Communication Skills/Self confidence

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Question
Hi,

I hope my question fits to your category but if it doesn't just reject it.

The thing is that the majority of my life since the end of 6th grade, I was a bullied kid. People have tossed me around like a ball and I still have grudges against many people. To add more detail, I'd like to mention that in grade 7, I only ate my lunch once and as soon as I bought it, two bullies snatched it and took all of it.

My friends always snapped at me at being too naive and I cursed myself for being so weak. Back in my military high school, I was the most badgered and ridiculed person on the campus. One day, even my head mistress told my mother to try to develop confidence in me because according to her, the society enslaves people like me.

So I'm coming to the main point. I am the only son in my family. My father is a seafarer and he is rarely home. By nature, I'll say without any hesitation that I am naive but more accurately, a 'stupid person'. Plus my sisters are all much smarter than I am so call myself the runt of my litter.

To sum up, I have made a list of reasons why I lack confidence.

The first three reasons are from my uncle,

1. ''You were the only son in your family and your mother, for the most part, is a single parent. In your young age, she never let you go out much and just kept you inside the house (for fear of kidnapping) that's why you shudder while you talk to strangers.''

2. ''Whenever you used to play in childhood, you only played with my sisters and nobody else. You played with dolls, colors and other girly stuff. You don't know anything about rough housing or more masculine games.''

3. ''Every child has his/her own disposition. Some children, by nature are, aggressive, some are naughty, some are timid and so on. And you have an innocent and a timid disposition.''

4. As I told you before that my sisters are smarter and more assertive than me. And when I was a kid, I was actually controlled by my elder sister. Nowadays, I actually fear my younger sister! In short, one of the reasons I don't have any guts is that all my life, I have been controlled by women. If I lose confidence in front of my younger sister (a year younger), I sure as hell won't stand a chance against other guys.

5. When my headmistress discussed my issues with my mother, my elder sister used to bully me and torture me for being girly. Even my dad used to say to me that I was better off being a girl. And at those days it used to hurt me a lot. But my mother took to serious notice.

6. My maternal grandmother used to say that my mother also used to be very naive. Once on the phone, she had a very minute fight with her younger brother for being late on a work and after she hung up, she sat nervously for like 15/20 minutes with tears in her eyes. While even I don't get that nervous, especially my siblings. So I got that gene from my mother. My paternal grandfather, with whom I have a great friendship, said to me once, ''If you were born in my family, you would have been walking like a king. Your weaknesses are because of your mother.''

So due to these factors, I now have a very strained relationship with my family and I blame them for my weaknesses. Quite frankly, I'm consumed by my past and the hardships I have suffered. Am I right? Is my anger legitimate?

Thanks!

Answer
Hello Jem - It sounds like you did not get some important needs met (like self confidence and healthy pride, and assertion skill). As a result, you have suffered a lot. I suspect your grandparents, parents, and you siblings are all "Grow3n Wounded Children" (GWCs:

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/gwc.htm  http://sfhelp.org/gwc/means.htm  http://sfhelp.org/cycle.htm

I'd say your resentment and anger toward your caregivers is justified. The gtgood news is, you can gain now what your parents were unable to give you. See these:

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/recover.htm  

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/confidence.htm   http://sfhelp.org/gwc/selflove.htm

You can learn to assert your needs and boundaries effectively using these ideas:

http://sfhelp.org/relate/keys/rights.htm  and  http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills/assert.htm

Also see this:  http://sfhelp.org/relate/anger.htm

Overall. I encourage you to study (at least) the first four online lessons of this free self-improvement course:  http://sfhelp.org/site/course.htm

There's a ;ot to absorb, here, so take your time - Pete

Communication Skills

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.

Experience

I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.

Organizations

I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

Publications
I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions (Xlibris.com 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! - www.sfhelp.org

I have also published articles for Selfgrowth.com and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

Education/Credentials
BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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