Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Badge of Honor and Cone of Shame

Some learned behavioural traits you wear like a badge of honor, or in other words you carry daily and have a real sense of pride.  And at other times you feel you have been forced into wearing nothing but a cone of shame, those loathsome traits that are the Hyde to your Jekyll.  I’m discussing those traits and emotions that I was raised with and carried into adulthood.  It seems that in most situations science states that environment plays a larger role in how we develop and grow emotionally than just genetics alone.  Environment presets the filters that allow us to see the world and interact with it.  And these presets come from friends, the education system and of course family. 

I like to think in a perfect world, your family is responsible for encouraging you to show off the best traits you have.  By shaping you, with healthy and high reaching goals, in preparedness for venturing into the big world as a contributing member of society.  In my family, this was not quite the case.  In fact, looking back, stubbornness, and childish behaviour were encouraged.  It was the ironic badge of honor, that thing that confirmed we were from the same blood line.  These childish and immature emotions, passed on from one generation to the next were what bonded us together as one family unit and thus encouraged.  My parents mirrored that of their parents, and of course I am writing this because I see it in myself at times of emotional stress, or have had it pointed out to me in frustration.  I see in myself the ability to lose control of my emotions, to act out in a childish manor when I don’t get my way, or worse just being plain stubborn for the sake of being stubborn.  As I said, growing up, I had two generations who would see these traits in me, and smile, knowing that this was the way our family was.  Never putting their foot down and then tell me that this behaviour was wrong, and highly unproductive.

I commend my grandparents for figuring out later in life that this behaviour needed to stop, and to make effort to end this negative cycle. With that said it may very well be too late for their children to ever understand the affects of the negative emotions that they encouraged in their offspring.  And now here, entering my 30’s I am just starting to understand and ensure that this emotional devolution is stopped before a new generation begins.  I envision a time where children are praised and supported for being happy, inquisitive and explorative.  Rather than showering us with encouragement when we show signs of being stubborn, single minded and emotionally volatile. 


I am breaking the chain of silence and acknowledging that I know where I want to repair the damage, and continue building a better and more emotionally stable me.  I wrote this post without blame, as I am responsible for the emotions that I posses.  However knowing where they come from assists me in ensuring that negative feedback loop is not replicated.  Change and growth only occur when a person recognizes a problem and makes a conscious effort to stop the behaviour, and once stopped, learns to build new habits.  Followed then by the task of replacing the changed behaviour with new and positive emotions.  I have outgrown my cone of shame, and am replacing that with my head held up high, in full control of my emotions whether I was raised that way or not.  Let the amazing relationships build up from here.

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