How do you really find your place?

We all seek to land the professional situation or the emotional relationship that will give us the feeling of being in the right place, happy, and of justifying our entire existence. What if this place was first … inside of us?

Today, if we are to believe observers and sociologists, everyone is looking for “their place”. A term with more or less broad outlines, which encompasses, all at the same time and at the same time, the place, the profession, the emotional and relational status. A place where it will be possible to fulfill oneself, to express one’s talents, to be happy… until finally becoming, as Jung said, “a piece of the world”.

This noble (but tiring!) Quest is the price to pay for our emancipation: the fall of the great ideologies that inspired us and the institutions that “contained” us, the loss of family and generational references that structured us … have left a society in flux. wasteland in which we must practice neither more nor less than “self-invention”, as sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann wrote.

Particularly affected by this research: 25-35 year olds, whom Françoise Sand, family counselor, baptizes “the hot-air balloon generation, a volatile generation, agitated a lot, hardly settling down and who, caught up in a long post-adolescence, seems to float in the air. above the real ”(in 25-35 years old, the age of the labyrinth, interviews with Isabelle Vial, Bayard). These young adults, but also “young seniors”, women (torn between their work and their home), men (companions of these new women, etc.) must therefore find their way. What if, on this road, there were first several decoys to pass?

Label syndrome

First among them: believing that “our place” is our status, the social function that we occupy. Just being a “mother”, or “nurse”, or “the good friend who supports others”, freezing yourself in a massive identification with a single facet of our personality, can turn out to be a source of discomfort. It’s like living stuck under a label.

Lynette Scavo, heroine of the cult series Desperate Housewives, in fact the bitter experience. After having been “the biggest job and the highest salary in her company”, she believed she could breathe fresh air by stopping work to raise her children. But still demanding with herself, she now sees herself as “the mother of hyperactive twins” and clings to amphetamines to remain this deserving woman who spends her days filling carts at the supermarket and picking up toys scattered around the house. .

“Would she just have changed her label?” »Asks the voice-over of the series ironically. One can think that “having found one’s place” rests on the contrary on the balance between different dimensions of one’s life. Psychologist Carl Rogers recalled: “The goal of personal growth is to be more and more yourself in any situation, instead of playing a role.”

Iznogoud syndrome

Performance, competition and comparison are other factors of blindness. They make us believe that the place to reach is that of first, or that of another. The rivalry that we first experience in our family, reactivated on the school benches, spreads throughout our lives: apart from total success, major business schools, international fame, highest hierarchical step, no salvation …

This engine can turn into a trap. And, a factor of emulation, the desire can turn sour. The psychosociologist Vincent de Gaulejac observes this regularly in the groups he leads around the social trajectory. “Envy plunges anxiety into a destructive face to face which annihilates his own desire” in History as a legacy, family romance and social trajectory, Desclee de Brouwer).

Just like the vizier Iznogoud, whose sole ambition was to become caliph in place of the caliph, we then run the risk of mobilizing all our resources and our forces to carry out a project which, in the end, will not necessarily prove to be good for we. Others discover, on the contrary, that it is by occupying a more discreet position that they can flourish and deploy all their talents.

Zelig syndrome

Our thirst for recognition or belonging can also distract us from our path. By pushing us to conform to others, to be like them, in the hope of becoming a piece of the puzzle. It is then the Zelig syndrome, as in the eponymous film by Woody Allen released in 1983. To be loved, his character blends into the background. To integrate into the group, he saw the metamorphoses of the chameleon, becoming black in blacks, fat in fat people, shrink in shrinks…

Like him, some, in order not to lose the love of their parents, their spouse, their fellow human beings, remain riveted to the place which has been attributed to them by others, and firmly glued to the plans that have been made. for them.

Assume your uniqueness

What if it was more a question of daring to assert its singularities, its differences? What if, instead of bending to the norm, there was, for each of us, to find our personal touch, our “little music”? Listening to what makes us vibrate in depth, what makes us more alive and always more desiring can then serve as a compass to guide us in our life.

Céline, a reader, told us about it in a spontaneous email a few weeks ago. After nine years devoted to finance, this “private banker” had gone through a serious crisis. Emotional breakdown, realization that he had forty years left to work …

Little by little, the idea that her place no longer suited her had germinated in her. An imbalance that was resolved for her by dint of introspection: “Putting yourself up against the wall, facing yourself, is much more difficult than burying yourself in a life that you don’t like, in the end, than weekends, ”she wrote. But this return to oneself has above all enabled Céline to realize that what she loved above all in life, in all circumstances, was to “see people rejoice”. She therefore decided to make this peculiarity her spur. And has just created his company for organizing private events. At only 28 years old. She understood that her place can be found first of all in yourself.

The opinion of psychiatrist Gérard Apfeldorfer

For Gérard Apfeldorfer, specialist in eating behaviors, our silhouette is the reflection of the space we allow ourselves, especially in the eyes of others.

Psychologies: Does our corpulence reveal something of the place we occupy?

Gérard Apfeldorfer: Obviously, we cannot generalize. But very often, the big ones do indeed feel that they do not deserve their place. Their weight is linked to a feeling of shame, of self-worth. This is why many of them adopt a character of “good fat”, the nice friend or the good friend, asexual, funny, forced to thank you. This is how they constantly try to earn their place with others.

Can a change of place be accompanied by a change of silhouette?
Sometimes, for example, a significant weight loss precedes a divorce. Weight loss is not necessarily the consequence of a diet, but rather the effect of a psychological mutation: we no longer want to be out of the game in terms of seduction.

Does thinness correspond to the desire to be invisible?
For some anorexics, the idea is on the contrary to focus the attention of those around them. They have never occupied so much space as by becoming evanescent. Conversely, obesity can be a way of hiding even though we do not go unnoticed. The relationship between the silhouette (fat, thin, tall, small) and the place we occupy in the eyes of others are never unequivocal.

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