Schema Therapy part III

In my last reflection on my journey through Schema Therapy, I’ve found out that Social Isolation and Unrelenting Standards are my main two influencing schema’s. When people have these schema’s they can potentially develop the following poor coping mechanisms:

Social Isolation/

Becomes part of a group but
stays on the periphery; does
not fully join in.
Avoids socializing; spends
most of his or her time alone.
Puts on a false “persona” to join
a group, but still feels different
and alienated.
Unrelenting Standards/

Attempts to perform
perfectly; sets high
standards for self and
Avoids taking on work tasks;
Throws out high standards
altogether and settles for
below-average performance
Table is adapted from Young et al (2003). Schema Therapy: A Practitioners Guide.

Social Isolation Schema

I have this schema, but I don’t have any of the poor coping mechanisms. So I think this schema is not the one causing me the most stress or suffering in life. I view myself as an odd ball, but I’m comfortable with that part of myself and feel like I can bring that authentic part of my to my daily part of interactions in both my work and personal life.

Unrelenting Standards Schema

This is my main schema that causes me the most problems. I have a tendency to procrastinate on work tasks, even to my own detriment. Avoidance is usually my poor coping mechanism of choice here. I also have a tendency to get distracted by the new shiny idea and never finish it.

Other Strong Sentiments

From doing the schema survey with my psychologist there’s a few more strong sentiments that I’d like to reflect on.

In the end, I will be alone

This is in a literal sense. I beleive when people die, we die alone. There’s no one there with us. I don’t beleive I’ll be alone in my old age and I don’t beleive that I don’t deserve love. I’ve already got the wheels in motion to have a pretty comfortable retirement.

Most people only think about themselves

This belief is founded in an understanding of human nature. I don’t beleive people are ill natured. Everyone thinks they are morally up right citizens. But a lot of self less acts can be analysed from an individual benefit too. Donating your time/money to other people also helps you feel good too. We are social creatures who also ger personal benefits when we coorporate with others.

I don’t fit in

I view myself as an odd ball. I’m ok with this.

If I disappeared tomorrow, no one would notice

There’s a bit of existential dread with this one. Sometimes when my depression is taking up more attention, I desire for the world to open up and I could disappear forever. It’s easy to think that no one cares. When I don’t have good social connections with people my mind goes down this path. Sometimes I wonder, “If I died tomorrow, who’d turn up at my funeral? What would they say?”.

I am inherently flawed and defective

This is a hard belief to see written out. I didn’t receive a lot of praise as a kid and I’ve always felt like there’s something wrong with me. My muppet (harsh internal self critic) likes to remind me of these feelings. I grew up as the fat kid too, so constantly being bullied feeds into this feeling.

My first part time testing job while in uni, I wasn’t praised until I left. I didn’t feel like I was doing any good until then. But I was also going through my first bout of chronic depression then too.

I’m a failure

No matter how succesful I am in life, my muppet likes to remind me of how much of a failure I feel sometimes.

I feel more like a child than an adult when it comes to handling everyday responsibilities

I think this is a common millenial experience. The idea of #Kidulting (pretending to be an adult when you feel like a kid) is fairly common in the media. At the end of the day we are all just faking our way through our journey of life and no one really knows what they are doing. I also love being a big kid at heart, I love jumping in puddles and approaching life with that child like wonder and curiosty.

What unhelpful beliefs do you hold?

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