I have an issue with the word, “You.”
I also am incredibly sensitive in nature and empathic you might say. I feel when my partner pulls away emotionally from me and it sends me into a tailspin in my thoughts.
I can be very self-critical, I judge myself before someone else can even get the words together and I have already sentenced myself, convinced that I am at fault, not good enough, not thinking right, feeling right and should just shut up about whatever the subject might be that has created this drama that I don’t want to deal with.
In the same, I was raised an only child (although I am not an only child) and with it I have a blended feeling of righteousness, as though the world ‘should’ just get on board with what I want. I am strong in my opinions about things and not afraid to speak them often.
I also have a blend of being the baby in the family and the eldest child in another way, because I found myself parenting my mother frequently… meaning I was the listening ear, the therapist, the peacekeeper, her friend, her sister…
I was rarely her child.
Except she guarded me and helicopter parented me like the baby.
My father wanted a son and he got me. Leaving me feeling like I was never good enough, never strong enough, a let down and there was nothing that I could do to fix it, so I was the best Tom boy that I could be with my barbies in hand, a baseball bat, fishing pole, and my fascination for nature and wild creatures.
All of this and so much more, created an inner child who is strong willed, temperamental, calculating yet hot headed at times, deeply emotional, fearful of not being worthy or good enough and yet that she is too much to handle and her truth is not acceptable for the world and especially the one she chooses to give her heart too.
And this inner child, well she gets things wrong a lot.
She acts from sheer emotion frequently and thank goodness for the parenting I have done for myself and self-healing and growing to see things so that I can nip them in the butt quicker than in years past.
I have learned that criticism is typically not a healthy stance to take.
For self or others.
And it certainly is not a loving act in an intimate relationship.
It actually creates separation and wraps both parties up into the blame game which steals our personal power and triggers wounds from childhood and past relationships.
Let me explain this just a tad bit more.
Typically when we are being critical with our partner what we are actually attempting to do is to inform them that we have a complaint about their action or behaviour.
An example might be that my partner and I have an agreement in our relationship to check in with each other. He texts me faithfully every morning when he arrives at work saying, “At office.”
I message back that I love him, letting him know that I received the message.
Now let’s say that he skips a day because he got caught up right away in a conversation at work and had to deal with something. One thing led to another as they do and he meant to message but never made it to it.
A few hours go by and my mind has now wandered into places of concern for him, or what happened because this is our pattern, our thing and he did not follow through.
Let’s say that I call him and say,
“What happened? I guess you think it’s okay to just not do what we agreed to and you obviously don’t care about my feelings or concern. I don’t believe you forgot because this is what we have been doing since we got together. It was just selfish of you to not slow down and think about texting me. How long does it take to just say at the office?”
This does not feel good, does it?
It blames him for his actions, my feelings and tells him that he is bad, selfish, I don’t trust him, I can’t trust him, I don’t believe him and that he is bad. It plays on any triggers from his youth about not getting it right and most likely may cause fear of abandonment. It also gives no space for human error and situations that arise for any of us. In truth if I were to say this to him, I would be the one who was being self-centered and not wanting to take any responsibility for my thoughts, feelings or how I am approaching him or his feelings. I am going into victim mode in this stance.
A healthy way to deal with the same situation might be,
“Hey love, just calling to make sure everything is okay. I got a bit scared since you have not texted like normal to let me know you were at the office, I thought we had agreed that we would do that for each other.”
Can you feel the difference?
Can you see the supportiveness, love, compassion and connection building in the second one versus the blame and shame in the first?
Which will lead to a healthy outcome?
Which creates a space for listening and for connection?
Exactly the second one.
Our words mean so much, and communication is vital to a happy, healthy relationship. Often people don’t express issues they are having, they instead express criticism. Expressing your frustration and upset, calmly and with a willingness to receive the others humanness shows unconditional love and support, instead of blame which creates separation, walls, fear and judgement.
The next thing our inner child might try and sabotage our relationship with is CONTEMPT. 😳
Contempt is a nasty little booger.
It goes far past criticism.
Criticism attacks your partner’s character, however contempt assumes a position of moral superiority.
This really shows its nasty head in situations where we get into comparison with our partner.
We tend to be acting strictly from our wound, our pain body in these moments. And we might say things such as,
“Yeah, yeah… you never feel good. You are always tired. Don’t you see what I have been doing for you, this house and family? Stop being so pathetic and just fix yourself already. If I had a dollar for every time you …”
Here is where we step firmly into righteousness land.
Making ourselves better than our partners and pointing them into the land of not good enough no matter what.
Typically our righteousness blinds us from being able to see our partners for who they are and what they are actually doing because we are caught up in our checklist and rules book of how it is supposed to look and the time line that we have impressed upon them ‘getting it right and proving themselves to us.’
Contemp arises because of the fear that we hold inside around abandonment and not being worthy enough to hold onto love.
It stems from a wounded inner child that felt unseen, unloved, not recognized and most likely was reminded of their shortcoming frequently. Anything that triggers it in our adult relating will put us here in the land of comparison and contempt that he/she has it better than us and does not appreciate it or what we have done.
