Birthdays are like this, there are those who love them and those who would like to skip them. Who celebrates, who gets depressed and who treats them with cold and melancholy indifference. Well, in this article I would like to talk to you about these last two categories which, in fact, would gladly do without spending the whole day of the birthday, including greetings.
If you too, every year, are looking for new excuses not to celebrate your birthday, know that you should ask yourself about the possible causes. Now, either you suffer from social anxiety and don’t like being the center of attention or there is something equally profound which, in extreme cases, translates into a real “birthday depression”.
Let’s be serious: why would anyone boycott their birthday ?!
What kind of “Grinch” wouldn’t want to celebrate the day he arrived in this beautiful world? Receiving gifts, hugs, sharing smiles, blowing out candles and… eating cakes!
I hate my birthday
This sentence can have a large number of connotations,
“Each year that passes represents a failure, one more year in which I have not managed to achieve my goals, one less year that separates me from old age, one more year wasted …”
This first mental pattern can be common to those suffering from mood disorders, perhaps a latent depression that occurs precisely in conjunction with the birthday. The birthday, as I will explain below, is an emblematic date.
Alternatively, if the experience of birthday depression is centered on failure, the pattern may be typical of a personality who harbored (or still harbored) unrealistic ambitions about their life.
This model is triggered when the ideal self is very distant from the perceived self. You may have thought that by your 30th birthday you would be graduated, doctoral and with a satisfying job… but now you are 32 and your life is not exactly like that. So can failures justify the aversion to one’s birthday? Certainly not.
The issue gets worse when there is a narcissistic picture, especially of the covert type (to learn more, read my article on “Types and subtypes of narcissism”). You will think that for the narcissist there is nothing better than being in the spotlight so what better excuse than his birthday? This is true, but not always. Unfortunately, even the narcissist can experience depression and this can coincide with the birthday for two reasons, the first existential (which I will explain later) and the second because he cannot accept a reality in which the years pass and he has not yet been able to demonstrate to the world its true value.
Still, then, there are those who hate birthdays because they are afraid of getting old. The fear of getting old is more prevalent than you might imagine. The causes? Partly our own culture. We live in a society where the physical, social and relational level predominate over individual identity.
We tend to give a complex value to goods (even superfluous ones) as an attribution of importance not so much for their use value or for the real emotions that they can arouse, but for a complex mechanism of projections and desires. That of the image has now become a real cult. Uniform physical forms, youthful appearance are the new standards to be pursued (just see the artifacts on TV to realize it). The fear of getting old, therefore, is one of the causes that can lead you to say that you hate celebrating your birthday.
If you don’t reflect yourself in any of these models, know that much more generally, birthday depression can be linked to an ancestral wound that leads us back to the maternal bond. This is easy to understand: birthday is an emblematic date, it refers to our birth and there are, unfortunately, those who do not feel deserving to live.
Birthday Psychology: an emblematic date
As I have repeated to you several times, and birthday is an emblematic date, it represents your arrival on this earth and inevitably also leads back to the bond with your mother.
In psychology (particularly in psychoanalysis) the birthday is a symbol of the celebration of life, birth and the maternal bond.
Anyone who had a difficult childhood, a careless, anaffective or unloving mother, will certainly tend to hate her birthday. I’ll make you a small premise:
A mother (even a loving or “good-intentioned” mother) may not be able to meet her child’s emotional needs. The child in question experiencing shortcomings, manages to feel anger, resentment, frustration … but, not being able to express them towards the one who brought him into the world, he tends to harbor them towards himself. Thus he becomes convinced that he is wrong, that he is not worthy of love.
In practice, if your mother did not welcome you and did not educate you in line with your emotional needs, you did not receive the affection you should have received. This has generated a wound that manifests itself in different circumstances, birthday is one of them. This day reminds you of all of this. There is a message hidden in the most fragile and remote part of your being that tells you: “you are wrong and you should not have been born”.
When a child’s needs are not validated, this child grows up with a number of wrong beliefs and, among these, there may also be the perception that his mother was not happy with her birth. In practice, the child does not feel up to the crumbs of love that he receives from his own mother and believes that he cannot repay, with his existence, all the sacrifices that his mother has made for 9 months of gestation and not. only. This is a very deep innate belief that can arise in adults who have been victims of emotional neglect as children.
Tips for having a good birthday
If your childhood was not idyllic, do not allow yourself to invalidate even adulthood. Work on yourself, ask for help and above all… don’t refuse to celebrate your birthday!
Instead of thinking about what excuses to find for not having a birthday, think about your loved ones. I know that on this day, most of all, you will feel lonely and sad, perhaps even inconsolable, but know that this loneliness is only a legacy of the past. Today you can be whoever you want, even if you are not excited and the idea of celebrating does not excite you, do not think you want to cancel this day from the calendar, you will only confirm those insane beliefs resulting from your inner wounds.
I can’t tell you how to spend your birthday, but I can suggest you read my article “As adults we become our own parents”. In this article I do not want to burden you with responsibilities that you do not have, but only to tell you that there is always a path to take to appreciate life, even yours, even on your birthday. Try to be a better parent to yourself than you ever had.