Letting Your Man Define You on Valentine’s Day—Why?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

@drogorman

www.patriciaogorman.com

Valentines-Day-crafts

Wanting to be liked is important to all of us, and yes, we’re feeling the pressure on Valentine’s Day.

But for you, and for many other women, this desire can move from wanting to be liked to desperately needing to be liked once a man enters the picture. For this, you pay a huge price—you give up your power to figure out what is best for you!

Your Toxic Girly Thoughts In Action

When the way we are supposed to act and, very importantly, how we are supposed to look become decisions we allow someone else makes for us, we give up our personal power. We do this because of the negative self-talk we invite to reside in our heads, and I call these ideas toxic girly thoughts.

Read this post from Brittaney about how she allowed her boyfriend to govern:

  • the length of her hair
  • the color of her hair
  • her makeup
  • her clothes
  • her weight
  • even her tattoos

http://www.upmoments.com/her-boyfriend-makes-fun-of-her-appearance

Stop Listening

Brittaney stopped listening to her toxic girly thoughts—but how?

The answer is to tune into your Resilient Voice, the part of you that knows what is right for you, the part of you that your toxic girly thoughts try to drown out.

This Valentine’s Day, try this:

  • If your boyfriend wants you to have short hair when you like your hair better long, choose what you like and makes you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror.
  • When he wants you to have blonde hair and you like it auburn, wear your hair the color you think best expresses who you are.

And if you think he’s the makeup artist you’ve been waiting for, or the medical personnel you’ve needed to guide you in health care decisions, or the dress designer who knows better than you what looks best on you … well …

Think again, and maybe, consider a new boyfriend. Now that could make for a good Valentine’s Day.

Now say: I know what is best for me.

Because you really do!
??Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

 

 

 

4 Ways to Tune Out Your Girly Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

By

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

@drogorman 

Author of:

The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power

There is a crack in everything . . . that’s how the light gets in.

—Leonard Cohen

There is something about a holiday—and Valentine’s Day in particular—that makes us focus even more than usual on what we see as our faults. It must be the connection between our powerful, emotional needs for love and the cultural promise that the perfect love awaits us if—and this is a pretty big if—we achieve all the requirements that are contained in our girly thoughts.  

Feeling Defective Is a Conditioned Response to Your Girly Thoughts

You know, girly thoughts, our society’s decisions about how you should look, how you should act, even how you should sound, with the promise that if you fulfill these requirements, jump through all these hoops, fit the current corporate image of beauty, then . . . maybe . . . your Prince Charming will magically materialize and you will have the perfect love you’ve been dreaming of.

Valentine’s Day: An Adult Fairy Tale

Valentine’s Day has become an adult fairy tale. We have the key players—you, the lovely young, innocent woman, and your man, your Prince Charming, who is capable of transporting you to another land where your true worth will be recognized, and where you will no longer need to work your butt off.

Well, you no longer believe in Cinderella and her glass slipper, so why do you believe that if you are perfect, the perfect love awaits? This is a big fantasy, not reality.

Why Don’t You Just Say NO?

You can try to tune out these V-Day girly thoughts, but that’s a lot of work!

Because these messages are all around on Valentine’s Day—from the ubiquitous heart shapes to the lyrics we hear in songs to story lines on TV shows and in movies. They all say the same thing: if you are not receiving the love you want so much, it is your fault because you are:

  • too old
  • too young
  • too aggressive
  • too passive

In short, you are somehow lacking.   

Four Ways to Counter Those V-Day Girly Thoughts

Now is the time to stop blaming yourself for the lack of love in your life! Here are four ways you can:

  • Become aware of those messages around you that tell you that you need to earn love based on how close you come to meeting these crazy girly thoughts standards. Learn to identify them—and then say, “Oh yes, another message to make my girly thoughts even stronger.”
  • Laugh! Yes, laugh. Now, you could cry, but why bother? Laugh instead because spending even an ounce of energy on listening to those silly thoughts is ridiculous.
  • Become curious about your light. Yes, your light: What makes you glow? Let every girly thought that seeks to diminish you remind you instead of the best that is in you! Let each reminder of what is wrong with you, every message of a new hoop you need to jump through, be an invitation to think about what is remarkable about you. These messages have you thinking about yourself, so think about what makes you special!
  • Don’t be afraid of your cracks. Whether it’s a new wrinkle or a new roll, a hair that has decided to grow on your chin or a new zit, remember how you handle this crack is how you let your light out into the world.

