Emotional Shoplifting and Relationship Bankruptcy

By Barbara Rose, PhD

Questions with Answers

1. What is Emotional Shoplifting?

2. How Can I Recognize the warning signs of Emotional Shoplifting?

3. What is Relationship Bankruptcy?

4. How Can I Spot it or Turn it Around?

THE ANSWERS

1. What is Emotional Shoplifting?

Emotional Shoplifting is when you steal truth from yourself and/or fail to disclose truth to another person with whom you have an intimate, personal relationship.

Each time you stifle your feelings, you are literally shoplifting, stealing and sabotaging your self esteem, your trust within and for yourself, as well as dramatically reducing the trust another person can have for you.

When you hide your real feelings, you are engaging in Emotional Shoplifting.

When you lie to yourself, and give yourself all kinds of justifications about why you should remain in a relationship with another person that is far from satisfying, each time you are literally stealing another shred of self worth that you have within.

When you choose to remain in fear, afraid of speaking up honestly, you are emotionally shoplifting from yourself.

The price people pay for this is a great one. I know because I used to lie to myself, live in fear, accept the status quo, and all the while I was robbing myself.

The result was very low self esteem and a lot of misery.

Just like there are laws in society about stealing so too are there unseen laws about integrity, truth, honesty, self love and compassion.

Emotional shoplifting causes you to suffer, and at times it can very well feel as if you are in a prison without bars: an emotional prison. This is the price we pay when we steal from ourselves. The good news is that it can be immediately turned around with conscious effort, and a pure from-the-heart decision to live with pure truth. The result is inner joy. It is solely your preference as to which way you choose to live. Below are some guidelines to recognize the warning signs of Emotional Shoplifting.

2. How Can I Recognize the Warning Signs of Emotional Shoplifting?

When someone is speaking to you and you begin to feel a knot in your stomach, this is a clear signal to let you know that what is being said to you does not feel good to you. Constructive dialogue is far different from guilt trips, a threatening tone, blame, and downright verbal abuse.

When you feel bad inside after another person either verbally or non-verbally communicates to you, this is the time to speak your truth. If you do not, you are emotionally shoplifting from yourself, and you will continue to suffer.

When you are neglected, ignored, disregarded, insulted, harassed, put down, ordered around, or are coerced to live according to another person’s tune, rather than your own – if you go along with this, you are engaging in Emotional Shoplifting. Every degrading remark that you tolerate is another account of emotional shoplifting.

Every time you go along when you truly do not want to, whether out of fear, or insecurity, you are actually stealing more of your truth that will enable you to break the cycle, so that you can live with pure honesty in your life, from the inside out, because it matches what you prefer, rather than what you may have been taught or conditioned to go along with.

When you feel frustrated and alone while trying to come to an understanding with another person, and he or she is not meeting you halfway, honestly, the more you try to change another person, your emotional shoplifting is on the rise. Everybody has disagreements. The key question here is can do you have the kind of relationship where each of you truly communicates, for a win/win solution that you are both equally satisfied with? If it’s always one way – either your way, or their way, you will come to find that there is not much genuine satisfaction within the relationship, because either you or the other person is not relating authentically, from the heart. As a result, there is a battle of wills, and this battle is one in which there is never a winner.

The only way to turn it around is when you decide to. Ask yourself what is more important to you, either bullying or getting bullied, or relating authentically? The former is emotional shoplifting. The latter is emotional freedom and inner peace. The choice is quite clear, and no one can make your decisions for you but you.

3. What is Relationship Bankruptcy?

Relationship bankruptcy is when it feels like there is nothing left, except perhaps a dim hope that it could be better. The relationship has an invisible wall that guards mutual love from being expressed, both in words and actions. Trust, joy, respect, care, consideration and a deep trusted friendship are a distant memory, if it was ever there at all. When you feel as if the one you are with isn’t really your dearest and best friend, you are experiencing Relationship Bankruptcy.

4. How Can I Spot it or Turn it Around?

The only thing that will ever turn this around is really speaking so purely and honestly from your heart, with the intention to bring all of the care back up to the surface, and to be willing to admit where you may have fallen short, rather than only blame the other person.

Alternatively, if you are with a person who is abusive, the only one you can truly turn around is yourself, and the greatest favor you could ever do for yourself is to walk away from the abuse, and never look back.

A couple must share an equal desire for the relationship to work. If one is willing and the other is not, not only is the relationship bankrupt, but the door is locked, which prevents even the smallest improvement to speak openly and honestly, coming from a place of sharing, rather than attacking.

A great part of the problem must be acknowledged, and this is what role you played in allowing this in your life. It’s far too easy to blame the other person. If there is harsh treatment from the other person or an emotional wall of stone that the other person has put up to block you out, what are you doing in this relationship?

This is where taking personal responsibility is crucial to replenish yourself, your own honesty with yourself, as well as any shred of self worth that you have left. The only way to turn it around is to turn yourself around. What have you allowed yourself to tolerate? What have you dished out to the other person that you know you would not enjoy if you switched places? What is the payoff for your remaining in a bankrupt relationship? How does it really feel to you? What do you REALLY prefer?

Admitting your truth to yourself is always the first step to turning this or anything around in your life.

Talking it out with someone who is in a role model position will help you greatly, rather than commiserating with someone who is also depressed, lonely, disempowered and doing absolutely nothing about it. It’s like someone who can’t swim trying to save a drowning person. If you can speak with a person or a few people who can help you to authentically empower yourself, then you stand a great chance to replenish the emotional integrity you previously stole from yourself, and you also stand a great chance to attract someone who is emotionally healthy with major assets in the authenticity department.

Take heart, what may seem like gloomy times are actually your seeds for restoring your truth which reinforces your inner resolve to live only with the purest thoughts, feelings, words and actions. The key is to uproot the lies by first recognizing what they are.

Once something is uprooted from your consciousness, it can then be transformed.

flower imageThe most important thing for you to remember is that in order to have a great relationship with another person, you must first learn how to have one with yourself. This means that all self deception, wallowing in negativity and emotional shoplifting ceases, permanently. Then and only then can you begin the inward journey to turn it all around. As a result, you will see that you are authentically filled within to overflowing. Your feelings about yourself will dramatically shift to pure, authentic, bold and genuine truth.

Your new relationship, either with the same person or a different person will completely transform as a result of the resolve each of you have. You can only do your part, and the same is true for the other person. In all cases, remember to ask yourself if you are emotionally shoplifting, or paying with the currency exchange of truth. This currency is one that you give to yourself and the other person 24/7 because it becomes your standard of living. I can promise you one thing, because I have lived it: Once you make the decision within to turn around any shred of deception, with yourself and with any other, then you will feel deeply rewarded from within. You will feel your truth and your relationship with yourself is going to skyrocket. Then, your relationships with others is going to follow in this new positive and life enhancing pattern.

You will feel an incredible difference inside, and you will experience it in your outer circumstances. It feels like the most joyous freedom, and that is because you had the courage to turn on the spotlight in the storehouse of your mind and heart. Once truth emanates, your feelings and experiences are going to take on a whole new meaning. It feels like priceless bliss, and this is called emotional purity and relationship thriving.

© Copyright 2006, 2011 Barbara Rose, PhD All Rights Reserved.

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