An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful

A link to this article, from a site and Twitter account called “Truth Over Tribe,” came through my Twitter feed today.

I don’t think I am following these guys; this was a suggestion by Twitter that appeared in my timeline. The “Truth Over Tribe” site says on their site that they are “too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.”

Okay… I’m somewhat in the same place. I’m a conservative who occasionally disagrees with other conservatives, but I sure don’t agree with many positions of progressives.

After having skimmed over some articles on this site – the site owner and author seems to be a Patrick Miller – he seems to lean left of center.

I can tell he’s left of center from some of the commentary and language he’s used – for one, in the article below, he puts his Intersectional Feminism (a left wing concept) on full display by talking about how “self care” was really started by black people, white women love it, and these days, only white woman can (financially) afford it. (Though I didn’t quote those portions of his article below, but they are over on his site.)

(Does Miller realize that left wing darling BLM (Black Lives Matter) is misleading people financially or that they spend more on transgenderism than on race related issues?)

At any rate, let’s get on to the article on this site that alarmed me, and I will provide a few excerpts, and then I will comment on them to explain why I feel this piece goes horribly wrong:

(Link):  Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness

Excerpts:

by Patrick Miller

“To be happy, you need to leave toxic people behind.” The preaching Peloton instructor continued, “I’m talking about people who take more than they give. People who don’t care about your dreams. People whose selfishness impedes your ability to do what you want to do.”

 Oh crap. She just described my two-year-old. I guess it’s time to cut him off.

This is the gospel of self-care. The notion that the most important person in my life is me, and anyone who impedes my happiness is an existential threat to my emotional and physical well-being. …

… What’s the Religion of Self Care?

Continue reading “An Assessment of the Article “Why the Religion of Self-Care is Really Sanctified Selfishness” – Christian Author is Indirectly Promoting Codependency, Which is Harmful”

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World 

I did a blog post about this about three weeks ago:
((Link): When You’re in Imbalanced, Unfair Relationships – You’re the Free Therapist, The Supportive, Sounding Board Who Listens to Other People’s Non-Stop Complaining, But They Don’t Listen to You – re: The Toilet Function of Friendship).

I had more I wanted to say about this.

This guy’s blog post – Joseph Burgo’s post – about “The Toilet Function of Friendship” that I blogged about previously really hit home with me…

 especially since I am a recovered codependent who, over 35+ years during the time I was codependent (and used to have clinical depression and had low self esteem), kept attracting abusive, mean, nasty, self absorbed, pessimistic, depressed, emotionally needy and psychologically wounded or personality disordered people to me,

…and the comments left by people at the bottom of his post were also very eye opening or informative.

I wanted to discuss a few comments visitors left to his post, above all, a post by someone calling herself “Rachel,” and a comment by “Fletcher.”

I’ll probably save Fletcher’s and Rachel’s comments for last.

I notice a lot of the people who left comments below the post on Burgo’s blog say that they have been on the receiving end of this situation, where they attract negative or hurting friends who cope with life’s stress by “dumping” and venting about their problems to a sympathetic listener.

I too was in that position for many years, and it left me resentful, exhausted, and with nothing to show for it.

I’ve always been a very good, attentive listener.

I’m not the sort of person who attempts to pivot every conversation back on to herself, so… meaning…

If you’re my acquaintance or friend, and you stop by my cubicle during the work day or call me at home to confide in me about some problem you are having, I used to just sit there and let you talk for how ever many hours you wanted to rant and confide.

Even if I was wanting to get off the phone after 20 to 40 minutes, I was reluctant to end the phone call, so I’d sit there while the emotionally needy friend or family member droned on and on and on (or ranted and ranted in anger) about whatever problems they were having.

(I used to never, or very rarely, put time limits on people when they would complain to me, which left me utterly exhausted.

In my codependent years, I felt guilty if I tried to end people’s “complain and gripe” fests prematurely (because I was getting physically tired listening, or they were interrupting my work or whatever the reason), and I was afraid they’d break off friendship with me if I refused to allow them to use me as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

Only in the last few years, as I reflect upon my past, do I realize HOW UNFAIR this was to me.)

