Do you melt down during a simple, non violent conflict in any of your relationships, whether they are with a partner, children, friends or co-workers? If you find yourself slipping into an emotional storm within when you are in such a conflict, read on…..
Photo courtesy of snowpeak
First of all, let’s talk about the effect of time travelling on your relationships. Hmmmm…..I can hear the wheels turning in your mind. Let me explain…..I am not talking about time travel as in a science fiction story.
I am talking about going into a light trance.We all do it, from time to time, even if we aren't aware. When you aren’t aware that you are in a trance, you know, like the light kind of trance you can easily go into when you are driving your car, things happen. Suddenly you are there at your destination, without remembering all the twists and turns.
When you go into that kind of light trance, (and we do from time to time in different situations), you might experience the same feelings that you experienced at a point in time where you found yourself in a similar conflict.
People do that you know. They recall the sights, sounds and feelings of a previous conflict and drag them into the now. Maybe you do that, too, I don’t know but you do… know, I mean. You know if you are one of those people who can recite word for word the “sins” of your partner. Maybe you recall the pain of that previous conflict so well .
If you find yourself saying “You ALWAYS do that”….you can be sure that you have gone into the past to bring forward past bad behavior and possibly are projecting the same behavior into the future. It can be really hard to maintain cool in that kind of state.
In fact, it might not have even been something that the person you are in conflict with has done in the past. If we can imagine that we store, in our memories, events, like a string of pearls, each one connected with the other, it can happen that we pull up a number of events that trigger the bad feelings, in an instant, just like that.
What can you do about that?
Recognize that you are pulling the past forward and feeling it in the now
Take a deep breath and plant your feet firmly in the now, remind yourself of the date (say, “It’s day/month/year”)
Avoid projecting into the future and using words like “always”
Be aware that it is YOU who is doing this
Realize that YOU have a choice
Let the feelings go, just like that
If you are not in the habit of letting go of negative feelings, you might need to think it through and practice it until it becomes a good habit. For some people, that is enough, just that little change will make all the difference in the world.
Stay in the NOW. Keep the future and past out of your conversation. Accept responsibility for how you think. Let any negative feelings go that used to crop up from the past.
These simple steps are key to avoid being pulled into a downward spiral during a disagreement. You will find that your ability to remain calmer will increase, the more you put it into practice.
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