Why Are You Getting So Upset? – Passive Aggressive Behaviour PART 1

Have you ever tried to clear the air with somebody by initiating an open conversation, putting your own needs on the table and asking the other person what they need, but they have been very vague and non-committal? Maybe you have even apologized or taken responsibility for your part in an interaction but the other person pretends that they cannot remember what you are talking about? You are given feedback along the lines of “No big deal, can’t even remember what you mean…” but then within the next days, the person drops some pointed remarks about how ridiculous your needs are or how difficult you are to deal with? Or have they ever given you the silent treatment and sulked? Or do they promise to be supportive in some way, tell you they will do something for you, but then conveniently keep forgetting their promises? And when they have led you down again and you are disappointed, they say with disbelief, “Why are you getting so upset?” All this could be passive-aggressive behaviour.

We are all forgetful at times and we have certainly also all been passive-aggressive in situations when we felt powerless, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about passive-aggressiveness as a strategy developed in childhood out of a feeling of powerlessness, and carried into adulthood and into our relationships as the automatic response when there is a conflict.

The passive aggressive person in your life could be a friend, a family member, your colleague or boss, or your spouse. The passive-aggressive person appears to be such a nice and peaceful human being, supposedly getting along with others, denying that they are doing anything at all while the people they are in relationships with feel the anger seething underneath. Their behaviour is not inadvertent, even though they hope you will think it is. They count on your politeness or need to get along. However, underneath the guise of innocence, generosity or passivity, is hidden hostility.

They test your boundaries all the time. How often can they ignore your needs or rattle you by doing what they know is infuriating to you? That could be forgetting to do what they said they would, doing what they know you hate, taking advantage of you in another way or playing little power games. When you call a passive aggressive person out, they deny their indirect and inappropriate way of interacting or play it down. This is confusing and utterly infuriating because it is impossible to honestly talk about hurt feelings, insecurities or needs.

Passive-aggressive behaviour is a learned behaviour. Passive aggressive people often had an overbearing or controlling caretaker as a child. Expressing their needs and wants was not welcomed. Let’s take a look at Yohan’s upbringing, for example.

Yohan remembers his childhood as a time of coldness, deprivation, control and conflicts. His parents both drank and his mother was an alcoholic. “A remarkably high rate of alcoholism exists among the parents of passive-aggressive men. Alcohol has a way of facilitating conflict” (Scott Wetzler: Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man). His mother humiliated his father and Yohan lacked a strong male role model. He wanted her approval while he also feared and resented his mother. He felt he was never good enough for her and he has projected that onto every female partner or boss he ever had.

The conflict became even more apparent when his two younger siblings were born. Some jealousy towards a younger sibling is normal, but his parents responded with harsh punishments and did not let him voice his feelings or his fear of being replaced.  Because he couldn’t express his anger and fear, he used other ways of communicating his hostility.

He responded to his parent’s expectations with moodiness, stubbornness and a lack of cooperation. He became destructive, whinny and sulky. He refused to speak and started to underperform academically, rebelling against yet another authority figure, the teacher in school. His mother especially wanted to know his every move. This is the emotional expectation of the women in his life, which he still holds onto today, as he has grown into an adult who is secretive and vague.

As a teenager, his inner conflict grew further. When he was kicked out of school for missing too many classes, he felt that was unfair, after all he was working a nighttime job. He did not see a connection with the fact that he was falling asleep at his desk, didn’t turn his homework in on time, and cut too many classes. Expecting special treatment, he felt victimized and still tells this story from that perspective as an adult.

He has a hate-love relationship not only with his mother but every women—like his superiors at work—who appears to be powerful. His wife became an unwitting player in the reconstruction of his past. In Lisa, he was attracted to a woman who was strong and controlling. Simultaneously being attracted to a strong woman who reminded him of his mother and subconsciously fearing dependency and control, he responds to her with retreat, sulking, stubbornness or by turning a cold shoulder.

Yohan is unaware that a mutual dependency is normal and healthy. As humans we all need other people: we are interdependent beings. In our romantic relationships, that means letting yourself be cared for by your partner and at the same time caring for your partner. Dependency makes him feel weak, incompetent and needy. Feeling needy creates a fear of abandonment.

