Posted by: Judy | May 14, 2015

Roots to Blossom 3…

Early Maladaptive Schemas

13. SELF-SACRIFICE – Excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others in daily situations, at the expense of one’s own gratification. The most common reasons are: to prevent causing pain to others; to avoid guilt from feeling selfish; or to maintain the connection with others perceived as needy . Often results from an acute sensitivity to the pain of others. Yes. I’m improving.

14. APPROVAL-SEEKING / RECOGNITION-SEEKING – Excessive emphasis on gaining approval, recognition, or attention from other people, or fitting in, at the expense of developing a secure and true sense of self. Yes. Improving.

15. NEGATIVITY / PESSIMISM – A pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life (pain, death, loss, disappointment, conflict, guilt, resentment, unsolved problems, potential mistakes, betrayal, things that could go wrong, etc.) while minimizing or neglecting the positive or optimistic aspects. Usually includes an exaggerated expectation– in a wide range of work, financial, or interpersonal situations — that things will eventually go seriously wrong, or that aspects of one’s life that seem to be going well will ultimately fall apart. Yes. At the same time, I’m oddly optimistic. Is it really pessimistic to expect your life to blow up in your face if it does so on a regular basis?

16. EMOTIONAL INHIBITION – The excessive inhibition of spontaneous action, feeling, or communication — usually to avoid disapproval by others, feelings of shame, or losing control of one’s impulses. Yes. Improving.

17. UNRELENTING STANDARDS / HYPERCRITICALNESS – The underlying belief that one must strive to meet very high internalized standards of behavior and performance, usually to avoid criticism. Typically results in feelings of pressure or difficulty slowing down; and in hypercriticalness toward oneself and others. Unrelenting standards typically present as: (a) perfectionism, inordinate attention to detail, or an underestimate of how good one’s own performance is relative to the norm; (b) rigid rules and “shoulds” in many areas of life, including unrealistically high moral, ethical, cultural, or religious precepts; or (c) preoccupation with time and efficiency, so that more can be accomplished. Yes, to avoid being wrong because being wrong was punished.

18. PUNITIVENESS – The belief that people should be harshly punished for making mistakes. Involves the tendency to be angry, intolerant, punitive, and impatient with those people (including oneself) who do not meet one’s expectations or standards. Usually includes difficulty forgiving mistakes in oneself or others, because of a reluctance to consider extenuating circumstances, allow for human imperfection, or empathize with feelings. Yes. However, I’ve improved. I still don’t suffer fools well.



  1. Hurray for so much improvement!

    • Thanks. I’m endeavoring to learn that improvement, even tiny bits, is enough.

  2. Number 18 isn’t one that I do really. Although recently I’ve been super annoyed with news stories about people cheating in races. But mostly I just want their results stricken and if they won prizes or falsely qualified for another race (like the Boston Marathon, which I a, training hard to get into), those things stripped. Some of these cheaters are being kind of strung up, and I’m not really interested in throwing stones, although I am interested in the how’s and whys that people do this sort of thing.

    My mom is super punitive, so I guess I wanted to not be that way.

    • I don’t think it’s punitive to want justice. What you want done sounds quite reasonable. It would be punitive if you wanted them dragged through the streets and flogged. 🙂

      • One of the guys who cheated sounds like a narcissist, so I’d be tempted to want him flogged. 😉

        • Ah, but it’s for something else entirely. The cheating was simply a tangible excuse. 😉

          • Number 18 reminds of how no natural consequences happened at home for my mother’s behaviors and then I was punished. Natural consequences like getting stripped of a metal for cheating and Punishment (flogged) are two different things. Punishment was often administered as a ‘natural consequence’ and seen as justice.

          • Very astute observation

            • I was thinking the same thing, Judith. Thanks for pointing it out, TR.

  3. #13 – this one DH and I have been ‘laughing’ at lately. We’ve been talking about how non-verbals are used to communicate something and we then respond to it, even if the person doesn’t need it. Once in a while, we’ll make a face at another or a comment and see if we still ‘jump’ to it.

    • My sister and I have talked about how good we are at reading people. It’s a survival technique. If we could figure it out fast enough, then we could avoid punishment for being too slow, heading off an explosion before it happened. Of course, it didn’t always work. It’s a habit we’re both working at breaking.

      • That is a good point – it is related to #18 – avoid punishment.

        • You’re right. Illustrates how interwoven these are.

  4. […] 13 – 18 13. SELF-SACRIFICE  –      Excessive focus on voluntarily meeting the needs of others in […]

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