Taken from al-anon sayings
As a recovering codependent, one of the acronyms that has helped me most is “S.A.L.T.” STOP ACTION, LISTEN, and THINK. Now when i get myself into a situation where I’m in conflict with someone else, instead of reacting to the conflict I do the following:
STOP ACTION= so i can focus on how I am feeling. I take a deep breath, and try to get my bearings so I can detach from the persons behavior.
LISTEN= to myself “self-talk.” Am I telling myself to change the other person, to get him or her to see my side? Do I feel afraid or threatened?
THINK= about what I want to do. If I think about the choices I have, I can change my usual ways of reacting. This gives me a feeling of mastery over my actions, and the self-confidence to deal effectively with the conflict.
Please Listen to What I am Not Saying
Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear. For I wear a mask; I wear a thousand masks I am afraid to take off, and none of them are me.
I give you the impression that I am secure, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the water’s calm and I’m in command, and that I need no one. But don’t believe me please.
My surface may seem smooth– underneath I dwell in confusion, in fear, in fear being found out. That’s why I frantically create a mood to hide behind, a calm, sophisticated front to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is my salvation and I know it. It’s the only thing that can assure me of acceptance and love. I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh. Laughter would kill me.
So I play my game, my desperate pretending game, with front of “having it together,” and a trembling child within. And so my life becomes a front. I chatter to you in a cool tone; I tell you everything that’s nothing and nothing of what’s everything what’s crying within me. So when I go into my routine do not be fooled by what I am saying, Please listen to what I am not saying.
I dislike the phony game I’m playing. I’d like to be real and spontaneous, and me. You’ve got to hold out your hand even when it may seem to be the last thing I want, and need. Only you can call me aliveness. Each time you’re kind and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings– small wings, very feeble wings.
I want you to know how important you re to me, how you can be a creator of the person that is me if you choose to. But it will not be easy for you. A long time of feeling inferior builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me, the harder I may strike back. It is irrational, but I am irrational. I fight against the very things I cry out for. But I am told that love is stronger then walls, and therein lies my hope. Please try and bet down those walls with firm hands, but with gentle hands– for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I? you may wonder? I am someone you know very well, I am every newcomer you meet.
From the book called “Stepping Stones To Recovery from Codependency by Katie C and Deb M