Here’s the thing about posting personal thoughts or feelings on social media; as in a dysfunctional family it acts like an open door to those with poor boundaries and a lack of emotional maturity (empathy) to use this as an opportunity to critique your thoughts/feelings as “right” or “wrong” in some way. We often find that this can be an emotional trigger that stirs up those feelings of being “less” or somehow “wrong” if they express criticism or even if they express approval. For those who hail from families and a social system where we grew up feeling as though we were never “good enough” and could never “do things right enough”, this patronizing behavior by others often leaves us feeling angry in ways we might not be able to identify.

Tip: as in a dysfunctional family or other relationship we can use this to recognize this as their issue – not ours. They may try to make it about you but it’s really about them and their need to judge others because of the way they have been judged by those in their life. Compassion vs defensiveness is the cure. Don’t try to tell them how their appraisal feels bad as it will serve only to perpetuate the dance of dysfunction as it becomes another source of conflict when they become defensive as we feel unheard. Try to send them good energy and remember to not share the stuff that is sensitive to you in those public forums. We can learn to limit access to our lives to those who do this (healthy boundaries = what we expose ourselves to NOT what we “allow others to do”). We can also learn to cultivate relationships with those who are able to be supportive and share with our inner circle – those few intimate relationships where you know you are safe to share and know your thoughts and feelings will be respected and validated as yours.


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