My habit was to just sit and listen thoughtfully, to nod my head in sympathy as you would rattle off your life’s stress to me, whether it was about your lazy, selfish boyfriend, or your ex-husband who wouldn’t pay child support, or your jerk boss making your work life awful – whatever it was.

And when I would finally speak up, after listening to you vent, I would only make empathetic, non-judgmental comments.

Back in my codependent, people pleasing days, I would tell you I was sorry you were under so much stress, and I hoped your situation would improve. I would validate your feelings, validate your situation, so you would feel heard and understood.

I rarely, oh so rarely, would give people who talked to me to complain to me, advice, judgement, criticism, or platitudes.

All of those relationship habits and qualities of mine that I had for many years made me very, very attractive to needy, angry, depressed, narcissistic, pessimistic, or unhappy people.

I now know better.

I think it does take a lot of life experience to get here, to be able to look at my past, to see where my Mom and church were in error to teach me as they did, (with their teachings being largely responsible for turning me into an attractive target for hurting, angry, or emotionally needy people), to see clearly the patterns of behavior.

Most of the people who used me to get their emotional needs met (but who seldom met mine in return) had very deep psychological problems or maladaptive coping skills.

Some had clinical depression (which I also had myself for over 30+ years), some may have been Covert Narcissists, some choose to cope with pain, disappointment, or anger in life by complaining to someone else – and I was often that “someone else.”

Some of these people have deeply entrenched psychological issues, and there is no amount of me listening to them and consoling them that is going to heal them. That concept took me much later in life to figure out, and that point was confirmed in various articles or books I read by psychologists and psychiatrists in the last few years.

These types of people really need to see a psychologist or licensed therapist over a period of weeks or months to work on their inner problems and relational styles that lead them to cope with their frustration or anger in life by constantly “dumping” them verbally on to a trusted friend for months or years.

If you are a people pleaser, an empath, or a codependent (whatever label you use for yourself), you need to accept that you will not get your needs met by ignoring your own and running around meeting other people’s needs, if that is one of your secret motivations for why you help others or act as their “emotional toilet” or “free therapist.”

(Some codependents think it’s not acceptable for them to get their needs met; they got the message from their family or church while they were growing up that it’s supposedly “selfish” for one to get one’s own needs met.

And no, it is not selfish to get one’s own needs met, or to expect people who say they are your friends to sometimes meet your needs in return. It’s part of a normal, healthy childhood or adulthood to get one’s needs met.)

If you’re a people pleaser, a codependent, you will have to be more intentional about when, to whom, under what circumstances, and for how long you will show someone else care, compassion, concern, or give them financial assistance.

Because if you do not learn to get comfortable with putting limits on your time, compassion, finances, and energy, you will be exploited and taken advantage of by many people who never (or rarely) meet your needs in return. All these people over decades will drain you dry and leave you exhausted.

I do think there are some times in life where it’s appropriate to grant people more emotional support than usual and not expect much in return.

But such occasions should be exceptions, such as, if your friend is in the grieving process over the death of a loved one, in such occasions, it may be acceptable to allow them to complain to you for hours over two to four years as they process the loss.

But if you have a friend who more or less contacts you regularly to complain a lot about every issue (and I mean the non-exceptions – just to rant about how they hate their job, their boyfriend is inconsiderate – your more tedious, normal life situations that are not as stressful, as say, a death in the family) – or maybe the same two or three (trivial, mundane) issues repeatedly – you really need to put limits on that person.

Most people who do this venting are only using you to get their emotional needs met, and they will NOT return the same non-judgmental emotional support to you that you granted them for weeks or years.

SAMPLE COMMENTS

From the (Link): Burgo blog post, some comments left by some of his blog visitors:

Tracey

by Tracey
Dec 10, 2020

Wow! What a powerful article and one I, too needed to hear and to equally recognize both sides.

I have ‘friends’ who dump on me that I should un-friend, but I have been loathe to do so for myriad reasons.

