If we had dysfunctional relationships with our parents or primary care-givers as children which caused us to experience traumatic distress it is likely that, as a result, we developed negative core beliefs which now may be seriously detrimental to our adult relationships both in terms of forming and maintaining them.
A core belief is one that is deeply entrenched and one that has a powerful affect on how we view the world, ourselves and others. Importantly, most of the time we are not conscious of the fact that this mechanism is at work which, of course, makes it extremely difficult, even impossible, to control (after all, how can we control an unconscious process of which, by definition, we are unaware?).
Indeed, if we are unaware that our negative core beliefs, acquired during childhood, are at the root of our adult relationship difficulties, our lives will continue to be (most unhelpfully) directed by them.
It is only by identifying these negative core beliefs, understanding how, and why, they developed, and becoming aware of how they are ruining our adult relationships, that we may start to make positive changes.
Above : The burden of carrying around negative core beliefs.
Negative core beliefs, developed due to our childhood dysfunctional relationships with our parents/primary care-givers, may, for example, include the following (the actual negative core beliefs we develop that harm our adult relationships will, of course, depend upon the exact nature of how we were badly treated by our parents/primary care-givers) :
Examples Of Negative Core Beliefs, That Negatively Affect Our Adult Relationships, We May Have Developed Due To Dysfunctional Relationships In Childhood With Significant Others:
– people I love will abandon/ reject / leave me
– people I love will betray and exploit me
– people I love will emotionally withdraw from me
– people I love will soon discover I’m unlovable, inadequate and worthless
– people I love will not protect me
Core Beliefs Are Easily Triggered:
Such core beliefs are very easily triggered, and, once triggered, can lead to extremely strong, uncontrolled emotions.
Very often, too, these easily triggered core beliefs lead us to jump to false and irrational conclusions. For example, if someone we are meeting for a drink is late, we might assume this is a sign of rejection when, in reality, it is because their car broke down and their mobile phone had a dead battery so they could not contact us to explain their lateness.
I will look in more detail at how and why these core beliefs are so easily triggered and can lead us to draw false and unwarranted conclusions in later posts.
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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery