At times, Neville has been pretty irate (in my head) towards the people whose relationships with me have deteriorated since I started this blog 7 years ago.
Running a business like Project Self is a recipe for people you know (especially the ones you don’t see often) judging you behind your back, and making decisions about who you are based on what they see on social media.
When I feel judged or hurt, especially by people who know me, my natural tendency is to say “fuck em”.
My emotions turn hard and angry, and I proceed to cut whoever has hurt me out of my life and my mind like a cold, calculating robot.
The process between pain > me deciding “fuck that person” is swift and dominates my brain in a way that can stop me from being able to see reality.
I can cut people out of my mind to the point where I literally can’t feel any positive emotion or love for them anymore, and I can genuinely feel as though – all of a sudden – they mean nothing to me.
Even though the opposite is actually true.
When I peek over my ice-cold “fuck them” walls I’ve put up, I always find that underneath the anger, I’m actually just really hurt.
I’ve done this my whole life, it was a coping strategy that I learnt from a young age.
Which means that the process is instinctive, reactive, and completely unconscious.
Depending on our childhood experiences, we all develop some kind of coping strategy to deal with pain and rejection.
Some of us react healthily, grieving, getting support, seeing the others’ perspective, and moving on. These people likely have what’s called a “secure attachment style”
Some of us learn to go full ice queen (or king), swiftly erecting a fortress around ourselves as we cut people off. These people likely have an “avoidant-dismissive” attachment style. I’m firmly in this camp.
Some people become anxious, clingy, and preoccupied, assuming everything is their fault. These people likely have a “preoccupied-anxious” attachment style.
And some people swing between anxious and clingy, to withdrawn and dismissive, and then back again with little rhyme or reason. These people likely have a “fearful-avoidant/disorganised” attachment style.
Some people turn to alcohol, drugs, sugar, or any number of other unhealthy addictions to try to avoid the pain of being hurt. This can be any of us who have “insecure” attachment styles (avoidant-dismissive, preoccupied-anxious and fearful-avoidant)
Most of the time, we probably don’t notice our attachment styles, until someone hurts us, or we go through a break-up or get triggered in any way.
Then bam, our coping strategies are activated without our awareness, and suddenly we’re behaving in radical ways that we later look back on with confusion.
In my case, since I’ve become aware of this tendency in myself, I’ve started to learn not to cut people out of my life so swiftly.
I now know that under the ice queen robot, I’m actually really hurt, and I still really care about this person, even if I’m hurt.
I still have the ice queen reaction and go numb, but I’m able to zoom out from my mind and attempt to look at the bigger picture.
I know that if someone has done something to hurt me, it’s almost always because they’re hurting in some way too. Or trying to protect themselves from hurt or judgement.
Which means that even though Neville likes to believe he’s in the right and everyone else is a bastard…
more often than not, he’s missed the point.
Understanding my attachment style has been one of the most life-changing concepts I’ve come across for strengthening my relationship and my friendships.
Ask yourself, how do you respond when you get hurt by a partner, friend or family member?
To learn more, check out these resources that I sent to one of my 1:1 clients recently.
And check out these blog posts I’ve written about attachment styles here: