The Model and “Parent/Child” Relationships


Hey Brooke! Saw Monday night’s replay and you said something that stuck with me. You were talking about how we’re conditioned (by school) to perform a certain way and get validation from adults. So basically, doing things to get outside validation. I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently – because of how I’ve seen all of my relationships play out. For example, I was (still am) the first-born “good son” who got good grades to please my teachers/parents, got my degree (in a subject that pleased my parents – that I didn’t care about), and launched myself successfully – while my younger brother is still accepting cash from Mom into his late 30’s. Yay, I win! 😉

Continuing to look for a “parent to please”, I married my strong-personality middle-school girlfriend during college (when she told me it was time. Very romantic) – and we were married for 10 years (with a daughter) before I realized I was gay, came out, and went through a painful divorce. Then I quickly got into a second relationships with a strong guy who now I’m replaying the parent/child relationship with. (Fortunately, it’s a great relationship – and we’ve now been together 12 years.) He does push me to make more decisions and speak up for myself, but I do find the dynamics one of “How can I please my partner?” most of the time. And he is very strong-willed and directive in how he communicates with me… “You need to do x, y, z”. (I’m 46 and he’s 42, so somehow I found a younger parent.)

It even bleeds into THIS work. When I have an ah-ha moment… or I’ve stopped drinking… I think, “I should go tell Brooke” – so you get a L-O-N-G statement in “Ask Brooke” that’s not really braggy… but more “Look what I made!” … like a kid showing his teacher the macaroni art he made in kindergarten.

Is this behavior something that works INSIDE the model? For example…

C – Event Happens
T – ?
F – ?
A – I go and look for validation from a parent-figure (Parent, Partner, Brooke, FB friends, ?)
R – I get validation (and validation feels good)

I can see maybe a follow-up model… for AFTER I GET validation… I can see the thought being “I’m valuable!” or “They Approve of Me!” … which would make me feel good … and the action might be doing MORE of the same type of activity… so it’d loop constantly…

But I wonder what the thought is that’s starting this in the first place? I’m unworthy if I don’t get validation? I’m worthless?

Is this just a habit? Training from school and parents? Stem from a fear of abandonment because I was adopted and want to people-please so I won’t be abandoned? I’m very independent (I tell myself) so the fact that I’m repeating the same parent/child … “must get validation” relationships is odd and I see it as holding me back.

Curious what your thoughts are. I see this as a common thread running through all my relationships, my business, everything… so it’d be nice to put myself solely in the driver’s seat instead of everyone else with me in the passenger seat. Thanks, Brooke!

(BTW, one idea is a new section of your back office called “Gush at Brooke” – where your clients can just send you excited messages about their results. That way, you wouldn’t have to respond directly – but you’d get the message that your work rocks. Oh… unless you don’t need constant validation. Yeesh… see… this thinking is pervasive!)