Understanding Your Core Wounds & Avoiding Toxic Relationships - with Dr. Janie Lacy

Real Relationship Talk

May 11 2021 • 39 mins

Relationship trauma expert Dr. Janie Lacy is here to help us to understand our core wounds and avoid toxic relationships in today’s episode. Janie and I talked about the importance of knowing yourself (i.e. becoming self-aware) and how that knowledge can lead you into uncovering your childhood (or core) wounds. And yes, we all have them. Understanding where we’ve come from can then help us to build healthier relationships.

Lately, there’s been a lot of what I call psycho-babble flying around on social media. Words like narcissism, gaslighting, toxicity, and the like, have become overused and ill-defined. I wanted an actual therapist to help us to not only decode these words but more importantly learn to recognize if we see any of these patterns in our relationships.

Understanding Your Core Wounds

Even good families have some level of dysfunction. I like to say that we’ve all marinated in the "juices" of our families of orgin, and no matter how we try to detach from the craziness of our childhood, we all carry some level of crazy into adulthood. Think about the family you grew up in. How did you see your father treat your mother and vice versa? Did you even have a father in the home? If not, how did that affect you? Was your mother nurturing or distant? How did you respond to her? Maybe, sadly, you didn’t grow up with a mother. It’s obvious that the way we were raised affects us today. Janie tells the story of feeling embarrassed to speak in front of people because, as a child, she had rotten teeth. She had to learn to overcome her core wounds and learn how to communicate. This revelation led her to becoming a psychotherapist.

A friend of mine says, “There is no such thing as marriage problems; only childhood problems that manifest in marriage.” I’m sure she didn’t make that up, but whoever originally coined it is on the right track. What doesn’t get healed gets repeated. Janie also reminds us that if we don’t deal with our core wounds, they will haunt us in our relationships.

“We need to understand where we’ve been so that we can unblock where we want to go and why we attract certain people.” – Janie Lacy

Becoming Self-Aware

Janie and I also discussed some practical steps people can do in order to become self-aware. Understanding your core wound is a big part of this, but it’s also important to break out of the mundane. When our lives are too “ordinary,” and we are too comfortable, there is little reason to change or even question if something might be awry. When trauma presents, we are shaken loose of living on auto-pilot. Ask yourself how do you feel when no one else is around? Do you feel loved? Unseen? The reason many of us don’t want to do the work of becoming self-aware is because it is painful. It forces us to take responsibility and look at our own toxic thinking and areas we’ve allowed others to mistreat us. It’s sobering to realize we had a part to play in these toxic relationships.

Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship

Before you can rid yourself of toxic relationships, you must first understand if you’re in one. Beware. This is hard. When you truly love someone, it can be disorienting to think of him/her as toxic. The good news is that the person isn’t necessarily toxic, but the behavior is. Not all toxic relationships have to end, but toxic behavior must. Janie shared with us the following practical signs to know if you’re in a toxic relationship:

  1. You make excuses for your partner’s negative behavior.
  2. You can’t be yourself with your partner. You feel like you’re constantly performing.
  3. Your core wounds are being incited when you’re around your partner.
  4. You see unhealthy patterns (being cursed out, being manipulated, being abused, etc.)

This episode was chock full of sage and practical advice. Thanks Dr. Janie Lacy for all you shared with us today!

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Connect with Janie at http://janielacy.com

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