Here you will find the one absolutely definite way to ruin your relationship. Handy if you want it to end but not so good if you really love the other person. This applies to all relationships in your life: be it friends, family, or spouses.
Let’s set the scene. Do you ever find yourself getting angry because your loved one has decided to bring your fears to the surface? Yet, you continue to avoid what you are afraid of and don’t admit to the effects it has on you? For example, when you find yourself worrying that your spouse no longer finds you attractive, do you handle this by constantly asking how you look or getting angry with them when they don’t notice the effort you’ve been making to look your best? Do you make it sound like it’s their fault because they aren’t being attentive enough? This fear is what will ruin your relationship.
Here’s another scenario. You have a friend that’s always late. You believe this means that you aren’t important to them, because of course if you were important to them, they would be more considerate of your time and be there when they were supposed to be. When they eventually show up, you are angry and critical. You accuse them of being inconsiderate and thoughtless.
Why do we get angry? In a lot of cases, anger is a reaction to another emotion that we don’t want to feel or acknowledge. In the situations mentioned above, that emotion is most likely fear. Anger, when it is expressed in a way that puts all of the responsibility and judgment on the other party, will always cause separation. Anger is a good emotion. You can think of it as a huge warning sign that there is something you need to look at. It could be something in the other person that you won’t be able to live with in a relationship, and it is always a sign of something within you that you are reacting to.
So how do we counteract this? By being vulnerable! I know, it’s scary, but it’s the only way. Typically it takes some introspection to recognize what you are reacting to and what you are afraid of. In the meantime, the other person in the relationship is confused. So your first job is to figure out what you need and ask for it. Remember the other person doesn’t have to do it, in fact maybe they aren’t presently capable of it, but you won’t know unless you ask.
So if someone being late bothers you, let them know that when they are late, you feel as if they are not considering you. Then make a request; always make a request. In this case it could be to let you know if they are running late, before it’s time to meet.
The next part is harder and can involve some emotion. You have to rip off the band aid. You have to look at why you believe someone being late means they don’t care about you, or whatever it is you are angry about. There will always be something that has hurt you in the past and the truth is you are punishing your friend, family member, or partner for it in the present!
Talk to someone you trust and be honest with yourself. Remember to be compassionate as well. You were hurt and you created a defence mechanism to protect yourself. It really is an amazing thing when you think about it. Unfortunately that defence mechanism, which may have protected you in the past, is now harming your current relationships.
Remember everyone has their own story and hurts. Find your compassion with them and yourself and be open and honest. In one word: vulnerable! Without vulnerability you can’t have the relationships you deserve. Do you have a similar experience with fear?
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!