Often, our current difficulties source from unresolved issues with our very first relationships in life, with our parents or whoever took care of us. In the physical realm, they are our first ‘gods.’ We need to go back and look at those relationships because they affect our present reality and our ability to stand in our own accountability and strength. ~ John Stamoulos
As part of survival, every human being needs love, approval, and acceptance. In childhood, if those who parent and take care of us do not approve of our natural tendencies, we may be forced to betray our authentic nature in order to gain their vital acceptance and regard. It often means that we have to bury our essential nature and create a false self in order to please another and it can result in suppressed anger and resentment in ourselves.
What is Parental Disapproval Syndrome?
One of the most difficult aspects of relationship with parents is that of Parental Disapproval. The voices of your parents’ judgments and behavioural demands become embedded in your consciousness and echo through your life as such feelings as being wrong, not good enough, stupid, self-indulgent or lazy. These criticisms become the seeds of your poor self-image and limiting beliefs. Until they are healed, they exert tremendous power over your adult life. This is known as Parental Disapproval Syndrome (PDS) and it takes its toll in our adult lives, in our livelihood and in our relationships when it is not healed.
The Unhappy Outcomes of PDS
Unhealed PDS causes dysfunction in life interactions, unhappiness in relationships and damaging perfectionism as you attempt to find that missing approval by pleasing others to the extreme.
As adults with unresolved parental disapproval issues, you might:
- Feel angry or resentful and tend to pick fights with your partners or bosses because of their perceived disapproval of you
- Become judgmental and blaming of others (especially your parents)
- Become judgmental and blaming yourself (I am always wrong, less than, stupid)
- Dole out to your children the same negativity you received from your parents (the cycle goes on!)
- Feel victimized by life circumstances (your job, your home life)
- Believe you are powerless to change your situation
- Become a workaholic in order to succeed to please others or gain approval
Where does PDS come from?
Parental disapproval is a multi-generational echo of negative judgment. A parent who doles out criticism to their child has him/herself been negated by their parents. The diminished self-worth that they internalised is carried unconsciously throughout their lives and is passed on in the same negative manner to their children.
Healing With Your Parents and Why It Matters
When you mature your parental interactions and heal old wounds and imprinting, you can:
- enjoy more meaningful, loving relationships and friendships;
- be independent, confident and authentic without the need for approval of others;
- forgive and release resentment and develop compassion towards your parents;
- develop greater awareness and growth in recognising past parental influences on current life issues;
- embrace the freedom to say yes or no to yourself and others without fear or guilt;
- accept personal responsibility in your life direction and choices;
- stop the generational influence of PDS by introducing healthy love and conscious connection in your own family;
- become more creative and express your essential nature freely in the world.
Removing the Shadow of Parental Disapproval From Your Life
- Book a Breathwork session to support the release of PDS negativity, anger and resentment
- Explore the personal growth work of IMAGO therapy here
- Engage a therapist to support difficult trauma issues
Blow Open the Door to Self-Love!
When you heal with your parents, you step onto the profound path to self-love. From there, universal love (God) can flow freely through you and into the world bringing much-needed compassion for others, deep peace and unbounded joy to life.