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Insecurity and Over Parenting (two parts)

1-I panic and withdraw whenever I get romantically close to someone. 2 (at 6m27s) Kids learn best by doing.

(this is raw unedited text, computer transcribed directly from the audio, without voice inflection, pauses etc. Sometimes this results in the text implying the opposite of the intended meaning.)

(Micro ad) . . .
The Selfish Path to Romance - download chapter one for free at Dr or at

Here is a question that I received about dating.

What if you yourself are trapping yourself? It's not a parent that's doing this to you. Although I wonder if Janice did have a parent in her past who was a little too over protective or something went on in her past.

Here's the question from Janice. Hi, Dr. Kenner. I'm 19 and female. And I've never been in a serious relationship, even though I want one. When I whenever I get even remotely close to someone where they like me and want to date me, I freak out and pull away. Even though part of me wants to date them a stronger part makes me worry and feel anxious. And I stopped seeing them. What can I do to stop the panicky feelings? And why are they happening? Janice.

Janice, how do you stop those panicky feelings? Your second question is, first, why are they happening? Ask yourself that lovingly, gently. What's going through my mind, there are two parts of me. You said one part wants today. And the stronger part, the 51% at least is pulling you away from dating, I assume it's a little stronger than that. And we have a skill in therapy, we call exploring your ambivalence or exploring those two parts. And you ask yourself, you take the stronger one first, the negative one, don't date, I can't date it makes me feel too anxious, something terrible is going to happen. And nail it, put it into words, figure out what is underlying my anxiety and dry causing it and driving it and robbing me of a romantic relationship. And so you explore the negative part first.

And for example, one, there are many different skills you can use in cognitive therapy. But one very simple one would be just to take a piece of paper paper in a pen, and for three minutes to let that part of you that freaks out and wants to pull away. Talk, write it down on paper. Because putting things on paper makes it a little more objective for yourself. It's more tangible, you can hold it like thinking about a pretty new dress is one thing, but actually holding it in your hand or trying it on is very different. It's the same you try on your words. So if let's say what you do that experiment and you say, Well, what if when I date he rejects me? Or what if he sees through me and sees all my flaws? Or what if I don't like him, but I feel trapped with him? How can I say no to him? I don't want I don't like hurting people? Or what if we ended up having a relationship and he cheats on me like dad cheated on mom, I couldn't bear that type of pain. You gather all those thoughts in your three minutes. And Honey, if it goes for four minutes, five to six minutes, let it rip, whatever. You want to expose your anxious thoughts. Because when you expose them, you shine a light on them. And then you can talk back to those thoughts. So let's say that you had some of the thoughts I was just talking about. The next step would be . . .

Hey, I gotta interrupt this because we've got to pay some bills. 30 seconds. That's it. A very quick break and then Ellen will be back.

Romance. Oh, I wish guys knew more about what we want from a relationship. Boy, I wish I knew more about what I want. Where's that ad I saw? Here it is The Selfish Path to Romance - a serious romance guidebook. Download chapter one for free at and buy it at Hmm, The Selfish Path to Romance. That IS interesting.

So let's say that you had some of the thoughts I was just talking about. The next step would be to understand that every one of those thoughts has a reasonable answer to it that leaves open the possibility of you dating. So what if he rejects me that's the first one well my husband's attitude he was rejected quite a bit he dated a lot was nothing ventured, nothing gained and I love that statement meaning you're never going to find romance unless you do Tate you are able to stand with rejection without feeling like you yourself as a person implodes. That's a self your self respect issue self esteem issue. You want to write down another list of everything you like about yourself so if he rejects you go on find someone else. I don't want to date someone who rejected me. I also dated a lot and got rejected periodically and did some rejecting myself and you know, that's how that's what dating is about because you're trying to find the right person. What the second thought let's say you had the thought what if he sees through me and sees all my flaws will man my husband saw flaws in me I had a nervous laugh and probably still occasionally do. And I'm so glad he mentioned it because I can grow from that feedback and I have grown from it. So If you're in a good relationship, you lovingly grow with one another. If what is what about your third thought? No, these are not yours. These are my examples. But what if I don't like him and feel trapped with him? Honey, you want to give yourself Dating Skills you. And those skills include how to say no tactfully, how to disengage from somebody. I will tell you in a minute, I'll give you a reference to a book that I'm very intimate with.

