Therapists are trained to observe patterns of behavior, including when a client is overcompensating. A therapist may notice when a client seems to be trying too hard to control their emotions or present themselves in a certain way, or when a client's behavior seems inconsistent with their true feelings or personality. Additionally, if a client is consistently presenting a facade or seems to be struggling with authenticity, a therapist may explore these patterns further in order to better understand the underlying factors contributing to the behavior.How do therapists notice if a client is using overcompensating as a coping strategy? And how do they help their patients to overcome this coping strategy?
It's common for people who are invested in maintaining a facade or presenting a certain image to feel uncomfortable or threatened when someone else challenges that image by being authentic or expressing their imperfections. It's possible that your acquaintance felt that he needed to present a certain image in order to gain your approval or maintain a sense of control in the situation, and that your authenticity and imperfections threatened his sense of control. It's important to remember that his discomfort and feelings are his own, and that it's not your responsibility to change yourself in order to make someone else feel more comfortable with their own self-presentation.As I reflect on this, I'm noticing that not only did my aquaintance have a facade that he was very invested in, I think he also wanted me to have a similar facade. I think he felt quite uncomfortable and threatened when I expressed authentic feelings and when I stood by my imperfections.
It's understandable to feel shaken and even betrayed when someone you thought you knew turns out to have been presenting a false image or facade. It's natural to question your own judgment and to feel disappointed when your expectations don't line up with reality. However, it's important to remember that you're not alone in this experience - many people have been in similar situations, and it's a normal part of the human experience to encounter disappointment, betrayal, and disconnection at times.Yes, embracing authenticity and imperfections are very important values for me. I think I lost my faith in them and have felt very shaken due to this experience of betrayal regarding my acquaintance's facade.
It sounds like you have a deep appreciation for the positive relationships you had in your childhood, and that those relationships gave you a strong foundation of trust and authenticity that you continue to value today. You make a great point that not everyone has the good fortune of experiencing unconditional love and acceptance in their early years, and that, as a result, they may struggle to be authentic and show vulnerability later in life.Despite the childhood trauma I went through, I was also lucky to have some people in my childhood who loved and accepted me as I truly was. I often forget that not everyone has the good fortune of experiencing that when they grow up. I think I often take it for granted that I had people who loved and accepted me and think that that's "normal". I think when you've had that experience growing up, it's so much easier to risk being authentic and imperfect later in life, because you know that it can be met with love and acceptance.
I often struggle to truly understand how someone like my acquaintance didn't experience that growing up and hence feels the need to put up such a facade. I can't imagine being close to someone but not showing them who I truly am. It must be such a burden to always be hiding part of yourself and must feel very stressful.
Yes, that's correct. Numbing is a common coping mechanism for individuals with PTSD, and it often involves avoiding triggers, emotions, or memories associated with the traumatic event. Numbing can take many different forms, including emotional avoidance, social withdrawal, substance use, self-harm, or engaging in high-risk behaviors.So, with PTSD, numbing is a common coping mechanism. Can you tell me more about that?
It's understandable to be worried about the potential for overwhelming emotions if you stop using numbing as a coping mechanism. It's true that allowing yourself to fully experience emotions that have been suppressed or avoided for a long time can be challenging and can sometimes feel overwhelming at first.I agree it's adaptive as a short-term response but not as a long-term one.
I'm worried that if I stop numbing then I'll be flooded instead.