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In unhealthy relationships, what we are fighting about is never really what we’re fighting about.  That argument over which way the toilet paper hangs is probably more about a “meta” issue:   power, balance, control and unresolved issues with others in our lives (usually our early caretakers).

In order to break the “let’s fight about everything and nothing” mode, it’s important to choose your battles…to ask how important is this? is this what I’m really fighting about?  and to figure out what this particular battle reminds you of (some un-won battle in childhood/adolescence?).  Start to step back and see what you’re fighting about and when and then decide:  Is this really worth it?  Do I really care about this? 

 Sometimes when we step back the other person “ups the ante.”  After all, they have a stake in the ridiculous fight as well and haven’t made a commitment to changing anything.  You may well be drawn back into it because the other person has figured out how to “hook” you back in. 

It takes practice but watch for the hooks and remain committed to not fighting about stupid things.

  Journal about your feelings when you’re not fighting…what is coming up for you?  Probably a lot of discomfort.

  Let that be okay.

  Write about it and you may discover what all this “nothing” is really all about.

Susan J. Elliott 11/06

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