I'm a Good Husband
I won’t be going to therapy next week as I’m bringing Ja and Mo up to Michigan for them to spend a week or so with friends now that school is out. I had some things I really wanted to talk with my therapist, Kara, about so we set up an additional session this past Thursday. We didn’t talk about them.
Instead, we meandered our way to the homework that has been hanging over my head for about a month. “What kind of person I want to be.” Notice that isn’t phrased as “What I don’t want to be.” Speaking in negatives is my natural default. I don’t want to lack confidence. I don’t want to be a bad friend. Things like that.
Time to take a detour and bring up a new term I heard the other day on the Ologies podcast. It’s a sciencey show that I recently started listening to. Pretty interesting. The term that came up while I was walking home from bagels was Echoism. I’m not sure I fully understand it, and it doesn’t seem to be a diagnosis in the DSM 5 but it’s got some folks talking about it. To sum it up simply it refers to people who are afraid to be viewed as narcissistic.
***side note, I just realized when I create a post through Squarespace spellcheck is not an option***
I dead stopped walking when I heard them talk about this. It rang so true for me. I hate the idea of being an egotist. I cringe at the thought of someone thinking I am full of myself. I never promote myself, ever.
So back to therapy.
I realized I have a strong aversion to saying I’m good, even competent really, at anything. What’s more, I struggle with implying that I will ever be good, or competent, at anything. Just the idea that sometime in the future I might be reasonably capable to be confident seems like gloating to me. Kara knows this and sees this. So she challenged me. She told me she wanted me to look at her and say the words, “I am a good husband.” Not once or twice either, until she said I could stop.
Holy crap was that hard. For starters, it felt dishonest to say it. There is so much more I could be doing to support Nora. How can I be good at being her husband if there is so much I “could” be doing additionally? Then there was the fact that I was repeating myself for the sake of repeating myself. All in I think I said it about 6 times, it felt like 20.
I felt silly and dishonest the whole time.
So my new homework is to practice positive affirmations. Me?! Positive affirmations? I did a show on how much I hate such things. She was clear that I did not have to believe the things I was saying, but just practice them. I’m two days departed from the session and I’ve yet to practice. I will, I said I would. But, man, is this a tough one.
Anyone have some mild affirmations I could try?