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy every part of you. You’ll discover that the more you do this, the fewer girly thoughts you’ll be nursing and the more you will enjoy your Valentine’s Day—whatever direction it takes you!

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.

 

 

Enjoy Valentine’s Day – Don’t Indulge Your Girly Thoughts

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

author of

The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox

#drogorman

 “How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet

“You don’t spell it . . . you feel it.” – Pooh

—A.A. Milne, “Winnie The Pooh” 

Perhaps no other holiday creates as much tension as Valentine’s Day. This is the day of love, of being loved, of receiving gifts, all of which say that all of your hard work at maintaining your relationship is worth it!

Yes, it is a day of drama, full of tension and storms, the day that keeps us “in the game,” and due to all the disappointments and heartbreaks you have experienced, it is also a day that has helped you grow deep roots.

Girly Thoughts: the Legacy of Fairy Tales

You were raised on tales of Prince Charming coming to your rescue and thereby proving his undying love. You’ve seen numerous movies and read many books where even strong, feisty women are in need of rescuing by the men of their dreams.

While you may no longer be reading fairy tales, you may unconsciously still be living by the messages they taught, messages that are part of the fabric of your girly thoughts, those toxic messages that tell you your self-worth depends largely on how someone else values, even loves you.

Valentine’s Day Is a Day that Proves . . . Your Self-Worth?

Perhaps on no other day do these messages play out as they do on Valentine’s Day . . . the day your “prince” will prove your genuine lovability.

As a result, you probably attach a great deal of importance to the actions of the one you love on this one day.

We pressure our partners to use traditional tokens of love and appreciation—cards, flowers, chocolates, perhaps even Champagne—to demonstrate our importance in their lives and prove their devotion to us. If they fail in some way, we are tempted to feel diminished, less important, and—sadly—unloved or unlovable.

As a Result, You Feel Held Hostage

You put pressure on yourself to be seen and rewarded, signifying that all the sacrifices you made were “worth it.”

And if you are not rewarded as you feel you should be, your girly thoughts tell you the fault lies within you, and you must try harder, do more.

Or your girly thoughts tell you you’re not loveable because you are too old, not exciting, too fat or too thin, and the inner monologue about your real or imagined negative qualities goes on . . . and on . . . and on.

In this way, Valentine’s Day holds you hostage, creating anxiety and uncertainty, draining you of your power as you unwittingly give it over to another person.

This is the exact opposite of what you’d hoped for.

Does Waiting to Be Loved Work for You?

If waiting to be loved actually makes you anxious and miserable, as it does most of us, I suggest an alternative: Why not (also) love yourself?

This isn’t meant to subtract from your loved one’s importance in your life, merely to balance it by also caring for and cherishing yourself.

Yes, you can still be appreciative of the gifts from your partner, boyfriend, or husband, but you also give yourself something perhaps even more important . . . self-love and self-appreciation, instead of indulging those girly thoughts all day!

Appreciate Yourself on Valentine’s Day 

You may be planning a romantic dinner with your boyfriend. If you have children, you may be putting valentines in their lunch boxes. Perhaps you’ll be posting a Valentine’s Day message on Facebook for your friends and family.

But what about you? What can you give yourself on this day of love? Give yourself …well…gifts! Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Plan what you are going to wear on Valentine’s Day in a leisurely way. Instead of just focusing on what you will be making for dinner, think about yourself. Ask yourself: What looks good on me? Which outfit makes me feel good about myself? What do I feel comfortable wearing?
  • As you wear your favorite clothes on Valentine’s Day, tell yourself: I look really good!
  • Write down two things you really like about yourself. You don’t have to display that list, but put it somewhere you’ll see it—and say those words out loud each time you do. They may be as direct as: I am Smart! I am a Good Friend! I can kick (you know what)!
  • Think of ways you can act on those positive qualities and get others to also see them. For example, if you like your voice, sing in your car, sing at work, or entertain your partner.
  • Give yourself attagirls throughout the day for stepping out of your comfort zone and into your power.
  • Tell yourself . . . I love you. 

