By Nancy Pina, for GalTime.com
When you have a spat with your guy, do you resort to the silent treatment? Maybe you pout until he caves in to your way of thinking, because that’s what always works with everyone else. Perhaps you try this tactic: fleeing the scene, refusing to engage at all ... then pretending that nothing happened once tempers cool down.
Most of us form a pattern of dealing with those with whom we are most vulnerable as a means of protection from possible emotional hurt. It is so ingrained that we may not even be aware that it is a obstacle to having a connected, stable and loving relationship.
Communication problems can cause an avalanche in a committed relationships or marriage. If your partner can’t understand why you behave the way you do, and why you fly off the handle when he wants to spend time with his friends, for example, he will eventually stop caring and stop trying to understand.
As a relationship coach, I have talked to many women who did not understand why they were so anxious and discontent in love, no matter how great the guy treated them. The real answer is not getting your way when things unfold differently than you expect, but asking what it is on the inside that makes you react in a manner that you wish you didn’t.
What has a hold on you?
If you did not grow up with a strong sense of self-worth and belonging in your formative years, you probably developed ways to compensate for those feelings of insecurity.
Every challenge in your life, especially in love, will be filtered through the impression you have of yourself. The closest relationships will display the most vulnerability. When disagreements arise, a fear of being unloved and possibly rejected can rise to the surface. You end up fighting an emotional battle from the past ... you’re not really in the present moment.
Are you being controlled by an emotion or feeling, responding to that hurt instead of what’s going on right now?
Consider these steps to break free of this past pattern and communicate more effectively:
- Identify what’s controlling you. You want to go out to dinner but instead of asking your guy if he’d like to do that, you backdoor the request and ask what he’d like to eat tonight. When he doesn’t come up with the right answer, you immediately change your demeanor and freeze him out for the rest of the evening. He’s wondering what just happened and you refuse to say a word. The source of feeling like you never get anything you want is rooted not in what just happened, but somewhere in your past. To become a better communicator in love, you first need to look at those emotions that steer your reactions.