Viewer questions this week focus on attracting the wrong types and making the transition between who you are at work versus your authentic self with friends and loved ones.
Dear Mary Jo,
Why do I always fall for emotionally unavailable people?
If you find yourself continually attracting emotionally unavailable people there are usually two primary reasons: an unconscious fear of being rejected or a feeling as though you’ll lose yourself in the relationship. This is one reason I encourage people to make sure they are healthy emotionally prior to dating. You attract someone who shares a common level of health. If you’re afraid of being rejected you’ll attract that to you, or if you’re afraid of losing yourself you’ll meet someone who makes decisions for you based on how they feel. This is because you’ve made them responsible for your feelings, and in a sense you’ve lost yourself. Control issues as well as fear of commitment are both due to fear of rejection and fear of losing yourself. You cannot be half a person in a relationship. Be responsible for your decisions, your feelings and your issues even if they were mentored for you by your parents. You aren’t your parents and you don’t have to continue their unhealthy relationship behaviors. Work on your self-awareness and issues prior to dating so you can make healthy dating choices.
Dear Mary Jo,
I work really hard and I’m really busy at work. How do I let my guard down when I’m out so people know who I really am instead of judging me for who they think I am?
Being authentic is one of the most important things when dating or making friends. At work you have to be professional and competitive, but these two qualities do not work when you’re on a date or with friends. Learning to give yourself permission to be real is the first step.
Secondly, be selective in who you trust. Use your intuition and gut feeling about people. Remember, everyone is human just like you and that means everyone makes mistakes, and is insecure to some degree. Share stories that your date or others can relate to. The majority of people feel more comfortable when they know you’re comfortable with your mistakes or mishaps. No one wants to date a perfect person, and since they don’t exist no one has to worry. Making time for relationships adds value and meaning to your life. Schedule in down time every day, and make your personal relationships as important as your work. Since everyone judges everyone, practice the mantra that “what others say behind your back is none of your business.” You’ll be happier and more real if you stop critiquing your behaviors based on what others say.