Continue reading “More Thoughts About ‘The Toilet Function of Friendship’ – Avoid or Minimize Contact with the Rachels and Fletchers of the World “

Divorce Attorney Reveals SHOCKING Reasons That DESTROY Relationships And Cause Bad BREAKUPS – via ‘Women of Impact’

Divorce Attorney Reveals SHOCKING Reasons That DESTROY Relationships And Cause Bad BREAKUPS – via ‘Women of Impact’

I’m not even half way done with this video yet (linked to and embedded below in this post), but this lady in the video is giving some great insights and advice. (I’ve just finished listening to the entire video, and it is worth the entire watch.)

The lady in the video mentions she didn’t get married until around (or a bit after?) age 40.

The divorce attorney (who later became a judge, if I understand correctly) said up until that point, she did get a lot of questions from people asking her why she wasn’t married yet.

(I also had to put up with that, or with other nasty assumptions, from others, when I was still single into my 30s. I was raised in a conservative Christian church, and a lot of Christians wrongly assume if you’re a woman who has not married by the age of 30 or 35, it’s because you are a man-hating feminist or that that you were too “career focused.” It’s a very victim-blaming, sexist world view.)

Some of the points this lady, Faith Jenkins, addressed in the video includes but is not limited to (these are also points I’ve learned along the way with life experience, and just mulling things over):

  • You have to know who you are and figure out who you are before you get married.
  • It’s far more healthy to learn to be single before you get married.
  • Don’t wait to get married to start living and enjoying your life – she says, “being single is not a rest stop. [At the time I was single I concluded that] it’s time for me to really live.”
  • Don’t look to someone outside of yourself to make you happy.

(Note from me, the blog owner: this is a big one.
If you go through life making your sense of self worth, happiness, or opinion about yourself contingent upon external circumstances or on how others treat you, you will never, ever achieve stable, consistent, or lasting healthy self esteem or happiness
– and along the way, if you keep making your self worth contingent on how others treat you or their opinions of you, you will tend to attract selfish people, abusers, and very emotionally needy people who will want all your time and attention, leaving you drained
– I’ve learned the hard way that many of the people who will want to use you as a sounding board, a “rock” they lean on, will not return that courtesy to you – they won’t allow you to talk to them about your problems)

  • She says you should know who you are before you marry – I think this is also a good idea prior to dating.

If you know who you are prior to dating or marriage (you know your identity and your likes, your dislikes, and your values), you won’t change to please someone else (a lot of abusive or controlling people will either badger you, pressure you, threaten, or demand that you make changes to yourself or your life to please them), and it makes it easier to weed out incompatible or potentially abusive partners.

  • She discourages you from trying to clean up, fix, rescue another person, what she refers to as “rebuilding” another person.

I agree with her on that – you ultimately cannot change another person, and you will only exhaust yourself trying. I think a lot of women who do this are people pleasers or codependents, and it’s a huge waste of time.

Continue reading “Divorce Attorney Reveals SHOCKING Reasons That DESTROY Relationships And Cause Bad BREAKUPS – via ‘Women of Impact’”

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

(Link): Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor

Excerpts:

The most satisfying lives are those which involve challenge, fear and struggle, says psychologist Paul Bloom

Jan 23, 2022
by Paul Bloom

The simplest theory of human nature is hedonism– – we pursue pleasure and comfort. Suffering and pain are, by their very nature, to be avoided. The spirit of this view is nicely captured in The Epic of Gilgamesh:
“Let your belly be full, enjoy yourself always by day and by night! Make merry each day, dance and play day and night… For such is the destiny of men.”

And also by the Canadian rock band Trooper: “We’re here for a good time / Not a long time / So have a good time / The sun can’t shine every day.”

…But I think hedonism is an awful theory. My latest book, The Sweet Spot: Suffering, Pleasure, and the Key to a Good Life, makes the case for a different theory of what people want.

I argue that we don’t only seek pleasure, we also want to live meaningful lives– – and this involves willingly experiencing pain, anxiety, and struggle. We see value in chosen suffering.

Continue reading “Hedonism is Overrated – to Make the Best of Life There Must Be Pain, Says This Yale Professor”

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change

Disclaimer: All names have been changed in the post below to keep people’s identities anonymous.


One of the things I’ve noticed in the last few years is that when I’ve accepted a situation, whether something current or something from years ago that once bothered me a lot, is that it speeds up the recovery process.

