Unmasking the “Masked Fear” of Communicating with Adults

By Rene Robben

Unmasking the masked fear of communicating with adults

In a follow up on my words on Choices, The procrastination to interrupt (adults) and a bunch of other things, I would like to tell you how I discovered there was still one massive Childhood Program dominating my software.

Before I go on I want to express my utmost love and respect for my mom and dad, and that I will never, and I repeat, never, run a blame game on them. They did as they believed would be best, running their own programs. I’ve never doubted their love for me. I’ve never doubted them being proud of their son and all his non-mediocre achievements. I’ve never doubted all they wanted was what was best for me.

However… this does not imply that I will discard anything that I discover while on this path of decoding, that appears to originate from them imposing their programs on me. In several trance sessions with myself I already stumbled on them playing part in what kept me stammering and away from feeling free. But perhaps it was just too early for me to see what part or say program was played and running behind all the other programs.

Last week one talk with my dad led to a second and a third. I had already learned the hard way that any attempt to make him accept my point of view was useless. At least the direct approach. From childhood on, up till this last week, I would “loose” any discussion that would easily end in a verbal battle. His sometimes overwhelming verbal power supported by an intimidating body language, always made me become a victim in the play, and thus loose.

But pay some attention to these last words. When we humans are just thought, then, what made me loose those discussions, what made me become a victim of my dad’s way of expressing his opinion, were my own thoughts. I let my thoughts turn on the victim program. And this has been happening since the day I tried to talk to him or mom when something important to me, was on my mind.

As a child I would see an adult, that had great power over me. And I was submitted to the adults whim, if or if not I was allowed to express myself. As a child I learned many things and also new ways to get these adults to show interest in what was on my mind, or say just me. The repetition of this, together with the occasional success, masked the original program with the coded fear for adults in communication. Making me a victim all my life whenever I felt a need to get people to know me, when I liked/loved them. Also causing me to believe I had to do my best to be anybody’s friend, to increase the chance to be liked back by those I liked. Along with this distorted fear for adults in communication pattern, the adult factor also turned into non-adults, increasing the trigger of me feeling a need to be liked by anybody even more.

In time this pattern changed. Surely it did. When I met people I did not like, or did not want in my life as friends etc, I did not feel this need, and did not become the overly friendly person as in other cases. But the essence of the pattern remained when I did came across people I liked/loved.

All this resulted in a very skilled way to easily adapt myself to others. Even say building a report (as in NLP is discussed) to get on their level and “become friends”. But as the desired results did not occur, I slipped even deeper into the pitfall and went into great length to lower my own esteem to get things done as I desired.

I found out the hard way that people in general sense if someone is lowering their esteem, which has an slimming effect on the initial respect they might have for this person. And I should know. I’ve experienced this both ways. There have been people who felt a desire to be my friend and went into great length to achieve that. But they often failed in the attempt as their lowered esteem of themselves, made me feel less and less respect for them. Not consciously, but more on a subconscious level, making me unaware of the mechanism, and thus unable to see that I was doing the same thing to myself when I wanted to be “friends” with someone.

During my changes over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt enormous shifts in this behavior, also resulting in the non-fluency to change. But I still was not quite there. Still not totally fluent.

I had already acknowledged that I had been walking around with a fear when talking to my dad. And when admitting to this I was able to be very fluent when talking to him. Which had an enormous impact on me. But as said, there was still something going on. Something was still out of the order. Something could still need a bit of mental shifting and tweaking. But what? What was it?

With all this thinking and pondering about the dozens of childhood believes, I knew it had something to do with my parents. I also knew that it was not my mom, or at least I knew that her influence on me as a child had already been transformed in something that works for me as a 33 year old when it comes to communicating by voice. So I was left with my dad.

While taking in mind that he was still having this habit of really throwing himself into a discussion, using many examples to underline his “right”, or view on the subject, I knew I had to work hard on keeping my cool and stay relaxed. I knew I needed to stay in touch with what I thought was me and any signal heading my consciousness to render me a victim again had to be re-framed.

In my first talk, last week, with dad, I had fired several opinions on raising children into the discussion and noticed how he would just wipe them of the table. To me it felt like he was not listening to what I had to say. Discarding my opinions and thus discarding me as an adult with something to say about the matter, and the experiences of my own childhood. There was more to it. It felt like he was denying the existence of me with my opinions, in his world (his mind)

(But I knew he was not denying me anything! Rationally I knew he would give his life for me. I knew he was proud of me and the guts I’ve show these last months to deal with the non-fluency and other things that ruled my life. I knew, rationally, he totally accepted me as his 33 year old son, but in my mind that certain switch had not been flipped yet on a deeper level.).

Where does it go wrong? Well, in the way he was responding to me. It took me a while, if not weeks, to figure out that my dad always answers in examples. So instead of just saying: “Hey, I agree with what you are saying!”, he will come up with a story from his own memories that will reflect what he thinks of my (or any one else’s) opinion. A tough cookie to crack, but I did. And so I was able to listen in a different way to his statements and discovered that he was in fact listening to every word I had to say. Not that he agreed to what I said, but at least I finally was able to make myself feel that he was listening to me. Very important.

This made me have a more closer look at how my father thinks and how he sees the world. And then it dawned on me where things went wrong in the past. With his 100% integrity according to his own illusions :-), his incredibly smart and fast brain, he gets easily upset and frustrated, and phase locked looped between his own realm and reality. The anger I used to hear in his voice was not directed towards me, but towards the topic of the discussion. His body language, which he uses to emphasize his “right” on the subject was not directed towards me, but to the topics at hand.

