Common Behaviors of Those with Same Gender Attraction
Same gender attraction is a complex issue and it may be helpful to family and friends of those who experience same gender attraction to know some common behaviors and characteristics associated with those who have these attractions and why they have them.
The more knowledge you have, the more understanding you will have and the better you will be able to be there as a friend or loved one who loves and cares deeply for them. Not as much information is available about women as men so these characteristics may apply more so to men with same gender attraction than to women although there is probably a lot of overlap.
Behaviors and Characteristics
We all have some not-so-positive behaviors that we are working on. Many of the ones mentioned here are common to those who have experienced other types of trauma-based experiences.
- Easily offended, Overly sensitive to perceived rejection or criticism
- Goes into shame very easily, shuts down, zones out
- Full of anxiety due to always anticipating the next shame moment. They shame themselves, even create situations to shame themselves
- Need to punish the weak little boy/girl within
- Difficulty speaking up for self for fear of making situation worse
- Powerlessness in relationships
- Once they have identified self as "gay" or "lesbian" they no longer ask why they have the attractions. It becomes an identity for them that needs to be justified. According to Dr. Joseph Nicolosi they have gone through a process of having grieved the loss of their belief that they can change. It then becomes harder for them to consider other options. They have given up.
- Tendency to be theatrical, hyper, over-the-top, not centered, out of balance
- Victim mind-set, Self-pity (Gay political agenda reflects this: "You are making us feel bad.")
See also: Limiting Behaviors to Changing Same Gender Attraction
How to Help Those with SGA (SSA) as a Friend or Family Member
Ok. I will admit that I am making some guesses here. There may be those of you who have dealt with this and have wonderful ideas to share. Please do. I will add in the option in time.
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- Listen to the person carefully and maintain eye contact. You don't have to agree, but let them know you are wanting to understand.
- Ask questions to make sure you are understanding them correctly.
- Keep confidences and do everything you can to let them know they can trust you.
- When you see them jump to an incorrect conclusion (Ex. thinking they are being judged or criticized), help them to see things in a different light. Give them other possibilties for what just happened. Give a different perspective.
- Compliment and build them up. They are feeling a large degree of "less than" and need to feel that others see them as someone of worth.
- When they go into any of these limiting beliefs ask them why they feel that way and keep going with the whys until they get to the bottom of it and then get them to feel and acknowledge the feeling and then let it go.
- Above all else - love them and let them know you love them!
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any disease. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Please consult with a licensed health care practitioner if you are dealing with a serious disease or illness.
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