Today, he sets up situations which create an experience of deprivation, rejection or abandonment for him, especially in his love relationships. The stuck emotion of feeling unimportant and the belief that others, especially women, are not giving, operates like a self-fulfilling prophecy in his life. Either he does not express his needs at all and expects his wife Lisa to be a mind reader, or he expresses them at inopportune moments when the kids need to be attended to or Lisa is distracted by work. Subconsciously, he expects for his needs not to be met and sets out to prove that this is true. Meanwhile, he believes other people have all these unreasonable expectations of him which he feels resentful about.

When faced with challenges, opportunities or conflicts, he responds with procrastination, lack of initiative and indecisiveness. He waits for others to solve his problems or for his luck to turn. When others suggest positive changes or new opportunities, his response is, “what’s the point?” His hopelessness wins out over taking action.

Lisa, his second spouse, has a strong manager personality trait and says she fell for Yohan’s potential. She came to his rescue by organizing his finances and resolving his problems with co-workers and family members. She is surprised that Yohan resents her for what he experiences as dependency on her. His inactivity has brought out her more controlling side. And her controlling side activates his passive-aggressive behaviour. The more she tries to fix and help, the more resistant and negative he becomes.

A similar thing occurred in his previous marriage. That marriage ended due to Yohan having an affair and carelessly leaving the signs for his indiscretion out in the open for his first wife to find them. According to Scott Wetzler, that again is typical for passive aggressive men. “No matter how troubled relationships get, the passive-aggressive man will not unilaterally leave them…If he wants out, he’ll engineer the situation so you are forced to break up with him. Leaving is too real, too actively self-assertive, requiring too much initiative. It would allow you to actually blame him, something he doesn’t like at all.” (Scott Wetzler: Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man)

Lisa loves Yohan and she wants to get out of the role of being the mother figure he fears and resents. At the same time, Yohan is recognizing his challenges due to his learned passive-aggressive behaviour and the underlying fears. What can Yohan and Lisa do so that their marriage does not end in the same way that his first one did?

Please read my next blog to find out. You can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post part 2 of this article. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar or in the pop-up window.

If you are interested in ordering Scott Wetzler’s book ”Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man” I am grateful for you using my amazon associate link.

 

For individual sessions or couples sessions, please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

Check out my discount packages for couples.

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

5 Winning Strategies in Relationships

In one of my last articles, I outlined five interactions which are useless and damaging to your relationships, especially in our close loving partnerships. Here are five winning strategies, as Terry Real describes in his recording, “Fierce Intimacy”.

  1. Go After What You Want – Express Your Needs 

Express what you want and need and be assertive about getting it. Terry Real calls it “daring to rock the boat”, which is scary at times, especially when we seem to be cruising along smoothly. If we are overidentified with our Pleaser Part or our Peaceful Part, because we received the message during childhood that we will only be loved if we go along with everything, it can be terrifying to rock the boat. There are two things to consider. Firstly, it is your birthright to be in an equal cherishing relationship in which both partner’s needs are met. The second thing to realize is that if you do not find your voice and speak up for your needs and wants, resentment begins to grow, and resentment is a poison that slowly erodes the love between you and your partner. To stay with our metaphor, resentment drills little holes into your relationship boat.

Sometimes we have this idea that we should not have to ask for what we want and need and that our partner should just know what our needs are if he/she really loved us. Our partner is not a mind reader. We set them and ourselves up for failure with this attitude!

Furthermore, help your partner to succeed by telling him or her up front what you need or want instead of waiting for them to fail. Be encouraging and affirm your partner’s efforts by giving positive feedback. Terry Real calls this “celebrating the glass being 15% full”. If the glass was 5% full beforehand, this is a reason to celebrate and thus encourage your partner to keep going. With our children, we naturally do that. If your son or daughter made an improvement in school from a D to a C, you give them reinforcement to keep going and to eventually get to a B.

 

  1. Speak to Make Things Better 

Speak to your partner with love. Before you speak, drop down into your heart and speak from there. If you are too triggered to do that, take a time out until you are able to interact from a more centred place. Remind yourself that you want to speak to make repairs not to make things worse. Learn how to be assertive and loving at the same time. Make sure your partner knows that you love them but that you also need to respect yourself and your needs and feelings.

Make very clear requests using I-statements. There is nothing you need to say that cannot be phrased as a subjective I statement. This helps us to stay away from judgments or accusing the other person. One method for good communication is the five steps of the non-violent communication by Marshall Rosenberg as described in my article “Having Our Needs met in Relationships“.