I used to hold on tightly to people or dreams or hopes. In the last few years, I’ve gotten better at Letting Go.

(I’ve not arrived at perfection at this, but I have improved a lot in the last couple of years.)

Instead of constantly regretting, feeling sad or angry about a past incident, or that my life is not where I want it to be now, I’ve learned to accept my past and present, and that has definitely been good for my mental health – and I’m more able to enjoy each day as it is, instead of sitting around angry or upset that things aren’t how I had hoped or planned.

I don’t get as upset by set backs as I once did.

Continue reading “Acceptance (vs. Denial, Anger, or Should-ing) – Helps in Healing and Getting Through Painful Events and Dealing With Things You Cannot Change”

Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes 

Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes 


Follow-Up Posts:

(Link): Addendum – Mental Health and Treatment and the Goals of Mental Health Professionals

(Link): An Alarming Trend in Psychotherapy by Christine Sefein – (Woke Therapists Want You To Stay In a Victim Mindset and Miserable)


I don’t frequently feature mental health related topics on this blog, but a friend of mine recently became very angry and “blew her top” at me and basically said she wants nothing more to do with me, and this topic pertains to the reason why.

(I will be doing another blog post or two later about this friend biting my head off this past couple of weeks.
And I will repeat this in the future, but:
The irony is that this now ex friend is someone who spent about a year and a half or two years asking me on Twitter if I could befriend her on other sites and share more about myself with her.
I was hesitant to do that but eventually took a chance. She and I have never met in person – but she initially wanted to befriend me further, not vice versa!)

Despite the fact I informed this (now ex) friend a few times over the last two or three year period that I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was around age 11 by a psychiatrist,
and that this diagnosis was verified as I got older (into my 30s) by about three other psychiatrists (in a total of three different states),
this ex friend, who I shall call “Emma” (not her real name) continued to insist that there is no way I ever could have had clinical depression.

I can’t begin to describe how insensitive and obnoxious I found that.

Side note:

I was appreciative of the times this ex-friend listened to me describe my anxiety-laced concerns with her, as she did many times, and I made sure to thank her for that several times in the last few years.

I even asked this ex friend, “Emma,” a time or two that if she found my anxiety produced ruminations on the same topics crazy-making that I could back off, but she said it was okay.

But as I told her, I was fighting my anxiety to make changes in my life. I’ve not seen her fight her depression to make changes in her life.

I also told her I realize it’s not good to stay angry at people, which is why I’ve been trying to move past anger at family members of mine. I don’t think she’s willing to let go of some of her issues to move forward, though.

At any rate…

I finally politely yet directly told Emma this past week, when she once more insisted there’s no way I ever had depression, that it was not okay for her to keep denying my medical diagnosis like that.

And she has never apologized for it, and she told me this about three times over a 3 or 4 year period!

But she kept acting angry and incredulous that rather than offer her non-judgmental emotional support recently (which I had done for a few years now), that I dared to change strategy and offer her a few suggestions.

Continue reading “Clinical Depression Doesn’t Make People Incapable of Making Choices or Changes “

Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD

Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD

(Link): Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD

Excerpts:

If find yourself single, are you ok with that or distressed by it? Do you feel judged by others — or perhaps judge yourself for your current status?

Growing up in our society, it’s hard to avoid the message that being married is required for happiness. We may feel pressured to believe that if we’re not in a partnership, there’s something wrong with us — that it’s shameful to be single.

Continue reading “Do You Feel Shame About Being Single? By John Amodeo, PhD”

‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

Good gravy, Chinese culture sounds just as bad as American evangelical and American conservative Christian culture: shaming and pressuring single women into getting married, then blaming them if they’re still single by age 30, 35, or older.

People should not put so much pressure on singles to marry, and shame them for being single, that it creates anxiety in them (see below) or (Link): causes some of them to commit suicide or to (Link): mutilate their bodies or to (Link): kill other people because they are single and a virgin (see also, see also)

Here’s the article about Chinese people shaming singles for being single:

(Link): For single Chinese women, the Lunar New Year can heighten anxiety and the fear of facing their families

Excerpts:

‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s

(from) The Lily News
February 3, 2019

Adapted from a story by Liu Yang, Wang Yuan and The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield.

