5 Losing Strategies in Relationships
Have you found yourself going back to the same, old arguments
And having the same, old outcome?
The brain creates neuropathways designed to make decisions quickly and with the least amount of information as possible.
When in stress it will also default to "safe mode" where it loses the ability to be creative
When you are in a situation with your spouse that often ends in a silent stalemate or a loud argument
The brain moves into a state of "fight, flight, or freeze".
It perceives emotional danger :
I may be wrong
I may be forced into something
I may be hurt
I may be left alone
It bags the higher goal
Growth, connection, love
And goes for another goal
Like being right
Or changing his mind for
There is a reason we keep doing the same, old things.
We just usually don't know WHY we keep doing the same, old things.
This is what we address when coaching.
Terrence Real, a fabulous author of some excellent marriage books like "Us" and "The New Rules of Marriage"
talks about five losing strategies that are basic coping strategies that people often adopt from a young age
That kill connection.
All of these are based on thought errors that feel true
And create more of the "dangers" you actually, originally feared the most for you and your partner
The 5 Losing Strategies are
Needing to be right: "If he sees that my thought is more correct then the disagreement will stop" (resulting in making him wrong)
Controlling your partner: "If he stops doing that we won't have a problem" (resulting in trying to take his freedom to be how he is)
Unbridled self-expression: "He needs to know how I feel so he can change it" (resulting in giving him responsibility to fix something that only you have the power to change)
Reacting with retaliation: "If he could feel how badly this hurts he would stop doing that" (resulting in increased pain)
Withdrawal: "Connection hurts. If I disconnect I am safer" (resulting in emotionally leaving him alone and cutting yourself off from the love of your life)
If you recognize any of these habits in your repertoire
PLEASE DO THIS FIRST
Be a safe place to look at these
The answer is not to turn these habits back on yourself by
Making yourself wrong for thinking and feeling things
Controlling you without connecting to you first
Retaliating against yourself with blame or shame
Withdrawing from yourself or refusing to allow part of your human-ness
How about you just decide that there is a part of the primal brain that tries to protect you from harm and it has just been confused.
"Thank you, Brain, for trying to protect me. We are going to start doing things differently now."
The skills that are required to start doing things differently are ones you can develop on your own.
Recognizing and allowing your fear without trying to escape from it
Identifying and changing the thoughts that are driving these habits
Developing self-compassion and unconditional love for you being human and carrying that over to him
Communicating feelings and boundaries with full ownership of your agency
Staying open to connection by calming your brain and having confidence in your ability to experience emotions and have your own back