Reactivity is a habit worth breaking

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Most of us were never taught healthy relationship skills. What we do know, we generally learned from the School of Life at the cost of heartbreak, pain and disconnection. Because we’ve never known anything different, yelling, blaming, guilttripping and stonewalling might even feel like normal methods of trying to get our needs met. And yet, how often do these reactive methods really help more than they really hurt?

It’s normal to be reactive. It takes the patience of a saint to remain loving, compassionate and open when someone is screaming in your face. Since most of us aren’t saints, it’s pretty normal to get swept up in the storm and start reacting right back. Plus, the longer you’re with someone, the easier it gets to react to even the slightest of things — a tone, a look, a brooding silence, etc. The dramatic, reactive scenario plays out again and again like a terrible song stuck on repeat. This reactive pattern becomes a well worn habit and the more we allow it to play out, the more we reinforce its hold on our lives.

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