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This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman

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Create a Narrative for Your Life and Move Out of Victimhood

 

Photo by Naletu on Unsplash

I am always looking for ways to create resilience, especially for highly sensitive people. I want us to thrive in the world both as individuals and in relationships. I’ve seen significant research that shows how we interpret our lives makes us less or more resilient. If we take advantage of what happened to us rather than bemoan it, we lead healthier, more secure and content lives.

Have you known or read about a family that suffered from a traumatic experience but produced one child who suffered as the forever victim and one child who thrived? I’m really curious about the child who thrived. Did you know that twelve of our U.S. presidents lost their fathers while very young?

“There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”
Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage

For some it seems, the obstacle is truly the way.

Perception changes everything

I’ve heard it said we only have control over our perceptions, decisions and actions. Perceptions are the foundation to all three. By creating a narrative that makes sense of everything that has happened to us and how it has strengthened us, we boost or change our perspective.

Personal coaches help clients change their perspective so they can move forward in their lives.

Sensitive and suffering

I often ask clients how a past misfortune changed them in a positive way. Perhaps their negligent parent caused them to be self-reliant and independent (sound familiar avoidant attachment types?). Perhaps their overly dependent parent taught them how to read people well and anticipate other’s needs.

Inborn sensitivity to threats matched with negligent parents makes it tough to establish security but there is hope for resilience.

Building a narrative helps.

Photo via Unsplash Sydney Rae

We can view our sensitivity as a gift that gives us superior insight into other’s feelings, allowing for close connections through empathy. We can use our parent’s unavailability as a spur to develop personal grit and an independent nature.

Parenting guilt not necessary?

For a long time, I’ve carried a sense of guilt about needing time to myself to write and recover energy. This guilt rears its head the most in the parenting realm. When my marriage was ending and my writing began, I withdrew mentally and physically from the family sometimes to gather myself and create. I also was raised with a fair amount of autonomy, so naturally my parenting style resembles my parents.

A few comments my oldest son made recently, make me think perhaps I did not scar him as much as I think I did. He said he is glad I did not ‘baby’ him too much. He thinks it is OK to say no to your children once in a while. He said he is more independent than kids whose parents did everything for them.

He may not have felt my absence as deeply as I believe or he has built a positive narrative of his own.

You don’t have to write a book…

hope neon sign

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

You don’t have to write a book to get the full benefits of establishing a narrative (just think it through or jot down thoughts in a notebook), but writing my book gave me a sense of peace and understanding I hope passes on to the reader so they may build clarity and security with their own life stories.

Writing The Quiet Rise of Introverts: 8 Practices for Living and Loving in a Noisy World, helped me make sense of my experiences as sensitive person in a rowdy world. It definitely made me more resilient.

What stories do you tell yourself? Do you have grit or grief? How could you change your perception? 

If you would like help reframing your perception of your life story, please contact me for personal coaching. I’d love to work with you to create more security and resilience.

 

Here’s a video I created describing what The Quiet Rise of Introverts is about, what readers are saying and how it differs from other introvert books. 

 

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One Comment

  1. Indepthwoman March 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Brenda,

    I believe that being born the last child I was spared. It’s not a good thing my father was abusive on all forms but what that has taught me is to have strong discernment. I’m able to avoid men (narcissistic men) and most problems that I see other people get caught up in. I have a strong radar when it comes to weeding out these individuals because I learned from the best and thats not a compliment, lol.

    Not only that I don’t use my past growing up without my mom (since 14) as an excuse not to live my life. I know everything I have been through that my pain or adversity is attached to other souls and that I can help them. It’s not about me. I feel being an empath, introvert and HSP that I am able to connect with others and sense their emotions. Not all the time people know how to articulate their thoughts or feel safe to do so. When someone can’t say what they want to say or they don’t have to over explain everything, It can make them feel safe to open up.

    I’m the child who thrived… while everyone else made the same choices. Someone had to break the chain and make better choices. Some of my family are still stuck in 1995 or prior to that and they can’t move forward. It’s a shame when you have someone in their 60s(my dad 67) still playing the victim of the hurt 5 year-old-boy and his mother has been gone for 24 years and he has yet to forgive her. So it affects every area of his life and he uses this as an excuse to treat women bad and to not be held accountable for making anything of his life, because he claim he wasn’t taught.

    I believe in life, they’re are no right or wrong answers, only perceptions and choices. When you throw the label of “right or wrong” on it, then it becomes judgement and all these attachments. Then emotions set in and people start thinking they are unlovable and that they are going to go to hell because of their choices in life, based off others peoples perceptions and their own perceptions. A person can only feel bad about something if they make themselves feel bad or if someone else makes them feel bad by the words they choose.

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