This schema is driven by the core beliefs of "there is something fundamentally wrong with me" - "I am flawed and defective in some inherent way" "I am not loveable"
Where it comes from
This schema develops in a childhood where where we were abused, neglected, ignored or rejected by the adults in our lives. Whatever treatment we received, we directly or indirectly got the message that we were at fault, or that there was something bad, shameful or flawed about us.
As children, we don't have the capacity to see that our parents or caregivers are at fault - we interpret their abusive or neglectful treatment as being purely down to us. We might think things like - If I was a better child, if I was lovable, I would be loved.
It's really tragic as the shame we internalise is not ours to carry - it's toxic shame and it belongs firmly with the adults who mistreated us.
We don't even have to have had any obvious mal-treatment to get this schema. If we had all our physical and material needs met, we had a good education, we had nice holidays etc - we can still get this schema if we didn't have someone to really pay attention to our thoughts and feelings.
As children, the most important emotional needs we have are to feel really seen - to feel like someone gets us, hears us and cares about us. We might intellectually know that we are loved but we need to feel it. We need to feel that someone holds us in their heart.
In today's society, with all the phones, ipads, video games and general lack of real connection, it's very easy to develop this schema as a child. which is probably one of the reasons that depression is increasing at a rapid rate in young people.
This schema is one of the most pervasive - its tentacles reach to all areas of our lives and it prevents us getting a lot of our emotional needs met.
It has a profound effect on our relationships. This schema can prevent us making intimate connections. We are so convinced that there is something wrong with us, we don't want anyone to get to close. As some of my clients have said " If I let them see who I really am, they won't want to know me anymore.
We rarely express our true feelings and needs and so we can end up feeling quite lonely. We also carry deep feelings of shame which make us feel uncomfortable in our own skin and very self conscious and anxious around other people.
This schema has a very big impact on our emotions and is one of the primary schemas that drives depression. The self-loathing and constant inner critic constantly make us feel like crap .
We generally lack confidence, have low self-esteem and often have body image issues.
Some behaviours typical of this schema are
- hyper-sensitivity to criticism and rejection.
- devaluing ourselves and allowing others to mistreat us.
- taking the blame for problems that are not our fault.
- choosing critical and rejecting partners.
- staying in dysfunctional relationships because we are 'lucky' that someone puts up with us.
This schema, like other schemas can fuel addictive behaviours, especially with food and alcohol. There are a lot of unmet emotional needs with this schema so we often try to fill up the void with food or numb the feelings of shame, loneliness and self-loathing with alcohol.
People who have healed this schema feel much more comfortable in their own skin and at ease with people around them. They come to understand that there really is nothing wrong with them - it was their upbringing that was wrong.
The shame is put back where it belongs - on the conditions of their childhood and the people who neglected or abused them.
If you would like a schema assessment to find out what patterns from the past are holding you back we currently have a limited time promo of 50% off our full schema assessment package - click here for details.
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