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This is one of several checklists to
help you assess how the inherited
cycle is affecting you and your family. This unseen, toxic cycle promotes most personal, marital, family, and social
problems. Lesson 1 in this online self-improvement
course is about
improving your life by identifying, and reducing psychological wounds and unawareness.
brief YouTube video introduces what you'll find in this behavioral-trait checklist:
The video mentions eight self-improvement lessons in this Web site - I've reduce
that to seven.
This trait-checklist assumes you're familiar with...
43 typical behavioraltraits of psychologically-wounded people
("Grown Wounded Children," or GWCs). The wounds causing these
behaviors come from early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse
Print a copy of this
checklist, and choosea place and
timewhere you won't be distracted. Choose the open mind of a
student, and expect to learn something useful.
you feel a mix of these traits: centered, grounded, peaceful, alert,
awake, "up," confident, "light,"
focused, purposeful, resilient, realistic, compassionate, serene, calm,
strong, and clear. If so, your
true Self is probably
other subselves. If you don't feel some of these
skewed results from this checklist.
not about blame or "badness," its about discovering
to heal and grow.
some behavioral traits
below are either "x" or "not x";
these traits are in
random order. Some traits cause more stress than others; and note...
theme of each of these traits, rather than taking them
too literally. There are many variations.
Take your time, and note any feelings and thoughts that
occur to you as you go. Consider
journaling about these to add to your learnings.
Pick one or two people you want to rate (e.g. you, your
partner, an ex mate, a parent,...). Then thoughtfully
check each of the behavioral traits below that
generally fits one or both of them.
Me / You
__ __ 1) S/He usually thinks in black-or-white
("bipolar") terms: s/he sees things as either right or wrong, good
or bad, relevant or not, logical or "stupid" - not somewhere between, or
a mix. S/He's significantlyuneasy with ambivalence, vagueness, or
__ __ 2) S/He is
often a (compulsive) perfectionist.
Achieving perfection is just "normal" (vs. special); S/He has
trouble enjoying personal achievements, and is often uncomfortable accepting
merited appreciation and praise.
__ __ 3)
is often rigid and inflexible. S/He thinks obsessively, and/or acts compulsively, even if personally unpleasant,
unnecessary, or unhealthy; or s/he is overly passive and
compliant fearing to take personal, social, and occupational initiatives
__ __ 4) S/He is
usually serious, intellectual, and
analytic, wanting to understand life and situations, and know in detail
things are as they are. S/He may be interested in psychology, counseling, and/or
study and discuss human behavior "endlessly."
__ __ 5) S/He is
often confused, disorganized,
and helpless; or
s/he is fiercely independent,
controlling, and overcompetent.S/He depends excessively on,
or chronically procrastinates or avoids seekingappropriatemedical, psychological, social, and/or spiritual
__ __ 6) S/He is uncomfortable being
or childlike ("doesn't know how to play"),
ors/heis frequentlysilly, simplistic, childish, and joking. S/He is uncomfortable with, and frequently
avoids, prolonged emotionally-intimate personal contacts.
__ __ 7)
(over-willing to take charge, organize, and fix things, even if personally taxing);
and undependable; and probably denies,
minimizes, or rationalizes (explains) doing either one.
__ __ 8) S/Heoften has trouble feeling and/or
expressing strong emotions, and/or tolerating them in others -
anger, hurt, fear, and sadness. S/He
often feels "nothing," or
s/hehas frequent unpredictable or inappropriate outbursts of rage,
S/He may never apologize, or
apologizes all the time.
__ __ 9) S/Hecompulsively
emotions, key relationships, and interpersonal situations. S/He is overly aggressive,
demanding, and domineering,
or subtly, persistently
manipulative - e.g. using
guilt-trips or a "helpless
victim" stance, striving
to "always" get her/his way. Where true, s/he
probably denies, minimizes, defends, jokes about, or rationalizes this.
__ __ 10) S/Hehas significant
about early childhood years, events, and one or both parents. S/He knows
little about one or both parents' childhood experiences and feelings, and finds
that unimportant or unremarkable.
__ __ 11) S/He'ssocially
very shy or very
social, and has few or no real (intimate)friends. S/He has
a history of relationship avoidances and/or
S/He feels uncomfortable with interpersonal commitmentand/or
intimacy, and consistently denies, minimizes, or rationalizes (intellectually
explains and justifies) this.
__ __ 12) S/Hemay be
sexually dysfunctional- e.g. impotent, frigid, or compulsively avoids sexual contact;
is harmfully seductive and promiscuous. S/He may be secretly uncomfortable with,
or ashamed of, her or his gender, body (parts), sexual feelings
and fantasies, and/or
behavior. S/He may have been sexually
abused or traumatized as a child or young adult.
__ __ 13) S/He"never gets sick,"
suffers chronic illnesses like migraines or other headaches, back, neck, or
other muscle pain; insomnia or apnea, obesity; asthma; gastric, intestinal, or colon
problems; anxiety attacks; phobias; allergies, or other emotional or physical maladies
which may not respond to appropriate medications or therapies.
