Does this sound like your family?
You are a Type A personality. You’re driven, intense and focused primarily on your
career. You tend to look at yourself as having to be perfect, are impatient with co-workers and subordinates who are slower than you or who don’t share your passion about their work and careers.
Of course, these personality traits carry over to your home life, as well. You get impatient and easily irritated at your teens who don’t have that kind of passion about school, sports, or anything in their lives, except, their friends.
Most likely, your spouse does not share your personality traits, either. It’s what attracted you to them. They may be a people pleaser, “yessing” you and accepting you because he/she loves you. You predicted that you would be happily married, partly because it would be unlikely that your spouse would compete with you and therefore, you would always be in control in the relationship.
Or, perhaps, your spouse or one of your children, is just as competitive as you and
therefore there is a constant power struggle going on within the family.
Unresolved or insensitively managed conflict negatively impacts families on multiple
levels. In these situations, you hate coming home perhaps as much as you hate going to work. On the other hand, if you can learn how to skillfully resolve conflicts, it can be a platform for enhancing the love and warmth within your family.
The following is a three-step series of behavioral prescriptions for assessing and
implementing a conflict resolution program at home. Once put into practice, in as little as 21 days you can see positive change in your relationship with your spouse, children and stop the “I hate going home” feeling:
•Rx #1. Use A Thought Stopping Technique
Whenever you get angry at a family member, it is never what that family member
says or does that gets you angry; rather, it is your interpretation (based on your own
internal dialogue) of what that family member says or does that always determines your
Internal Dialogue The key to analyzing your vulnerability to being provoked into
confrontations, is to understand when your automatic thoughts, including your
assumptions and conclusions, are distorted and therefore cause the emotional reactions
Examples of automatic thought distortions are:
•“My teenager should respect my rules, even if she doesn’t like them.”
(using should, must, and have to in judging your actions);
•“My husband is selfish and doesn’t care about my needs, ” (reading your
spouse’s mind about what he must be thinking and feeling);
•“I will never be happy as long as these kids are living in this house.”
(catastrophizing or fortune telling about what negative things will
happen to you in the future);
•“I’m a failure as a parent” (negatively labeling yourself instead of
describing your behavior as unfortunate or unproductive).