In the recent past, a friend and i were glancing through some old photos of our other friends she had lying on her desk. Several of them were of one particular friend of ours, tending to various chores for the camera.
“That’s how I remember her,” my friend said. “She was obsessed with having everything perfect around her. Her food looked better than they tasted, and I don’t recall ever seeing a speck of dust or dirt anywhere in their house. In fact we had to wash our hands thoroughly every time we had to touch anything in the house.”
She went on.
“God, it’s so ironic. She was so consumed with being the perfect homemaker that she didn’t realize no one was actually comfortable in her home.”
Those of us with mothers, aunts, friends and grandmothers remember women like this. They are obsessive, vaguely dissatisfied about everything except they handle it themselves. They are the women whose worlds had become so narrowly focused on one facet of their lives that all the joy had been sucked right out of them. It could be on people, things, and activities. When some become parents, they could have their lives tied around their children. For some parents, nobody would be allowed to touch their kids without sanitising their hands.
But medical experts are pleading with parents to stop with the anti-germ hysteria because rather than preventing illness in children, it’s actually causing it, encouraging the growth of treatment-resistant strains of bacteria, and preventing kids’ exposure in the healthy doses required to grow a strong immune system.
Yep, that’s right, it turns out that regular, old, everyday germs are good for kids. So when parents have a constant pattern; when parents micromanage children’s lives, everyone loses. Old dirt, disappointment, boredom, frustration, conflict, and the occasional playground accident. All of these help children to develop their own coping skills, creative and spiritual core, and sense of self.
When parents micromanage children’s lives, overly investing themselves in their kids, everyone loses. Mothers and fathers lose themselves in their roles as parents, while kids never find themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, having responsibility for the life of another can be scary or overwhelming and may be causing you to over-parent your child. Most parents want to do everything they can to improve their children’s chances of being successful. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to over-bearing parenting. Over-bearing parents constantly worry about their children’s safety and well-being and restrict their freedom to protect them. While the motivation for this kind of parenting is usually love, it can cause children to be less active and energetic, to have a difficult time making decisions and handling conflicts on their own, and to suffer from anxiety and depression.
To be a good parent, you need to know how to make your children feel valued and loved while teaching them the difference between right and wrong. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to create a nurturing environment where your children feel like they can thrive and develop into confident, independent, and caring adults. You can avoid this by helping your child develop maturity, giving them some independence, helping them problem solve, and dealing with your own worries.
Overly protective people. Enmeshed. Helicopter parent. We’ve all heard the lingo. There’s more words we used for folks trying to obsess over things or their loved ones. Obsessing over someone or having someone obsessed over you is dramatic. Obsession is picture-perfect… in the beginning.
If you have an obsession, you’re totally fixated on something and unhealthily devoted to it. Obsession is kind of like a passion for something that crosses the line into crazy territory. It is an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone.
Sometimes love and obsession become blurry. You need to understand the signs of obsession to know what you feel. People get so preoccupied with their obsessions that it makes them anxious or emotionally unstable.
How much does obsession influence us?
Obsessions vary in its influence. When it is mild, we’re able to work and distract ourselves. When intense, our thoughts are laser-focused on our obsession. As with compulsions, they operate outside our conscious control and rarely subside with reasoning.
- When an obsession dominates us, it steals our will and saps all the pleasure out of life. We become numb to people and events, while our mind replays the same dialogue, images or words. In a conversation, we have little interest in what the other person is saying and soon talk about our obsession, unmindful to the impact on our listener.
- Obsessions can seise our mind. Our thoughts race or run in circles, feeding incessant worry, fantasy or a search for answers. They can take over our life, so that we lose hours, sleep, or even days or weeks of enjoyment and productive activity.
- Obsessions can destabilize us . Other times, they can lead to compulsive behavior such as repeatedly checking our email, our weight or whether the doors are locked. We lose touch with ourselves, our feelings and our ability to reason and solve problems. Obsessions like this are usually driven by fear.
- Obsession could be in form of worry and it frequently occur because of shame, we’re preoccupied with how others perceive us. This leads to anxiety and obsessions concerning what other people think about us. We especially worry before or after any type of performance or behavior where others are watching, and during dating or after a breakup.
- Obsessions can feed compulsive attempts to control others, such as following someone, hiding things reading another person’s diary, emails, or texts, or searching for clues about a loved one’s whereabout. None of this helps but only causes more chaos and conflict. The more we’re obsessed with someone else, the more of ourselves we lose. When asked how we are, we may quickly change the subject to the person we’re obsessed with.
As uncomfortable as an obsession can be, it keeps at bay underlying emotions, such as grief, loneliness, anger, emptiness, shame and fear. It may be the fear of rejection or the fear of losing a loved one. Some codependents are consumed by obsessive love. They might call their loved one many times a day, demand attention and responses, and feel easily hurt, rejected, or abandoned. Actually, this isn’t really love at all, but an expression of a desperate need to bond and escape loneliness and inner emptiness. It usually pushes the other person away. Real love accepts the other person and respects their needs. We may imagine how we’d like our life and relationship to be or how we want someone to act. A big discrepancy between our fantasy and reality may reveal what we’re missing in our life.
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I’ll shed light on way out of obsession in my next post. Did you enjoy this post? Please share the wisdom.