Subtle Addictions

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Many people are aware of the fact that addictions are used to avoid pain, and most of us are aware of the common addictions: food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, TV, spending, work, sex, rage and so on. Most people, however, are not aware of the more subtle addictions, the addictions that are often so covert and pervasive that they are as invisible to us as the air we breathe. Yet these addictions may be impacting us negatively as much as the more overt addictions.

Take Sam, for example. Sam is the kind of person who ends up doing everything, both at home and at work. Sam works much harder in his retail business than either of his two partners, and often feels overwhelmed by the amount of work he has to do. On weekends, he ends up doing a lot of work around the house, even though he has two strong teenagers who could be helping out. Even when others offer to help, Sam turns them down. Sam is devoted to being a “nice guy” and caretaking others – doing for others what they need to be doing for themselves. On a deeper level, he is always trying to control how others’ perceive him. He wants them to see him as a caring person and often feel victimized when others do not give him the approval he seeks. Then, when others react to his attempts to control how they feel about him with irritation or withdrawal, Sam is angry that they are not approving of him. When he is really upset, he will get drunk. He will often obsessively ruminate about how unjust his wife is or his partners are. If his wife wants to explore their problems, Sam goes into defending, explaining and resisting, stating that she is just trying to control him. When nothing else works, Sam will withdraw.

There are many addictions going on here. The more overt ones are work, anger and drinking. Sam is also addicted to approval, to controlling how others see him through caretaking, to being a victim and blaming others for his misery, to obsessive thinking (ruminating), to defending, explaining, resisting, and withdrawing. All of these addictions serve the same purpose as the more overt addictions. They are all attempts to have control over getting love/approval and avoiding pain.

You might want to honestly look inside and see what some of your covert addictions are. Are you addicted to blaming others for your unhappy feelings? Do you use anger or tears to attempt to make others responsible for you? Are you addicted to illness as a way to avoid personal responsibility for yourself? Do you constantly give yourself up in an attempt to control how others feel about you? Are you more focused on trying to control others feelings about you than you are in taking loving care of yourself? How much of your thinking time is spent in daydreaming about what you want to say to others or how you wish life was instead of actually taking loving action for yourself? Do you get obsessive in your thinking about what you will say or do in a particular situation? How often do you explain and defend yourself rather than open to learning? How often do you get angry or withdraw to avoid dealing with yourself? How much time do you spend analyzing and figuring out yourself and others as a way to have control?

Any behavior other than taking loving, responsible care of yourself and being open to learning with yourself and others is addictive. All addictive behaviors are attempts to control rather than learn. Our intent to control or to learn actually governs all our behavior, and is the basis of the powerful Inner Bonding process that gradually heals addictive behavior (see our free course at http://www.innerbonding.com).

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?”, “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?”, “healing Your Aloneness”, “Inner Bonding”, and “Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?” Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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