Too many times we allow someone else to overshadow what we believe or how we truly feel. We give our Core away and allow others to define us – we lose our own sense of Truth.
We do this for many reasons. Sometimes it is out of fear of rejection if we don’t agree with them. Or we are not assertive and it is too uncomfortable to speak our mind. Sometimes we doubt ourselves when someone else has a strong opinion about something. Other times it is because we don’t value our Self enough to stand up for what we believe. Often, in our childhood, we had difficulty standing up for our Self without being shut down or someone making fun of us. So we learn over time to keep our thoughts to our Self. Even an emotionally strong adult can encounter aggressive or “pushy” people who want to to intimidate people into compliance. (See our article on “Corner People”.)
When we don’t speak up:
We lose our Core when we stop speaking up for what we want, or is true for us. We are not Standing in Our Truth. The more we do this we begin to feel a loss of Self: things that identify us as being “US”. Who we are. We begin to feel powerless, invisible, and/or that we don’t matter. We need a sense of Self to feel alive. To differentiate “US” from others. To know what fits us and what does not. What makes us happy and what causes us pain or emotional discomfort. It helps to define our values. Our Core is who we are and how we live our life.
Especially in relationships it is not uncommon for one of the partners to feel they have lost themselves in the relationship. Sometimes the other partner does not consciously usurp the relationship. The subject partner feels lost because they fear speaking up and pushing the other person away. They have learned to please their partner to retain the relationship. This is called an insecure attachment and will be addressed in a future blog. Lastly, when we don’t speak up we get out of “balance” with our Core. We believe one way and yet give up what we think is right or what makes us happy and fulfilled.
Most Crucial Point About Giving Away Our Core:
Besides losing our Self, it is most important to understand that the RIGHT people around us are those who value us and want us to be happy – whether they are friends, family or lovers. This doesn’t mean that we always get our way, because then the other person is giving up their Core. It is more about two people who both are aware of what the other person wants and who both work towards valuing each other.
Examples of when it is challenging to Stand in Our Truth:
- In a work situation where we do not agree with the values of the company. But due to circumstances we must remain in that job, at least for the time being.
- In another work situation we may have a boss who is very controlling and intimidating. How do you keep your Self when you also need to keep your job? The answer is that you hold on to your beliefs without disobeying your boss. If the job serves a purpose that you must keep for the time being, this often works. However, negative experiences over a long period of time may affect your health. In that case it might be better to look for a healthier fit elsewhere. I call it “playing the game”, or going along with something in order for your job security. If you feel that it goes too much against your values or is too upsetting, then you need to pay attention to this and make a change.
Personal Example: The boss’ nickname was “Shark Lady” and everyone feared her. It was rare for someone to speak up to her. I needed the job while I was getting more schooling. So I would “yes” her and did as she asked. There were many times when I felt degraded and embarrassed in front of my colleagues. I survived by “playing the game”. I did not let her get to me and did not take it personally. It was about her functioning. Not mine. I was so successful she gave me a very nice gift when I eventually left the job. However, it is important to recognize that I could not have “played this game” over an extended period of time without losing my sense of self-respect. But I made it work for me temporarily by changing my perception of how I experienced her in a less personal manner.
- We sometimes will give up our Core in a romantic relationship or even a friendship in order to keep the relationship. As previously discussed, this is not healthy. If we feel we need to do this, it is the wrong person. Healthy relationships are about both people. You can try and talk it out, but don’t give up your core in the end.
- Dealing with in-laws: Sometimes this can be challenging. We may not feel respected or may feel controlled by an in-law. What do you do? You don’t want to make things harder for your mate, but you don’t want to continue to feel disrespected. Solution: I believe it is your mate’s responsibility to privately speak to the parent on your behalf. If you discuss this with your mate and he or she feels the in-law will be receptive then it is fine to do it on your own. If you or the mate feel this will be too challenging or could do damage to the relationships involved, than it is the responsibility of your mate to intercede, but only with your full agreement to what will be said.
You can see why it is so important to not give up your core and what can happen when you do. We have discussed what a healthy relationship looks like. There will be challenges at times in standing in your Truth. But not doing this can cost you your loss of Self, and self-respect in the process. If this were to continue you can go into a depression. We need to live at our Core in order to be true to who we are. So Stand in Your Truth! If that is not possible at times, then do not lose your Truth!!!!! Know how you really feel but do what you feel is right for a particular situation.
- Have you ever felt you lost your Core in a relationship? What did that feel like and how did you deal with it? Would you do it differently today?
- What might prevent you from Standing in your Truth today?
- Can you recognize current relationships where this might be more challenging for you? If so, what will you do to deal with this and make it better?