BEIJING — For many single Chinese women, questions regarding their unwed status and the pressures they face to get married are so intense that they are searching for ways to avoid their family’s badgering.

Some are asking their bosses for extra work on the Lunar New Year — China’s biggest holiday — which falls on Feb. 5 this year. Others are inventing boyfriends. Still, the pressure mounts. Hospitals are reporting a spike in young people seeking treatment for anxiety.

Continue reading “‘Leftover’ Is A Term Used In Many Parts of Asia For Women Who Haven’t Married By Their Mid-20s”

Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety

Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety

The episode in question:
(Link): The 700 Club – January 8, 2019

(There is a video of the program embedded on that page hosted on CBN’s / 700 Club’s site. Also, thanks to commentator Stevo below, check (Link): this page on 700 Club’s site for the video)

The portions of that video I am addressing come during the part of the show where the lady co-host reads viewer questions to Pat Robertson, and Robertson replies to them.

I do not remember at what point the question segment airs, whether it’s at the 30 minute mark or later. Unfortunately, they’ve not uploaded the same episode to their You Tube channel (not yet, perhaps they will tomorrow).

I have to rely on memory here because I’ve not re-watched the episode.

Questions were posed to Robertson about unanswered prayer and about anxiety.

And I don’t believe that Robertson did an adequate job of replying to any of the questions.

Continue reading “Pat Robertson’s Too-Vague Response About Unanswered Prayer and Non-Helpful Advice About Anxiety”

What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love by K. Bishop

(Link):  What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love

Excerpts:

by K Bishop

A new match notification or getting asked out by that hot-but-definitely-a-fuckboy guy you’ve exchanged a stream of witty messages with is not a reward

…Dating in the Tinder-age is particularly triggering for anyone struggling with their mental health. When the next better thing is a mere right swipe away rejection is expected, to be blocked out by seeking more matches, more dates, more distractions from the niggling sense of being not quite good enough.

Speaking to my dating-app-active friends confirms that this issue isn’t just for the perpetually anxious.

Continue reading “What Dating With Anxiety Taught Me About Love by K. Bishop”

Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

This doesn’t sound like something women would like – the article says this drug or hormone or whatever it is –  causes males to be even more persistent towards females, and that it does so in part by lowering their anxiety or inhibitions.

Oh no. The world is already filled with over-confident, dweeby, too-persistent men who don’t take hints from women we are NOT interested in them romantically or sexually and want them to stop hitting on us or trying to flirt with us out in public, at school, or at jobs.

(Link): Dating And Sex: Men Who find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment

Researchers have identified a hormone that can embolden men sexually and make them less anxious about pursuing women.

Continue reading “Dating And Sex: Men Who Find Talking to Women Difficult May Soon Have a Hormone Treatment”

Conservative Christians Anxious Over Declining Clout (news article)

Conservative Christians Anxious Over Declining Clout

I first saw this article Tweeted out by Janet Mefferd, who happens to be a conservative Christian. I happen to like her and respect her, although I don’t always see eye to eye with her on every single topic.

She Tweeted a link to this article (hosted on a Fox news site) and didn’t care for it, because she feels that the author is trying to make conservative Christians look like nuts, loons, or alarmists.

I differ with her a little bit here. I think the main point of the article is right on the money.

I was a conservative Christian since youth, I’m in my 40s now. I’m only very barely holding on to the Christian faith anymore (I am strongly questioning it lately), and I am now more moderate than a hard-right winger as I used to be (not that I was ever a total wing nut, though).

Anyway, my point is, I grew up in this culture.

And yes, conservative Christians do in fact become scared, unsettled, or angry when they see culture shifting away from Judeo-Christian values and beliefs to a more secular stance. The article is quite correct in that.

I have seen conservative Christians on various news shows, Christian shows, and social media screaming, worrying, complaining, or crying about how the nation is going after Christians now, how they are upset that the nation is turning its back on God, how church membership is declining, yada yada yada.

Continue reading “Conservative Christians Anxious Over Declining Clout (news article)”