One of the biggest contributors to our health is happy relationships. And, unfortunately, one of the biggest contributors to our unhappiness is poor relationships.

And one of the biggest contributors to unhappy relationships is what David Keirsey calls The Pygmalion Project (he has a great book on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator called “Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types“. (Pygmalion was a legendary sculptor who fell in love with the statue he created. By “The Pygmalion Project” Keirsey means trying to sculpt someone into the person we want them to be. There is a series of books on the subject by Stephen Montgomery.)

Trying to turn people into what we want them to be leads to chronic conflict and can have consequences as serious as ending marriages. It isn’t healthy.

So why would we want someone to be other than they are. Usually because we are dissatisfied with who we are or because we want someone else to make our lives better for us.

Our dissatisfaction will usually be because of messages we have been given either directly or indirectly (some children were told directly that they were bad, stupid, ugly etc, others got this message indirectly by being ignored, compared unfavourably with others and so forth).

So, we need to know why we feel dissatisfied with ourselves and what we (instead of others) can do about it. This may mean standing up to those others we are still carrying around in our head, learning a new skill, meeting new people . . . The possibilities are endless.

Finding what the dissatisfaction is and where it came from is the first step. Just knowing this is the first step to freedom. Just knowing this may even lead to us feeling slightly freer. Then it’s a matter of doing small things that feel good. (Punishing ourselves and feeling bad, is not a good way to change. Even if successful we learn that changing is painful and difficult and means we are less likely to want to do it again.)

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