I hear this often…
“I just don’t want to be like my Mom, she only thinks of herself.”
“I don’t want to be with someone like my Dad, he’s so emotionally disconnected.”
“I don’t want to have the kind of relationship my parents have.”
We think that by resisting who our parents (or those who raised us) are , we can open up a new path for ourselves.
That the resistance itself will catapult us into being someone they aren’t.
The problem is…
This just isn’t true. It actually has the opposite effect.
Because what you resist persists.
You’ve probably heard this before and it applies here too.
This resistance towards our parents is only keeping us in the same cycle.
Here’s what I mean…
Either we embody those same qualities, or place a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the opposite.
Or we somehow attract those qualities into our lives through a partner or experience.
Regardless, we will be faced with this resistance over and over again until we look at it, and shift it into true emotional understanding.
Many of us logically understand our parents did their best but emotionally there’s a whole other story going on.
If you’re embodying those same qualities this is what it looks like…
I vowed to myself when I was younger, I wouldn’t have consistent misunderstanding and conflict with my partner in the way my parents did.
The first couple of years in my marriage I was picking a fight every day and in total denial of it. What I resisted persisted in me.
Lisa watched her Mom being submissive and giving too much in relationships with her Dad and then her Step Dad. She said, she would never be like her Mom. But in her first marriage all she did was give, completely depleting herself and creating a ton of resentful towards her husband.
Marina said she didn’t want to be like her Dad. She said, “He’s so negative. He worries all the time, and doesn’t trust many people.” As she was saying the words out loud to me, she realized that was exactly what she was doing in so many of her relationships.
Is this resonating with you?
Maybe you fiercely want to be the opposite of your parents.
If that’s the case it could look like this…
Neeti watched how destructive her Mom’s nagging was on her relationship with her Dad, and wanted to be nothing like that.
Neeti would then find herself in relationships not really expressing herself, for fear of looking like a nag and becoming her Mom (although she didn’t know that). So, she would find herself wanting support in her relationships but never really asking for it.
Sarah resisted being like her Dad, thinking he wasn’t very smart. This put so much pressure on Sarah to “be in the know”, to feel like she knew what she was talking about in every moment. There was a perfectionism that was exhausting her.
Maybe you’ve attracted in someone with the qualities you resist in your parents…
Anne swore she would never be with a man like her Dad, someone that was emotionally distant. And she found herself dating men that were emotionally unavailable wondering why she had this pattern.
It’s so important to uncover the qualities we are resisting in our parents and how they are playing out in our lives today. Once we recognize them, we can start to shift out of that resistance into a place of emotional understanding (that’s a whole other post).
In the comments below, tell me what you’re resisting in your parents and how that’s showing up in your life today.