I would rather be self-employed and make $50,000 a year than to work for someone whose approval I need and make $250,000 a year. My father’s childhood programming comes back to bite me any time I experience even the mildest disapproval from an authority figure to whom I’m obligated. My snap reaction is always to want to lash out at the person whose disapproval of something stings, but when I can be dispassionate about it, I realize that the problem is in me. I simply can’t handle tiny instances of disapproval, because my old programming says I am a complete failure who deserves punishment if I don’t make an authority figure completely happy with me at all times. It’s exhausting and depressing. Be careful about how you teach your children, because your efforts to get perfect compliance might do long-term damage that you’ll never see.
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