Nonviolent NZ Communities

Bringing Authentic and Compassionate Communication to Individuals, Communities and Organisations 

Based on the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg and the Centre of Nonviolent Communication and

Daniel Goleman and Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations

All that did was to inflate my ego and prevent me from seeing how immature I really was

I am 26-years-old and I still feel the same as I did at 17, on an emotional scale.

My parents sheltered me a bit as a kid, not letting me get a job in high school, not letting me have a girlfriend until I graduated, making the final decision on anything that required my opinion, constantly telling me I had never proven myself to be responsible even though they never once gave me an opportunity to do so, not letting me watch PG-13 movies until I was actually 13, listening to my "parental advisory" CDs all the way until I turned 16 and could buy them myself (I had a Kid Rock CD taken away when I was 15), and actually answering my questions of "why?" with the answer "Because we're your parents and we say so" all the way up until I moved to college. While I can appreciate not arguing minutia with a child, this was their blanket response to literally any question. It also didn't help that they were the pickiest people on the planet, who had precise ways of doing everything, and my only explanation was because they were adults and earned the right.

I have always been really good at accomplishing tasks that are assigned to me. I took to school like a fish in water, and I excelled. Teachers loved me because I was always looking to help out and do things. However, my parents never let me make a single decision while growing up, so I never progressed beyond that. All of my validation came from accomplishing tasks that were assigned to me, with no emphasis at all put on me actually showing ingenuity and thinking for myself. My mom used to really harp on the "you're smart, so you can do whatever you want in this world" line, but then she never equipped me with the tools to self-actualize. Instead, all that did was inflate my ego and prevent me from seeing how immature I really was until after I graduated from college and had to start making my own way in life. She was used to growing up with 10 brothers and sisters, where she had to motivate herself because nobody was coming along to do things for her. Why do parents always seem to overcompensate with their own kids?

I still feel like I could do anything in the world, but I need someone to tell me what that is. It's so frustrating to know that I have the basic intelligence and drive to do things, but I seem to be lacking a critical middle component that gets me from accomplishing set tasks to creating my own schedule and accomplishing the goals that I want to go after.

I feel that I never made the transition from "empty sponge ready to absorb knowledge" to "confident enough in my knowledge to form my own opinions." I still see almost every argument equally well from both sides, rarely have an iron-clad opinion on anything, and generally can't understand a majority of the adult world that seems to rely so much on these pre-formed and vehemently-believed opinions. This in-and-of itself isn't a problem, but everybody else seems to get it and it makes me feel like I'm the only person lacking a huge, basic component that everyone else has. I have zero confidence in myself because I see myself as so much different than other people at such a basic level.