And another thought, what if you have the thought, what if we end up having a relationship and he cheats on me like my dad cheated of me. You want to collect examples of couples, you know, who have never cheated on one another. And then you want the attitude of just because my dad cheated on mom doesn't mean that every guy cheats, and I refuse to rob myself of romantic happiness. Just because of my dad's actions. I won't let him ruin romance for me. You can hear the strength there. Then, after you've done that, let the negative part out let the positive parts speak. Why would you want a good relationship you can write for three minutes on that. I'd love a good relationship life would be more interesting, we'd have fun together. The book that I recommend is a book that I wrote with Dr. Ed lock, which gives you tons of romantic relationship skills. It's The Selfish Path to Romance, how to love with passion and reason you can go to, or my website, Dr.

And here's a little more from Dr. Kenner . . .

There there. It's all right. It'll be okay. Sure, it will, you'll see him I never let anything happen to him. That's a funny thing to promise. Well, you can't never let anything happen to him, then nothing would ever happened to him. Not much fun for little Harper.

And that's from Finding Nemo and think about your own childhood growing up. Did your parents allow you to explore allow you to explore in the playground or allow you to ride a bike and maybe have some friends over or go to their house with reasonable caution? Or did they micromanage everything you did? Oh, no, it's too dangerous. You can't cross the street, you've got to stay here rather than teaching you how to carefully cross the street. I know we had a big St. narrows reservoir Avenue growing up and it wasn't near reservoir was in a city. And I know that it was really scary for me as a little kid. But then I learned how to cross it and we went to the traffic light we crossed it. Did your parents let you explore? Did they let you date work? Or maybe sometimes parents are very bad histories themselves. And they assume when kids get into their dating years? Oh my God, I know what I did. I know how I lied to my parents. I know how I climbed out the window in the middle of the night. I know how I drank. I know how I tried experimented a little bit or with sex and the rest. And you just assume your own kids are going to do the same. Because guess what, that's what you're familiar with? Well, maybe your kids aren't going to do the same. Maybe if you give them a little more freedom. If they've earned it. I mean, if they've given you cause not to trust them, that's different. But if they've earned that freedom, give them that freedom that they've earned and as they show more maturity, more responsibility, let them breathe, let them grow, let them discover life and I love them trip up occasionally not big ones, but occasionally kids will trip up and learn from them. I know my parents gave me a lot of freedom in fact, they used to my dad traveled and my for business and would leave with my mother and leave me with a sitter but when I was old enough, I remember they left me alone with my sisters to babysit. And I felt very proud of that I didn't miss use that opportunity. I didn't have parties all night long and, you know, drinking carouse. So you want to give her if you show your kids that you have confidence in them that sends a very different message than Oh, I think you're too fragile to go out in the world like in Finding Nemo, or the movie Finding Nemo. Or, or I don't trust you, I know what you're gonna do. You're gonna do just what I did. And you may not say that latter part but might be thinking it so you know, parenting a teenager or parenting a child at any age isn't easy, and it involves a lot of skills and of course my favorite parenting skills books are how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk and those authors Adele Faber and Elaine Maslin, have several books. I recommend them off. They are just phenomenal.

For more Dr. Kenner podcasts go to And please listen to this ad . . .

Here's an excerpt from The Selfish Path to Romance the serious romance guidebook by clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner and co author Dr. Edwin Locke, who is world famous for his theories on goal setting . . .

When you fall in love, you fall in love with the whole person, body and soul, which means body and mind together. So it's legitimate to care how your partner looks and how you look to your partner. If you have an overweight partner, carefully encourage a change to a healthy diet and exercise without bullying, belittling or threatening. Show gentle and supportive appreciation when your partner takes any step in the direction of better health. Know that over eating can have psychological implications. It's often used to relieve feelings of anxiety and stress and sometimes to avoid intimacy. Resolving such problems may require the help of professionals.

You can download chapter one for free by going to, and you can buy The Selfish Path to Romance at