One of my goals in creating this blog from the very start was to do something similar to what I do in my clinical practice – help people to become more aware and insightful about themselves and the world in which they live. From time to time, I will include questions for you, the readers, to consider that I believe are important.
In my work with my clients, we often end up spending a great deal of time talking about one person – the person that has had the greatest influence on their development. Sometimes the influence is good and sometimes the influence is not so good. Take a moment and think about which relationship in your life has had the greatest influence on you. Whose voice do you carry around with you in the back of your head the most?
Though the question sounds easy enough, it can actually be somewhat difficult to answer. Sometimes the person we think has had the greatest influence is not actually the most influential. For example, someone could have negatively impact us and yet our defense mechanisms raise a wall to protect us from that awareness -in other words, we don’t really want to believe that so-and-so was harmful because we’ve been trained to believe we should love that person and should avoid criticism of him or her.
Here is a question that will help you get to the root of which relationship has had the greatest influence on you: when something bad happens to you, what do you say to yourself about why it happened to you? Take your answer, and ask yourself who in your early life (mom, dad, other family member, teacher, etc.) would have said the same thing to you.
This process will often guide you to your most influential relationship. Feel free to write a post below and share your thoughts, or write down your thoughts on this question elsewhere if you prefer more anonymity. Exercises such as this one are incredibly helpful in raising awareness about who you are and what makes you tick.