Mastering your reactions

Do you anticipate how your partner is going to react to something you need to say or do or do you actually wait to hear their response?

Without consciously realising it we all anticipate how someone is going to react. This is based on previous behaviours and actions which we remember and so we can, without realising it, plan our exit or our strategy for getting what we want.  When a relationship is in crisis this can often exacerbate the problems rather than help.

Some of the things I hear from my clients are:

  • “I know what he’ll say before I broach the subject – so why bother”.
  • “I have to be sure she’s in the right mood before I talk to her”
  • “He’s always criticising me”

The lists go on……..

The issue here is that when people are in a relationship with problems they go on a  ‘red-alert’  look-out for more problems and often miss the true intent of their partner’s words or reactions. They only see things from their own perspective and close off any other possibilities.  They can presume their partner is ‘out to hurt them’ – which is usually not the case at all. They can create meanings for themselves which are pure fiction but become true for them in the moment.

The one thing all these feelings have in common is the person is focussing on themselves rather than the relationship and their part in it.

When both partners resort to this way of reacting then the relationship is going nowhere fast.

To break the habit we need to create new ways of behaving.  We need to become curious and interested as to why our partner is behaving the way they are.  We need to become mature in our reactions.

Could this be a cry for help. A cry to be heard. A wish to be understood at a deeper level.

By mastering your reactions to how your partner is behaving or to what they are saying then you open the door to more possibilities and the reality of what they are feeling and experiencing – rather than your assumption that you presume you know.

This may sound complicated. It isn’t.  If you would like to learn more then do give me a call.