2. Focus on your strengths
All of us have certain flaws and imperfections. That’s what makes us human. But we also have certain strengths and abilities which make us unique and special. And whether you admit it or not, you also possess certain unique traits that make you stand out from others. So instead of trying to hide, acknowledge your abilities and learn to take compliments and praise from others. If you have a hard time identifying what makes you special, then pay attention to what others praise in you and what they like about you.
3. Establish strong, healthy boundaries
Setting up and asserting personal boundaries is hard for most of us but it is more important than you can realize. Boundaries are not about keeping others away but more about protecting yourself. Learn to say ‘no’ when you want to in a respectable and graceful manner. Boundaries keep you safe and allow you to connect with others on your terms.
4. No more self-bashing
Enough with all the self-deprecating, self-hatred, self-blame and self-criticism. Yes, we all make mistakes but blaming yourself constantly will not solve anything. It will only make you feel exhausted, overwhelmed and isolated. This is why it is crucial that you learn to silence your inner critic and ignore the negative self-talk no matter how loud they scream at you. If the negative inner voice becomes too strong, try to pause, practice self-compassion and use facts and logic to counter negative thoughts and emotions. Caring about yourself is not a crime. According to Dr. Malkin “Self-blame is an action, not a feeling.” echoists do it to hide their disappointment and avoid being seen as needy. “When you start blaming yourself after a bad interaction, ask yourself – did I really do something so wrong?” he suggests.
5. Acknowledge & express your emotions
One of the worst habits you develop from echoism is suppressing and ignoring your emotions and needs. This tendency of avoiding your feelings and desires leads to self-blame which makes it worse. Instead of hiding your feelings, try to identify and accept your emotions no matter how difficult it may be. It is also important that you learn to share your emotions, dreams and desires with others. Although it may take some time and effort, you will get there with determination and patience.
6. Overcome the trauma
Echoism is primarily fueled by early trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACE) that causes unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. Over a period of time, being an echoist can make you suffer from a number of mental health conditions, such as depression, which can worsen due to your childhood trauma. Hence, it is best to see a therapist or a healthcare professional to overcome the trauma and learn healthy coping strategies to live a better, healthier life.
Read also: 3 Ways To Handle Childhood Trauma
7. Build healthier relationships
As echoists are often attracted towards narcissists, it is likely that you are either stuck in an unhealthy relationship or have your fair share of toxic exes. However, it is important that now you take the right steps to move away from unhealthy attachment patterns and toxic relationships. This will enable you to express your opinions and build your own personal identity. Being in toxic relationships can keep you trapped in the echoism loop. So either try to change the relationship dynamic or simply walk away if you feel the relationship or friendship is too damaged for repair. Stop denying yourself the right to experience a healthy, loving relationship.
Balance Echoism And Narcissism
One of the worst things we can do to ourselves is build an image of ourselves in our minds and alter our personality, identity, behaviors and life to fit that image. This is perhaps the biggest problem with echoists. As they don’t want others to perceive them as narcissists, they make unnecessary sacrifices at the cost of their own happiness. What you need to realize is that a thought is just that… a thought. It’s not a fact. Don’t make it your reality.
“You do actually have a voice, you’ve just learned to silence it. And some people may even love to hear it,” says Craig Malkin, Ph.D. Instead of avoiding yourself to hold up your image of not being a narcissist, bring some balance into your life. Add a healthy dose of narcissism and self-love to counter your echoism. This will help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Express yourself. Fulfill your needs. Love yourself. Manifest happiness.