Wonder Why It All Blows-Up? (by Lori Weckbaugh)

Has this happened to you; you’re out for a leaf-viewing drive, everything seemed fine when you left home, yet a few miles down the road your harmless question (where would you like to have lunch?) silence, a grumpy sound in a sarcastic tone— “How would I know where would YOU like to eat?” That angers you or shuts you down. A fine morning end with hurt feelings.

How do you recover?
1st > You must understand, why what you are doing will not help you. Humans have 5 defensive responses: Fight, flight, hide, freeze and submit. When our mind senses danger via our five senses, one or more of these responses instantly fire—off!
These behaviors were brilliant in childhood as they helped us survive, however they fail us in adulthood. When you fight, hide or freeze, those behaviors threaten the very one we are trying to love or receive love from.

2nd > Prevent danger by creating safety. Letting go of our responses seems counter-intuitive. Don’t fight or run? Are you crazy! I will die if I don’t do that. Yes, you must do exactly that, put down your defensive “weapons”. Why? Because they don’t work anymore! You flee they run. When you stop talking, they fight. You fight they hide or submit. In effect your attempt to stay safe is creating an unsafe environment for you and your relationship.

3rd > Create safety. In place of your “felt response”; try utilizing new skills to build safety and trust rather than danger, bewilderment, and emotional pain.

Four tools for safety in your relationships:
1) Send appreciations. “What I like about you is that your smart and fun to be with.”
2) Ask for them to reflect back to you what you are saying. Intervene: “Would you be willing to repeat what you hear me say?”
3) Ask for them to gift you with a 7—day experiment (of a new behavior). “For the next 7 days would you be willing to hang up your shower towel after you are finished?”
4) Gift them with surprises and loving behaviors. Hide a note of care and love in a pocket, on their car seat, in their wallet. Bring home flowers (a delight for any genders or age). Short text appreciations at unusual times of the day (at work, at school, bedtime.)

Danger destroys safety. Gift them with safety. Safety creates a sacred place in your relationship.

For more information or to book an appointment: www.SnowLeopardCounseling.net