusses “positive disintegration,” maybe it’ll ring a few bells for you too.
The term, positive disintegration refers to the shedding of the old part of the personality that has outlived its function and no longer serves us. This flaying off of old coping mechanisms, which are no longer required is indeed, positive. Yet, the uncertainty of the new terrain often invokes discomfort. Learning to embrace that disquiet is essential in the process of positive disintegration. The unfolding of our self-actualizing requires the death knell of some of the primary coping mechanisms as they give way to higher forms of our self. Shifting our identity-breaking free of old, worn out encumbrances-often induces anxiety if not fear. Permitting the disquiet that arises from shifting into the middle is essential into coming into balance in our lives.
Another good one about dealing with people who are intellectually and emotionally disoriented after witnessing changes in you:
What happens when you do something different that threatens the status quo in an important relationship? The other person will make a “countermove” or “Change back!” maneuver to try to re-instate the old pattern and the old you…the process of change goes like this: One person begins to define a stronger, more independent self, or does something that violates the roles and rules of the system. Anxiety rises like steam…
In whatever form they take, countermoves are simply the measure of the amount of anxiety in a system. It’s not that the other person doesn’t love you or want the best for you. Rather, the people who most depend on you to be a certain way may equate change with a potential threat or loss.
Your job is not to prevent the countermove from happening, which is impossible. Nor is it to advise the other person not to react that way. Real courage requires you to sit with the anxiety that change evokes and stay on course when the countermoves start rolling in.