Did you act like the member of the indigenous tribe and make sacrifices to appease your gods (okay, parents)? Did you change something normal in yourself in order to not hurt them again? Was the result that you resented yourself for appeasing your parents at your own expense?
If so, your resentment will also have you trapped in self-defeating responses as you go through life. What might that look like? You might rebel against the mother in the joke and become unresponsive to anyone who wants your interest.
Or, in response to a controlling parent, you might become stubborn, defiant, and disagreeable, no matter how severe the cost is to you. Throughout your life these qualities will undermine your relationships with others and also your goals.
Congratulations, You’ve Been Hired by Mystery Firm
Changing to keep our parents happy, or at least to not make them angry, is something you may have tried while growing up. But did you know exactly what you were changing and why? And if you didn’t, did you still try to change anyway?
Compare your situation to this one and see if it helps put it all in perspective for you. You’ve been job-hunting for a while and now at last your search is over. You’ve landed a job.
Only problem is, you don’t know what the job entails, the expectations of you, and what the requirements actually are. One day you walk into work and your boss is angry with you and you don’t know why.
You find yourself thinking, “What did I do?” “Was it the way I handled report A, was it the way I dealt with situation B, or maybe it was how I dealt with customer C?”
You decide which situation you think it was and then you make what you think is the appropriate change. Next time, you think (and hope) it will be different. Your boss will have nothing to be angry about.
You’ve taken care of the problem. Does that make sense to you? Changing but not knowing what you did wrong or fully understanding the situation before you start to make the change?
If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you possibly to fix it? To an adult this probably doesn’t make sense, does it? But this is what we, as kids, do.
Right or wrong, sense or nonsense, we try to change to make sure our parents (or other siblings) won’t be angry or hurt. We’re always trying to keep those “gods” of ours happy so they don’t get angry.
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