S1E11 - Alex & AJ Uncut
People Alex knows have experienced tragic things recently, so she’s having a rough time navigating them in a non-empathic way. Someone else’s tragedy is not necessarily yours to hold onto.
Body image episode? Not sure. . .
Someone Alex knows reached out about a body image issue to do with being in a relationship. When you no longer have ongoing attention from a variety of other people (from dating), how does your view of yourself change? How do you love yourself the way your partner loves you, once all the “single lady” attention goes away? Your partner thinks you are attractive, but they’re only one person instead of many validating your looks.
Alex and AJ do not enjoy attention from other people. AJ’s generalized guess from a clinical perspective is that the issue with this person is that they have low self esteem. Dating provided more support for her self esteem, than being with one person does.
Perhaps the one person you are with is not providing what you need and may not ever be able to provide what you need. This is a whole different conversation - not about body image at all, it’s about relationships.
And somehow we transition into discussing monogamy vs. polygamy in the animal kingdom!
Alex clings to the penguin love story! Reinforcing monogamy as a concept.
Vocal praise is a form of positive reinforcement - not for Alex and AJ, but for society in general.
Someone’s esteem is affected by/relies on what type of feedback they are receiving and if it is feedback that is meeting their needs.
Five Love Languages. We have a few problems with some parts of this book, but it also has some good points. P.S. It’s been a long time since either of us read this book, so our memory is slightly foggy.
Acknowledgement of fact and action is what AJ craves. She want the observation stated, not the praise for the action.
Understanding your own love language as well as your partners is beneficial in a relationship. Actually doing the things that are your partner’s love language can be really difficult!
A disconnect with our partner happens in the way we perceive that we are being loved based on the lens of our primary love language.
Problem with the book: even if your partner is not showing you love through any love language, you are meant to just continue showing them love and they’ll come around eventually. We are calling bullsh*t on that!
The Five Love Languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Martyrdom in relationships: “Don’t you see what I’m doing for you?” But the other person is like, “I didn’t even notice that! It’s not on my radar at all!” You’re doing something because it makes you feel better, but place it on your partner as something they should view as you showing them love. You end up using your partner as a scapegoat for not feeling acknowledged. You are in reality resenting your own neurochemistry, not your partner’s reaction. You’re really doing something for yourself because it’s easy for you to do. Doing the thing your partner truly needs is actually more difficult if it is not your primary love language.
Alex’s body shaming experience. She was asked by a man if she was underweight.
She’s scared to talk about it because it brings up that she is a white privileged skinny female. How does she have a voice about this incident when she is someone who does not truly have a “voice” because she is not marginalized in any way?
We are all human and everyone can experience body shaming. It truly can happen to anyone. We should all be allowed to “feel” what we need to feel in response to being body shamed.
However, there is a difference between those who have been body shamed once vs. over and over again.
The takeaway comes down to “perspective.” Everything is relative. No change occurs if we get into a cycle where people feel silenced because they are from a demographic that historically has oppressed another demographic. But it does come down to the person who is privileged acknowledging that their one experience of shaming is not comparable to the person who was been shamed over and over again.
The privileged person can feel and process what they need to in relation to their traumatic experience, but they can also change their perspective to understand and feel empathy for the adversity that others experience on a regular basis. It’s about reflecting on and acknowledging other human experiences. Alex now has a point of reference for those that experience body shaming regularly.
In other news. . . AJ is currently rocking the “New Mom” look. . . her fanny pack completes it perfectly.
Energetic dysmorphia. Feeling a layer of thick, dirty energy surrounding you that you need to clear off.
Alex is having nervous system destabilization due to the tragedies of other people she knows.
It can be so hard to reach to the skills and tools you have to help yourself feel better.
Sometimes we turn to television or movies as a coping mechanism. A joyful or grounding activity can be binge watching a show.
When AJ is in a particular headspace, there are certain shows that are her go-to to help cope with the feelings. The show almost becomes the meditation to overcome the weird headspace.
Alex uses tv shows and movies to experience emotions. The shows will elicit from her the emotions she is needing to feel in her body and release.
AJ watches the same shows over and over. Alex intuitively chooses new shows.
Alex still wants to talk about body image, but feels like everyone is talking about it. Maybe we don’t need to contribute a voice to the conversation?
Realization: Alex chooses to surround herself (on social media) with people who are all talking about important topics such as body image and body positivity. That’s why she feels its all been done and everyone already knows about it. In actuality, not everyone is talking about it and there is still room for us to have a voice in this conversation.
So the body image episode may eventually happen after all?!