I need affection


The ‘Boost your resilience’ beta-course is over and I’m happy to say it was a success.

During one of the modules, we discuss that sometimes stress comes from your needs not being met. And then it’s up to you to first find out which need this is and secondly, to come up with several strategies to satisfy that need. And ideally, one of the strategies doesn’t involve anybody else but yourself…

Let me share the (anonymous and generalized) question from one of the participants. Because I’m sure you’ve been there too…

You taught us that we have to find coping strategies for when we can’t have our needs satisfied by the people around us. However, there is one need I have troubles finding a way to satisfy it on my own: attachment / affection. Any tips on that?

In a quick reply I suggested 2 things:

  • I remember somebody in a group from the past who was feeling lonely (living in another country than her own, not knowing a lot of people yet). When doing this exercise, she remembered from her childhood that she got a lot of affection from her pet. She decided to have a pet again and felt much less lonely when she came home to her apartment after work. After a while this also gave her the courage to get out of her comfort zone and to join some groups and find friends there.
    My point being: you sometimes need to think outside of the box. She wanted to get to know people and the pet was a first step towards this.
  • A second ‘piste’: do you have enough affection for yourself and if not, how could you cultivate that?

The person got back to me:
Unfortunately, the need comes from my childhood as my parents were working really hard and the pet is not an option… I have a problem seeing how I could hug and caress myself and feel like I get love from someone else 🙂 but I will continue working on that self-love since I see there is no other way for satisfying that need ourselves

There are a couple of things I want to say here (and again: this is generalized…)

  • This technique is useful when you are experiencing stress NOW for a need that is not met NOW. Do not keep on stressing about things that happened 20 or more years ago… For this I would refer to the article PUNTO!
    It will explain how very often it’s the story about an observation which creates our stress and how it’s important to go back to the observation and leave it there. For instance: when I was a child, my parents didn’t do X (=specific behaviour), PUNTO. (or period, if you prefer…)
  • You might be falling into the trap of only having one ideal strategy in mind. They should have hugged and caressed me to show their affection. No, they might have shown their affection, you just didn’t recognize is as such. They might have worked so hard to give you a better future than they had. This was their way of showing you affection. And maybe this was the only way they knew.
  • Let the affection also come from others. If I said I have a need for affection, but I only want it to come from George Clooney… I might have to wait for a very long time. ;-D You do say you get love from somebody else, be grateful for that.
  • My parents didn’t do X (=show affection) but only Y (=work all the time), whose business is that? Mine, yours, God’s? This is another concept we discuss during the course. It comes from Byron Katie. Somebody else’s behaviour is not under my control. It is what they do/did. And I have to learn not to let this trigger me into a stress reaction.
  • And finally (for now), self-love does not necessarily mean cuddling yourself. It is treating yourself the way you would treat somebody you love. For instance: what’s your internal dialogue towards yourself? Is it encouraging and kind, or … negative? Do you take good care of your own needs or do you tend to be a people pleaser and do you care about other people’s needs first? And so on…

These are just some approaches I would use to explore the problem, manage your stress and boost your resilience.

(Of course, there are many other ways, depending on who you work with…)

Are you inspired by this example and do you also want to ‘Boost your Resilience!’, make sure to put yourself on the waiting list for the next round. This online programme is mainly self-study but with weekly Q&A sessions where we can go deeper into your case.

If you don’t want to wait and you’d prefer a more personalised version, I would recommend the 1-on-1 coaching. I do have some extra openings. If you are interested, you can sign up right here. If you want to have a short discussion with me to see if this would be something for you, reply to this mail.

The beautiful testimonials from the last round AND additional information for the offers mentioned above can be found here.

And remember, #youalwayshaveachoice #YAHAC