Are you busy all the time?
When your friends ask you if you will be able to go to a party in three months time, do you tell them you’re busy? Do you find constantly crap to do when some of it is completely superfluous? If you were given a billion hours in one day would you still struggle to take a single hour’s break?
If that sounds like you then there is something that you need to know. You could very well be suffering from a problem called “Insecure attachment”.
If you make yourself busy all the time, you might have insecure attachment
When we’re kids we have a great need to feel loved, supported, and accepted by our friends, family, and society. This is a vital part of “secure attachment”.
VeryWell.com tells us, “Children who are securely attached generally become visibly upset when their caregivers leave, and are happy when their parents return. When frightened, these children will seek comfort from the parent or caregiver. Contact initiated by a parent is readily accepted by securely attached children and they greet the return of a parent with positive behavior. While these children can be comforted to some extent by other people in the absence of a parent or caregiver, they clearly prefer parents to strangers.” (read more about this on VeryWell.com)
Secure attachment allows our brains to fully develop and to become internally attuned and resilient. With proper love and support we grow to have healthy levels of self-worth.
But, when we don’t have secure attachment, something different happens.
If we don’t genuinely feel accepted and supported we begin to act in ways that we hope will give us approval.
A child that doesn’t feel accepted will continually attempt to earn their parent’s acceptance by getting good grades at school, behaving well, and doing everything that their parents would want them to do. In fact, parents of this type of kid may find that they always behave perfectly but are never happy.
The problem is that in trying to be what their parents want them to be, kids prevent themselves from becoming who they truly are.
Insecure attachments as a kid affect you later in life
If you suffered from insecure relationships as a kid then you may find yourself torn between two poles. Half the time you’re doing things to get the affection of a certain person (usually a parent). The other half the time you’re going against that parent to do things that are right for you.
The more we try to be what other people want us to be the less we are ourselves, and that leads to lack of self acceptance and lack of self love. We become resentful of ourselves and we come to dislike and perhaps even hate ourselves.
At that point we are stuck trying to appease other people and trying to appease ourselves. We want the acceptance of others and the acceptance of ourselves, but those two things are at odds. Our parents want us to be successful business people but we just want to be happy social butterflies. When we’re at work we’re appeasing our parents and earning their acceptance but we’re losing our own acceptance. When we’re being social butterflies we’re gaining our own acceptance but losing our parents’ acceptance. It’s an impossible juggling act that leaves us utterly exhausted.
This cycle of acceptance / denial / acceptance / denial drums us up into such a frenzy that we find it impossible to just stop. To just be. To just live in the moment. It’s this act of constantly craving acceptance that makes us all so busy.
So how do you stop being busy all the time?
Thankfully, there are some great techniques you can use to stop this perpetual back-and-forth cycle so you can stop being so busy.
- Get a hobby. Science shows that having hobbies help us manage our time better.
- Read the fantastic book Attached. This book is written by Amir Levine, a specialist in the psychology of attachment psychology. In the book he explains the problem of insecure attachment and give you pointers yo help overcome the problem.
- Practice insight meditation. Essentially, the problem stems from something that is occurring in your own mind. You’re town between doing things to please the other person and doing things to please yourself. And because of this constant back and forth you can’t stop for two seconds and you are always busy. The best solution to this is to become aware of what is happening in your own mind. When you are aware of your mind you can start to take control of it. And even though this sounds quite deep, you definitely can do it. I’ve written a free guide to Buddhist insight meditation to help you to get started.
- Practice mindfulness: A lot of the time you are busy but you are not necessarily making the most of your time. You could get things done more efficiently if you were more relaxed and more focused. Mindfulness can help. Mindfulness is simply focusing your mind on the present moment, on what you are actually doing. Take a look at my guide to mindfulness meditation, and try to incorporate these mindful habits into your day.
- Develop self love: Insecure attachment can lead to problems with the way you feel about yourself. You might come to think that you constantly need to work to please the other person. And that will lead you to be busy all the time. to change it, try practicing loving kindness meditation.
These techniques will help you to build a better relationship with yourself and with others.
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