Now you’re creating a day full of love. You don’t need to spell love, you just need to feel it within yourself.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day! And stay tuned for my next blog where we’ll check out how you did . . .

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

A Valentine’s Gift for You

“How do you spell ‘love’?” –Piglet

“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” –Pooh

A.A. Milne, “Winnie The Pooh”

You were raised on tales of Prince Charming coming to your rescue and thereby proving his undying love. You’ve seen numerous movies and read many books where strong, feisty women are nevertheless in need of rescuing by the men of their dreams.

While you may no longer be reading fairy tales, you may unconsciously still be living by the messages they taught, messages that are part of the fabric of your girly thoughts, those that tell you your self-worth depends largely on how someone else values you, even loves you.

Valentine’s Day—A Day That Proves Your . . . Self-Worth?

Perhaps on no other day do these messages play out as they do on Valentine’s Day . . . the day your “prince” will prove your genuine lovability.

As a result, you are probably putting a great deal of importance on this one day.

We pressure our partners to use traditional tokens of love and appreciation— cards, flowers, chocolates, perhaps even Champagne—to demonstrate our importance in their lives and prove their devotion to us. If they fail in some way, we are tempted to feel diminished, less important, and—sadly—unloved or unlovable.

As a Result, You Feel Held Hostage

You put pressure on yourself to be seen and rewarded, signifying that all the sacrifices you made were “worth it.” And if you are not rewarded as you feel you should be, your girly thoughts tell you the fault lies within you, and you must try harder, do more. Or your girly thoughts tell you you’re not loveable because you are too old, not exciting, too fat or too thin, and the inner monologue about your real or imagined negative qualities goes on . . . and on . . . and on.

In this way, Valentine’s Day holds you hostage, creating anxiety and uncertainty, draining you of your power as you unwittingly give it over to another person.

This is the exact opposite of what you’d hoped for.

Does Waiting to Be Loved Work for You?

If waiting to be loved actually makes you anxious and miserable, I suggest an alternative:

Why not (also) love yourself?

This isn’t meant to subtract from your loved one’s importance in your life, merely to balance it by also caring for and cherishing yourself.

Yes, you can still be appreciative of the gifts from your partner, boyfriend, or husband, but you also give yourself something perhaps even more important . . . self-love and self-appreciation!

Appreciate Yourself on Valentine’s Day

You may be planning a romantic dinner with your boyfriend. If you have children, you may be putting valentines in their lunch boxes. Perhaps you’ll be posting a Valentine’s Day message on Facebook for your friends and family.

But what about you? What can you give yourself on this day of love?

Make Yourself a Priority

Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Plan what you are going to wear on Valentine’s Day in a leisurely way Instead of just focusing on what you will be making for dinner, think about yourself. Ask yourself: What looks good on me? Which outfit makes me feel good about myself? What do I feel comfortable wearing?
  • As you wear your favorite clothes on Valentine’s Day, tell yourself: I look good!
  • Write down two things you really like about yourself. You don’t have to display that list, but put it somewhere you’ll see it—and say those words out loud each time you do
  • Think of ways you can act on those qualities and get others to also see them. For example, if you like your voice, sing in your car, sing at work, or entertain your partner. If you feel you are a valuable part of your work team and have something important to say in a meeting, lean in and say it. 
  • Give yourself  “attagirls” throughout the day for stepping out of your comfort zone and into your power.
  • Tell yourself . . . I love you.

Now you’re creating a day full of love . . .

Remember—as Winnie the Pooh says…you don’t need to spell love, you just need to feel it, within yourself.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD,
author of: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (HCI, 2013)

Order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

and coming in 2014

Out Your Girly Thoughts…Embrace Your Strength workbook (coming April 2014 from HCI Books)

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Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Saranac Lake, New York, is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and funny presentations that make complex issues accessible and fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O’Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from clinical director of a child welfare agency to interim director of a crime victims organization to director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Learn more at http://patriciaogorman.com

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