This is a killer to creating lasting love and trust in a relationship and will always lead to our partners feeling like they are damned no matter what they do.
As a child, raised in the manner that I was.
As a virgo, who is super self-critical.
As a woman, who was a little girl who just desired her daddy’s acceptance and love, approval.
And not wanting to get things wrong in general but still being damn good at being human, one of the hardest grown up things that I have had to learn and get right with is, making mistakes and taking responsibility for them.
I believe that this is potentially THE BIGGEST issue in a relationship.
Love, parenting, friendship, work, don’t matter.
I know I am far from alone in learning how to be emotionally mature and own my own bull.
But there’s more to self-responsibility then just saying,
“I own my part.”
We have to follow that up with our actions.
And we have to make changes to not repeat the mistakes.
That says more than anything : I take responsibility for my words/actions here.
However, what happens more than this is DEFENSIVENESS.
And we make excuses for why it happened, almost begging for forgiveness and understanding.
Again we put ourselves into the victim mode instead of self-empowered mode. Plus, we say to our partner with our excuse that we don’t take their concern, feelings, thoughts, needs seriously.
We are not willing to take responsibility but instead point blame to an outside source.
Not saying that one cannot share “why” things happened the way they did, that is not a bad thing and helps our partner understand the full picture. But if we come out the gates without recognizing that our partner has a concern and instead just run over them with excuses and defense moves, or shifting the subject, pointing fingers back at them and such, we are shutting down communication and love.
Defensiveness is normal.
No one likes to be blamed or feel blamed.
But if we are to have a happy and healthy relationship then we have to shift past our normal defaults and practice a deeper, more loving communication style where both sides aim to find resolution in happiness instead of who is right or wrong.
The final wounded inner child tactic of sabotage on your relationship I want to share today is known as stone walling.
This is where the listener withdraws from the conversation. They shut down and simply stop responding to their partner rather than deal with the issue. They may all of a sudden become very busy with something and use maneuvers such as looking away, moving to a different room, saying they have to get to work, or even doing something as simple as doing the dishes or tapping their foot.
Stone walling is a childish behaviour that many people make use of when they feel extreme discomfort in discussing an issue in the relationship that may be too emotional for them at the time.
I had an intimate relationship for years just like this. My partner then, consistently would stone wall any issue. He would just act as though I did not exist anymore. In order for me to be seen by him, I would have to literally grovel and ask for forgiveness for what he perceived I did wrong and he would sit with a stone face and finally say, “Don’t worry about it.”
But that was just a lead into more stone walling.
Where he would tell me not to worry, to forget it.
What he wanted was for me to FIX MY EVIL WAYS.
Although, as it is in many instances in relationship, there was nothing to fix, or the things he was hurt about he had no idea what I could do to make better or right, just leaving me with the statement,
” You know what you did, you know what I want.”
The issue was that all I knew is that I did not like the feeling of being cast out.
I was asking for direction and wanted to do my part, but did not know what he needed from me to make it right.
And sometimes he was mad at me about what others had done, or his perception of events and was upset that he had been triggered but did not know himself what to do.
His path as a child was to coil up and hide.
To become aloof.
Separate as best he could from his pain.
And he brought this pattern to our relationship which in turn triggered my fear of abandonment.
My daddy issues about not being good enough or getting it right and a desire to please him at almost all cost.
So much so, like I did when my dad got upset with me and pulled away, I found myself in this unhealthy relationship acting the same and shrinking into my wounded child to meet his wounded child and we danced together in seperation.
Until one day, like any of these behaviours will lead to if used repeatedly and unconsciously from that sabotaging inner child state, we seperated.
A healthy format might have been to say,
“I am really emotional and upset about this right now. I don’t feel safe discussing it and need time to think and calm down. Can we talk later?”
Feel the difference from the stone walling?
And that is why I share this article today with you.
I see these behaviours being used frequently.
We are all guilty of them at different times, and if you think you are not,
Because you are human and wounded.
These are typical patterns of relating.
However, as we emotionally mature it is our responsibility to own our emotions and feelings, thus our actions and recognize our thoughts that lead to them.
Acting from an emotional mature space means that we as adults in a loving relationship will want to deal with any problem that arises and work through it right away. Where that inner child will choose one or more of these patterns and make excuses, point fingers and avoid.
The inner child will find themselves revisiting the wounds and fear,
sabotaging and recreating the history they did not enjoy living through in their once loving relationship of today.
Just something to ponder on this Friday.
Loving you from here.
Stop Existing & Start Living
“Coaching for Grown A*s Believers”
Helping dynamite powerful souls like yourself discover love and fulfilment is what my passion is. Over the last two decades I have worked with hundreds of women & men such as yourself to call in their soulmate by aligning to their truth. I have guided countless couples not to just rekindle a love that they thought was lost, but to create an empowered turned on and fully aligned partnership based in love with 8 simple steps. If you are a woman or man who is looking for happiness, love and abundance in life and is sick and tired of just getting by, reach out to me for a FREE Clarity Call today where we will define exactly what is holding you back, what you are wanting to call in and the next best steps to achieve your desired life. Message me to set up your FREE Clarity Call today.