__ __ 14) S/He is
significantly uncomfortable about revealing
personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences(is excessively
s/he often discloses personal things inappropriately(naive, insensitive,
__ __ 15)
S/Heis uncomfortable giving, getting,
and/or observing affectionate and appropriate touching and hugging
(is "stiff" or "cold"),
and/ors/he often touches others dutifully, awkwardly or inappropriately.
__ __ 16) S/Heoften avoids personal conflicts
with or between others by changing or controlling the conversation,
getting intensely angry, "collapsing," or withdrawing physically and/or
emotionally ("numbing out"); or s/he seems to often enjoy
or experiencing conflict (i.e. excitement and drama) with or between others.
- these are common behavioral traits of psychologically-wounded adults
Me / You
__ __ 17)
S/He is compulsive about,
and/or is or was addicted to, one or more of these:
_ God / worship / church /
salvation / hell / Satan / angels / demons / ghosts
_ money / wealth / saving /
spending / gambling
_ material possessions
self-image / others' opinions
__ __ 18) S/He has
relatives, and/or past or present partners who are compulsive
about, or are or were addicted to, one or more of the above.
__ __ 19) S/Hehas recurring
("laziness"), and/or tiredness"for no reason." S/He may have
periodic sleep disorders (e.g. insomnia) and/or nightmares, and may
__ __ 20)
"empty," "something's missing (in me)," or "I'm
people) somehow...", without knowing why.
__ __ 21) S/He is significantly
uncomfortable being aloneor s/he prefers solitude to an unusual degree and seems
socially isolated and "anti-social."
We're half-way done. Do you need to
Me / You
22) S/He has
markedly low self-esteemand is often harshly self-critical
and discounts her/his own talents and successes. S/He is constantly
and/or defensive, and usually deflects or discounts merited praise. S/He
often avoids making
appropriate eye contact with some or most males / females / authorities
/ people, and reflexively uses "you" or "we" rather than "I."
__ __ 23) S/He often experiences mind-racing or mind-churning: ceaseless "inner
voices" (thought streams), which are frequently
anxious or fearful, cynical and/or pessimistic, critical,
catastrophizing, argumentative, obsessive, and/or chaotic.
__ __ 24) S/He is often
anxiously alert to the present and expected painful actions of other people.
S/He tends to
assume others' (usually negative) perceptions, beliefs, and/or intentions, and
to react to things that havent happened yet as though they had.
__ __ 25) S/Heoften smiles and/or chuckles
inappropriately when nervous, hurt, confused, scared, angry,
worried. S/He is probably unaware of this habit, cant
explain it, and may joke about it to hide related
guilt and anxiety.
__ __ 26) S/He often feels vaguely or clearly
victimized by others or "fate",regularly
avoids taking responsibility for her/his own
choices, and denies or stubbornly rationalizes doing so;
or s/heassumes too
much responsibility, and feels guilty for things
s/he can't control.
__ __ 27)
S/He is highly
sensitive to real or imagined
criticism from others, and unnecessarily rationalizes, explains, and defends her
actions and values. S/He is quick to blame others or often
empathizes with "the other guys" situation and gives in
__ __ 28) S/He commonly fears,
distrusts, is tense
around, and/or argues with some authority figures.S/He feels very
anxious without clear instructions, or s/he compulsively resists them and
acts independently despite others' irritation or frustration.
__ __ 29) S/He fears saying "no"
and offending people or being rejected by them. S/He avoids
setting appropriate limits (boundaries) with others, and feels reluctant to - and
guilty about -
asserting her/his own
rights, needs, values, perceptions, and
__ __ 30)
S/He confuses pity with
associates love with pain.S/He usually focuses on
others' needs first, and
seeks to rescue or "fix" them;
or s/heis over-concerned with
his or her own needs (is "self centered"). S/He avoids intimacy, or
cyclically seeks, then runs from it - i.e. s/he has a history of
Me / You
__ __ 31) S/He hangs on desperately to
relationships that regularly cause significant shame,
fear, guilt, hurt, resentment, sorrow, and frustration. S/He may repeatedly cycle between intense
jealousy and guilt. Major personal relationship-choices are often largely based on
criticism, "being wrong," rejection, and abandonment;
__ __ 32)
S/He is unaware of not being able to
with some or all kids and adults, and denies or minimizes this.
__ __ 33) S/He
often feels bored, restless, or uneasy
without current personal or environmental crisis,
drama, chaos, and/or excitement. At times
seems to seek or make crises, and denies, jokes about, or rationalizes (justifies) this.
__ __ 34) Typically s/he
and reacts to situationsor s/he is often self-harmfully impulsiveand
__ __ 35)
S/He often feels
lonely, even in a group. S/He rarely feels s/he really
__ __ 36) S/He
often seeks comfort, pleasure, and gratificationnow
vs. later, even if that's self-harmful in the long run. S/He may defend,
justify, or minimize this, rationalize it by saying
"I can't help it," and/or deflect from it by joking.
