February 7, 2013 How Can I Stop Pushing People Away?
Hi, Dr. Laura Schlessinger here and welcome to our YouTube channel where I get to answer a question from Don:
"I have a habit of judging people before really getting to know them. I particularly do this with women in whom I think I'm interested romantically. I always seem to find something about them to justify not getting involved or ending the relationship and pushing them away. I do this 'judging' with co-workers, too.
What can I do to stop this behavior? I'm feeling rather isolated because of it."
Yeah, but that's kind of the bad part of the main point of your behavior. The main point of your behavior is to protect yourself. So the first thing you have to do is, "What is the worst a coworker could do to hurt me? What's the worst this woman could do to hurt me?" Hmm...[makes ticking noises] Oh, I know the answer: reject you.
You're shooting first. You don't want to be shot at; you don't want to be rejected. And you know what? All these people are walking around hurt because you rejected them. They're getting on with life and you would too. We're all rejected at sometime or another, not necessarily because we're bad or stupid, or dumb or unloveable or any of that, it's just because it's not a match.
So first thing you have to do is to say, "I wonder what it's like to be that person?" So start asking them questions: "So, what do you do? What are your hobbies? What are your best memories about a vacation?" And show interest in them. Take it away from worrying about being hurt. You're going to be hurt from time to time - we all are. We all can sit here and remember...
Oh there was one guy I really liked. I don't know that we were a very good match but I really liked him and [sniffles] he broke it off because we weren't a match and I was sad. And I'm still here doing okay, all right? So that's part of life and you have to be willing to accept some hurt in order not to be isolated, because that's what you've done to yourself. And of course that is the ultimate protection, isn't it? If I'm in a cave, all alone, then nobody can hurt me. But I also can't be hugged. Trade-off.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time, right here on our YouTube channel.