I looked further and tried to perceive the world from his mind and eyes. And yes, the world had turned into an instant mess and a pool of wrongs and not-rights. Many people turned into ignorant gits. And other people were raised onto thrones surrounded by heavenly lights because of their sense of humor, wit, cleverness, integrity, honesty, job-tittles, and other titles. My dad turns out to have an issue with Judging… hmmmm….

I wonder if that too has rubbed off on me in the past 🙂 PWS joke, that is. HA!

In my second talk I knew what I had to do to get behind his way of talking. I remained calm throughout the talk. Ever so calm. With a tight focus on the outcome. Which was to make him see by examples from his own life, how difficult he had rendered his own life while holding on to distorted beliefs and thus questionable habits. And I guess he realized there was some truth in my words, as he too calmed down and stayed calm and actually started to give me the impression he was listening to me.

Now, him listening to me has nothing to do whether I’m right or wrong, or that I think I’m right. I just want others to hear my opinion just as I hope I give others ample time to express theirs. That’s it. And for years and years I never got the impression my dad gave me this time to ventilate my thoughts into the discussions and talks at hand. Except when talking about cars and engines. Something he knows nothing about, or is unaccustomed to  and when he needed my assistance to get his Ford running as smooth as my Chevy 🙂

So, what changed in my belief system from childhood?

At long last my dad, the most important man in my life, was listening to me and hearing me out on what I had to say, even when I told him about the “wrongs” in his way of thinking and perceiving the world. He was listening and asking me things. Getting back to things I mentioned earlier.

I my world of thoughts a thought was born that I had finally managed to get accepted in his world of thoughts as an adult. This dissolved the old belief of me being his kid and him my father. Now a new belief was written that I could have a talk with him with me still being his kid and him my father, with the difference that I could be a 33 year old adult.

Even now, thinking this change through it sounds so simple and obvious. So silly and even stupid. But I guess I was still stuck in the problem and unable to step out of it, to have a better look (META) on the chains from the past that were preventing me to feel really free.

And for those who are new to this type of decoding relationships, I want to firmly express that the error was not in my dad’s behavior, but in my own! Once you get this into your mind as a guideline to find a new way to deal with your thoughts, you’ll really become able to start to change your habits. Remind yourself of the saying: Make the world a better place and start with yourself.

In the third talk I took things even further. Again I remained as calm as possible, in touch with myself and my freed me, and took my dad on another stroll along his own shelves where he stores his experiences, habits and beliefs. Again it happened, where he was talking to me (the adult), instead of to his child. We were actually exchanging thoughts on the subjects and I learned from him as he did from me.

To put it differently. In a way my relationship with him changed from the “child and father” into the “friend/adult/child and father” concept. And this change has had a massive impact on me. It feels as if I have climbed my last mount Everest, pinned a flag on top, and am enjoying the view. Getting through to my father has really done something important in my set of thoughts that concoct me.

And to take all this a bit further, read closely and be stunned, as I was.

Even in the last couple of weeks, when I was already feeling so freed from old beliefs I was still somewhat occupied with relationships between me and other adults (same age or older as me) that I like or love, and where the relationship still needs a bit of welding, sanding and painting. Even though I felt I could finally present me as myself to them, without being trapped in feeling a need to be liked to feel happy about myself, I was also still feeling some fear of saying something wrong that might damage the young and fresh relationship. Something I do not feel in friendships that go back 7, 10, 15, or 20 years.

The (in my thoughts!) changed relationship with my father made me realize that there was still something getting in my way now and then. You may guess know!

Well, I’ll tell you. Whenever I met these people that are involved in the young and fresh relation/friendships, I was still seeing adults, that I needed:

“To ask for asking for permission to exist in their minds (be liked by them)”

So in a way I was still trapped in the childish beliefs that I needed to ask people if I could ask them, if I could please, please, pretty please exist in their minds, since I liked/loved them so much.

This has now totally left me. And ever since I got this re-framing done in my mind I really feel free from a massive load of my shoulders, chest, heart and mind. Finally free!

I might even add that I never felt this lonely and empty. Something strong, that I used to carry around with me all my life has left me and it left an empty spot. That’s how it feels right now. As if something got ripped from my chest and a gaping whole is now sucking air.

Still, I’m as fluent as any other fluent. Now I’m really fluent. As not one single talking human can be any different from me as I am finally alleged to refer to myself as an adult, by the renewed principles in my re-coded brain.

Those of you, who still struggle with non-fluency as an adult in an adult world (think, not stammering while talking to kids… :-), might need to take a closer look at their relationship with their parents. And parents who are reading this might have a closer look at how they impose themselves on their non-fluent children.

My parents have been adults all my life. I turned older, but seemed to have not noticed I turned into an adult as well. And thus I was still a child when talking to adults, and unable to join them on the same level of adulthood. Now as I’ve gotten rid of this:

“Stuck in Childhood When It Comes to Communicating with Adults” Pattern, I can be an adult and really feel free as an adult of 33, with less and lesser hair and more and more wrinkles, extra padding and worries about retirement and health 🙂

It has been a pleasure as always to share this with you, and I hope it will nuke some of your old habits when you’re dealing with the same “crap” as I am/have/had to/have done and did.



Would you like to learn more about how Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Neuro-Semantics can assist you in developing more choice in your life and therefore the gaining of more fluency?  I have added several links to René’s article and placed them below. Please read them  in the order of their listing.

Bob Bodenhamer

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