__ __ 37) S/He prefers to work independently- e.g.
as a consultant, craftsperson, or entrepreneur -
and/or to work in a solitary
changes jobs often or stays at the same job for years. S/He works in a
human-service occupation (e.g. nurse or doctor, teacher, counselor,
coach, clinician, lawyer,
clergyperson, consultant, sales or service rep, )
__ __ 38) S/He rarely or
compulsively initiates social activities. S/He habitually avoids
seeks being the center of social and/or occupational attention.
__ __ 39) S/He is
and grandioseors/he is subtly or clearly
self-sabotaging, and self-neglectful - e.g. eating poorly, overworking, avoiding exercise, and never seeing a doctor or
dentist except in emergencies.
__ __ 40)
S/He habitually withholds or
shades the truth or
liesto avoid expected criticism, rejection,
and/or "hurting (displeasing) others."
denies, minimizes. or justifies this, and secretly feels guilty
__ __ 41)
S/He is secretly or openly
ashamed of her or hisappearance and/or body. S/He may be extremely modest
or very immodest. S/He consistently grooms and
dresses shabbily and drably, or "loudly," over-formally, or
__ __ 42)
repeatedly chooses people with significant psychological
__ __ 43)
or discounts having many or most of
these traits to excess,explains them defensively, and/or minimizes
their personal significance - and s/he probably denies this denial,
jokes about it.
These are typical behavioral traits
of someone who has inherited psychological wounds and unawareness.
There are other
common traits - this is
not a complete list. Each wounded person has a unique mix and variety of
behaviors like these, depending on their life experiences, circumstances, ancestral
inheritances, and which subselves dominate their personality.
There is no
research-based "scale" with which to reliably interpret your
score here. The more traumatic a person's childhood environment was, the
more items above may be checked - but see # 43. Because none of us grew up in
perfectly healthy childhoods, has some of these traits.
The real questions are which
traits, how many, and what
impacts are all the traits having on the person's
life and health so far? Two common impacts are psychological
divorce or never committing to a primary partner. Other common impacts are
depression, "anxiety attacks," "mood disorders," (some)
and/or chronic health problems.
If your results suggest that you (or whomever you rated) "aren't
significantly wounded," I
to fill out this assessment profile to make sure. The false selves
that control wounded people protectively minimize and/or deny (distort)
Every adult and child can be
subjectively placed somewhere on a line between "slightly wounded" to
"extremely wounded."Generally, the
more checks or "X's" above, the higher the odds that the person you're rating has
significant psychological wounds
and a disabled true Self. The
greater the wounds, the greater the chances of chronic trouble maintaining personal health, satisfying
work situations, and lasting, healthy relationships.
rough guide, if you checked more than 15 of these 43 items, I suggest you or the person you rated
invest time in online self-study
It's' free, and contains NO ads.
Many psychologically-wounded people survived major
early-childhood trauma (abandonment, neglect, and abuse). For more perspective, view this brief YouTube video on common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
about yourself with this anonymous 1-quesrtion
See where you stand now on assessing for false-self (psychological) wounds -
T = "true," F = "false," and ? = "I'm not sure," or "it
depends on (what?)";
I accept that normal personalities
are composed of talented subselves, like members of an orchestra or
sports team (T F ?) If you don't, read this
letter, and try this safe, interesting
I can explain the concept of a
true Self and a false self to an average teen now. (T F ?)
I can name at least six common
symptoms of a
true Self guiding someone's personality (T F ?)
I can explain what a family or
other social group's
nurturance level is, and how it relates to personality subselves (T F ?)
I accept the idea that
survivors of a low-nurturance childhood often bear up to six "false self
(T F ?)
I can name all six psychological wounds , and at least four common personal
effects of these wounds on average people. (T F ?)
I can explain what
hitting ''true bottom'' means, to an average teen, and how hitting bottom relates to effective
wound-recovery. (T F ?)
I believe that once protective
denials are broken, significant psychological wounds can intentionally be
reduced over time (T F ?)
I am motivated to honestly
myself now for significant psychological wounds. (T F ?)
My true Self is
responding to this status check. (T F ?)
All the content in this nonprofit
Break the Cycle! Web site assumes you can answer most or all of these
items "True," without ambivalence. If not, repeat your
assessment if or when you hit true bottom...
+ + +
Note without judgment
what you're thinking and how you feel
now. What does that mean?
Thoughts / Notes
This is one of
several Lesson-1 worksheets to help assess the impact of
the toxic [wounds + unawareness]
cycle on you and your family.
This worksheet is based on the observable reality that significantly-wounded
adults were raised in a low-nurturance environment, and later tend to
(a) choose wounded partners and (b) co-create a low-nurturance family of