There are two remaining domains and their associated schemas left to delve into. I’m just going to do one today and then the other tomorrow. So without further ado….
Domain IV – Other-Directedness: An excessive focus on the desires, feelings, and responses or others, at the expense of one’s own needs in order to gain love and approval, maintain one’s sense of connection, or avoid retaliation. Usually involves suppression and lack of awareness regarding one’s own anger and natural inclinations. Typical family origin is based on conditional acceptance: Children must suppress important aspects of themselves in order to gain love, attention, and approval. In many such families, the parents’ emotional needs and desires – or social acceptance and status – are valued more than the unique needs and feelings of each child.
12.) Subjugation – Excessive surrendering of control to others because one feels coerced – submitting in order to avoid anger, retaliation, or abandonment. The two major forms of subjugation are:
a. Subjugation of needs: Suppression of one’s preferences, decisions, and desires.
b. Subjugation of emotions: Suppression of emotions, especially anger.
This usually involves the perception that one’s own desires, opinions, and feelings are not valid or important to others. Frequently presents as excessive compliance, combined with hypersensitivity to feeling trapped. Generally leads to a buildup of anger, manifested in maladaptive symptoms (ex. Passive-aggressive behavior, uncontrolled outbursts of temper, psychosomatic symptoms, withdrawal of affection, “acting out”, substance abuse).
I felt both a Subjugation of needs and a Subjugation of emotions almost constantly when I was with Evil-Ex. This is not so much a by-product of my Borderline Personality Disorder so much as a natural response to the abuse that I was living with. So it wasn’t that I simply perceived it as being so, I was actually being told that it was so. That’s a fundamental difference. However that these feelings have stuck with me so long after is a result of the development of some of this schema type. Again, this occurred later in my life though so it’s not as pervasive as many others.
13.) Self-Sacrifice – Excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others in daily situations at the expense of one’s own gratification. The most common reasons are: to prevent causing pain to others; to avoid guilt from feeling selfish; or to maintain the connection with others perceived as needy. Often results from an acute sensitivity to the pain of others. Sometimes leads to a sense that one’s own needs are not being adequately met and to resentment of those who are taken care of. This overlaps with concepts of codependency.
I fall to this frequently. For me there is an acute sense of avoiding guilt from feeling selfish and to maintain a connection to others. If I don’t do things for other people, do things to take care of other people, they won’t need to have me around. So for me this co-mingles with Abandonment. After a while though that resentment does build up because I feel like I give so much but do not receive nearly the same in return.
14.) Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking – Here there is an excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people or on fitting in at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self. One’s sense of esteem is dependent primarily on the reactions of others rather than on one’s own natural inclinations. Sometimes includes an overemphasis on status, appearance, social acceptance, money, or achievement as means of gaining approval, admiration, or attention (not primarily for power or control). Frequently results in major life decisions that are inauthentic or unsatisfying or in hypersensitivity to rejection.
This is not so much my issue. Soon I’ll talk about the 3 ways that each of these schemas can present: Surrender, Avoidance, and Overcompensation. I overcompensate in this area and actively work to do things that people might disapprove of in order to push people away before they can get to close to me, judge me, and leave me.