Time to pull out that Pink Elephant and try again!
After watching this pattern in myself over and over again, I can say I've made some progress. I understand where the pattern has originated, I've communicated the triggers that seem to set me off, and I've also learned how to clean up my own side of the street and take responsiblity for the mess I've created, but that gets old after awhile. At the core of this pattern is a desire to be heard and understood and I think that it's nothing more than a fundamental human trigger that can get the better of us at times. There are many versions of the pattern and what's most crazy is that we do this to the people that we love and love us the most. In our commitment to communicate in one of our Pink Elephant conversations, it became clear that when either of us is getting frustrated it typically comes from a desire to be heard and understood that is apparently not being fulfilled.
Since then, we've both agreed that in the event that either of us see the other starting to get frustrated we've agreed to simply pause and ask the other:
"What is it that you're saying to me that you feel that I'm not hearing?"
What we have found is that such simple words said with love can tame the the wildest beast within us. What do you do in those situations? Would love to hear from you!
From the heart! Shasheen