Zaragoza, Feb 26 (EFE).- The writer and psychologist María Esclapez (1990, Elche) points out with her new book ‘You are your safe place’ that “it is important to give us that emotional hug and be compassionate with us” because “we are human and we make mistakes” and “if one day you tell yourself that you are stupid and the next day you repeat it, in the end it sticks and you believe it”.
This author, who has more than 350,000 followers on social networks that serve as a window to “democratize knowledge and that everyone has access to understand how their brain works”, acknowledges in an interview with EFE that “a book cannot it replaces therapy” but writing these reflections “help those who cannot access mental health professionals today due to the saturation of the public and the cost of the private”.
Question: Do you think we consider ourselves our own safe place?
Answer: In general terms, I would say no, although there will be people who, of course, are always at peace with themselves. And I think it’s great. But if we spend a lot of energy looking outside, we can forget what is inside, which is often what is important. In life we work, we study, we stay with the family, we strive to make the relationship as a couple work, we raise our children if there are any… And it is phenomenal. But we always forget to look inside. Taking care of yourself is not only spending two hours or treating yourself, but stopping for a thousandth of a second to see how we are treating ourselves. It is important to know how we speak to each other and how we perceive ourselves. We need to pay attention to ourselves and see what is happening within us. If we do it, we begin to be a safe place and everything that we do not work now will continue to be in the future.
Q: But we can’t just be our safe place…
A: That’s right. You have to treat yourself well, but do not forget that it is important to have a support network based on the rest of the links. That is why we talk about having healthy relationships with others and with yourself, because we are social beings and we cannot be affectively independent. We need to work on ourselves, but it is written in our DNA that we need to have relationships with others. And this is not emotional dependence.
P: And there are people who say they have nothing to talk about. Is it possible or do you think it is a way to avoid dealing with it?
A: Yes, it could be. Sometimes it is avoided out of fear because it is not pleasant to remove history and connect the dots, although it is a relief later. Although it may hurt, you can also understand everything and know where certain things come from. But of course, it is very easy that we do not feel like doing it because it is very hard work. However, there are people who do not do it because they relegate themselves to the background or they think that other people are worse off. I don’t see this as evasive, but rather a more submissive behavior… Here one would have to wonder why this person thinks like this or if they have ever been emotionally invalidated.
Q: What role does emotional and affective responsibility play?
A: It has always been everything and in the end it is from what we build the links, only now we are giving it more visibility because we are more aware and we have it much clearer. Affective responsibility means that what I do and say has consequences for anyone with whom I am in a relationship. In any conversation with a request, a limit or a denial there is always a bidirectionality. It is important not only to do what I feel like doing, but I also have to count on other people so as not to hurt, for example.
Q: And talk about the importance of having self-esteem. Do you think that, although a lot is mentioned, little is practiced?
A: I use the metaphor of the inner child because it talks about working on self-esteem and loving oneself, but it is difficult to know how to do it. Having self-esteem is seeing yourself well in the mirror, eating well, playing sports and speaking well to yourself. Loving each other is great and that is what I try to get people to do, but it is often confused with individualistic terms. You can’t care about the people around you either because it becomes selfish and not self-love.
Q: In short, it talks about that emotional hug that we sometimes don’t give ourselves, because we don’t know where to start…
A: It’s important to give each other a hug and be compassionate to ourselves. You can be wrong or do something wrong, but surely you did not know how to do better at that time. It does not serve to justify anything, but to understand and accept that we are human, that we make mistakes and that we are not perfect. You have to think about what we would say to that child that one day you were because nobody is born knowing.
Q: Do you think that self-love now has more visibility, but less attention?
A: This question is difficult because what I see in consultation every day are cases in which the dimension of self-esteem is obviously touched. And yes, there is a lack of self-love, but I don’t know if this has always been there and now that we are aware of it we have begun to see it or it has gotten worse now. I wouldn’t know how to say exactly what’s going on, perhaps I would have to base myself on some study.
Q: So, what would you say to those people who want to take care of their interior but don’t know how to start doing it?
A: It is important to observe how we speak to each other because we constantly listen to each other. If one day you tell yourself that you are stupid and the next day you repeat it to yourself, in the end it is recorded and you believe it. Also, you will end up treating yourself like this in a systematic way, even if you don’t realize it. So, I would say that we have to pay attention to how we treat ourselves and remember that vulnerable stage that we all have. I think that these two things guide the beginning of the field very well.
P: The book is an adjunct and not a substitute for therapy. How important is it to understand?
A: It’s true… A book is not a substitute for therapy. In fact, there is a notice in the book that recommends going because therapy is still an individualized and unique space. But I also want people to have access to scientific knowledge, but without having to dedicate themselves to science. For me, writing these types of books is a way to democratize knowledge and for everyone to have access to understand how their brain works, how they can take those first steps and to know what things are important to understand when connecting the dots in his day to day and his present. These books help those who cannot access mental health professionals today due to the saturation of the public and the cost of the private.
Q: Another of your windows is social networks. Are there a lack of professionals within these spaces in which there are more and more young people?
A: In all the digital platforms in which there is an audience, there must be disseminators. In the end, there are many sources of information and not all of them are reliable. You get on TikTok and you find very good videos and others that explain how to manipulate your partner so that they are always by your side. This can not be. We have to insist on the functional, healthy, correct message and then we have to be there, each one on their platform.
naiare rodriguez perez