I started reading “The Undervalued Self“ by Elaine Aron and it is an important book that she wrote after finding that most of her clients were deadling with issues of low self-steem. She says that we are always either trying to connect with others or trying to see how we are different from other people. It reminded me of Tony Robbins’ six human needs where he talks about the need of men to connect with other people as well as to have significance ,in a way that how we differ from other people. So the names would be “connecftion” vs “significance”. And we are always swinging back and forth between the two. Remember also a previous article about the topic of “dynamic socio homeostasis” that we are trying to find the balance between connecting with others and having time for ourselves. For HSMs, since personal boundaries easier sway since more is being taken in an dless filtered, this concept is very miportant too. Now, how do we deal with the issue of linking vs. ranking. We as humans certainly all have a need to feel connection, linking, and in its deepest form a need to be loved and feel love to other people. Yet we also want to feel a firm concept of who we are ,”this is me”. And as HSM we might often need time for ourselves so we can redefine, what we actually are and who others are; to redefine our personal boundaries in case they have become weakened. Both linking and ranking are neutral as they are. Yet, if we rank ourselves too much, and these patterns run unconsciously, then we might cause ourselves to feel low self-esteem and avoid linking with other people when the opportunity would be there. And that is of course “self-sabotage”. When you are only 6ft tall and you constantly measure your height with men taller than you, of course you are bound to feel terrible. Or you do work out at the gym but don’t have a six-pack yet as that GQ model on the cover page. You are probably not as rich as Warren Buffet, but might make decent living. Again, you feel inferior or defeat as Elaine Aron says. Well, why do you want to feel that way? When you feel like a victim and defeat, at least you are feeling yourself very strong. You feel different, significant and separate from others. When you rank however against people worse-looking, shorter or poorer than you, you also get to feel significant; not just that, you get a sense of superiority. And this again separates you from other people. But then we might find ourselves taking drugs, consuming alcohol or getting other kinds of highs in order to cause these set-up borders to melt and feel a stronger connection to the world and the people around us. Or we try to do all kinds of strategies in order to be accepted and fit in with the group(s) that we are or want to be part of. Ranking and linking are always happening. And they can be intertwined or you might do one to do the other. Elaine Aron’s book is a great read on this, and there will be more posts on this topic to come. For today, I would like you to become aware of the linking and ranking as you go through your interactions of the day and ask yourself why you do what you do. What are your lessons? Are you doing more linking or ranking? How does it make you feel? You might just want to answer these questions for yourself. However, sharing a discussion here would also be highly interesting :).
The Way of The Highly Sensitive Man
(+ Workbook) is now available as a Kindle E-Book or PDF-Download.