Regulatory strategies

I don’t know if there is a point to this. Is it interesting to anyone else? Maybe.

I was thinking about some bits of things again–just one thing was interesting.

So there are these parents who grew up without getting adequate care, didn’t learn to smoothly integrate thoughts and impulses and emotions, can’t regulate themselves, and can’t regulate the system of themselves and their children together. They have this restricted array of social tools–or maybe they aren’t able to restrain emotions we normally learn to modulate.

Anyway, they have children they can’t keep in a happy, contented place. What they have as tools are shame, anger (fear), and contempt. These are their regulatory strategies. You grow up and those become your regulatory strategies.

I think sometimes the shame shower is a regulatory strategy. I am not supposed to do this, so I will control the impulse to do it with intense shame. Or by telling myself all the bad things that could happen if I do it (catastrophizing). Or by ripping myself a new one (anger).

The thing you are basically not supposed to do is seek serve-and-return interactions, which you are biologically programmed to seek. But in a family like mine, the people around me were dangerous to be close to. It wasn’t safe to seek interaction from them. It was important to restrain that urge. Those are the tools I had.


3 thoughts on “Regulatory strategies

  1. La Quemada June 16, 2017 / 10:17 am

    Yes, exactly. And it is very, very hard to let go of the old strategies and accept new ones.

    • Ashana M June 16, 2017 / 10:44 am

      A main strategy is relationships. If you don’t feel safe, because you don’t have reliable, safe relationships, you end up with a lot of work arounds that drive people away. I think the hardest part is creating those safe relationships.

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