Speak respectfully and be prepared that not all your requests will be met. You could say “I would like to talk to you about… Is this a good time?” We need to be able to also tolerate small disappointments. Your partner might reply, “I am tired right now. Can we talk about this tomorrow?” Terry Real even takes it so far as to say we need to “celebrate the no”. Celebrating the no means to be proud of your partner when they say “no” to take care of themselves and meet their own needs, and be proud of yourself for being adaptable and grow-up when you don’t get everything you want in the moment when you want it.

 

  1. Listen to understand 

Before we can respond, we need to really listen. Getting defensive, whether that is out loud or in our heads, is not true listening. We need to put our own feelings aside while we are listening. Listening is also not about arguing about the facts and wanting to be right. Wanting to be right is one of the 5 losing strategies. Listening means entering into your partner’s subjective experience. What do they feel and how do they see things? Be a friendly interviewer who really wants to understand the perspective of the other person.

Remember that as a couple, you are in each other’s care. Or keep Terry Real’s analogy in mind that you are at a customer service or support desk. When a customer complains that their new electric kettle does not work, they don’t want to hear from you that your toaster does not work. Your only concern is to listen to them and tend to their issue in that moment in time, until it is your turn at the customer service window. When your partner comes to you in a state of upset, you are in their service.

Remember that nobody thinks they are irrational. Their feelings and interpretations of reality make sense to them. It is your job to be curious about what makes sense to them. It is your job to help your distraught partner to get back into harmony and closeness with you because that is good for your relationship and therefore is also good for you. Terry Real calls this stance “Enlightened Self-Interest”.

 

  1. Respond with Generosity 

Our first impulse might be to deny that we have done something or to explain why we have done something. That way of responding was termed “leading with an argument” by Terry Real, because it usually is the beginning of an argument. Instead, acknowledge your partner’s experience or feelings and take responsibility for your part in the issue. You might need to lead with a sincere apology, or at least an honest acknowledgement of what you have done or not done.

Image by JenDigitalArt from Pixabay

That disarms your partner, deescalates the conflict, and allows you to make repairs. Terry Real calls this skill “relational jujitsu”. You don’t oppose the force. You yield to the energy coming at you and turn it into a more harmonic energy. Admittedly, that is not an easy feast to accomplish, because we have been taught to respond to power with equal or greater aggression. When we meet aggression and respond with generosity and gentleness, the aggression runs into emptiness.

On the side of the partner who receives an apology or an attempt to improve, “responding with generosity” means to gracefully accept the repair. This is not the moment to be picky. You might not get all you wanted, but if you get 70% of what you have been asking for, that is a sign that your partner wants to cooperate and make peace. Accept the peace offering! Respond with a “thank you” for listening to you and meeting your requests.

The next step is to ask what you can give your partner. Find out what they need from you to make the changes you have asked for. You are on the same team, so you want to help them come through for you. This is relational empowerment rather than personal empowerment. Our society tends to encourage personal empowerment at the expense of our relationships. I am of course not saying that our personal growth and empowerment is not important, but we need a balance in order to live well functioning relationships.

 

  1. Cherish what you have 

Cherishing is a powerful change agent. Terry Real believes “this one winning strategy is equal in potential to all of the other strategies combined”. The best way to get more of what you want in a relationship is by appreciating what you are already getting. Whatever we give energy to, or pay attention to, grows and becomes more. We have the choice to focus on the steps forward, on the progress.

Why is that sometimes so hard?

Real intimacy, closeness and vulnerability can be scary for many of us. Fights can serve as a distance regulator. Complaining about what we are not getting helps to keep the distance between us and our partner, instead of truly opening up our heart and acknowledging everything we are getting. Fights keep us tied into each other but at a certain distance. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Fights are an opportunity to experience that the other one cares enough to be triggered by us and to feel close but not so close and enmeshed that it creates fear or panic. So what if, instead of starting a fight each time our inner child feels too vulnerable, we would express that we feel scared or that we need a bit of distance?

Terry Real calls the lack of gratitude towards our partner “having ADD, Appreciation Deficiency Disorder”. The ratio of negative feedback to positive appreciation is often out of balance in relationships. We need to engage in active appreciation several times each day.

Once our partner starts to give us more of what we have asked for, the challenge is to receive it gracefully and to cherish what we are getting. So if you hear yourself disqualifying what they are giving, e.g. “you are not doing it right”, or “you are only doing it because I asked for it”, or “you are doing it now but you didn’t do it then or you won’t do it in the future”, be curious about what is actually going on.

Sometimes we also have an attachment or belief system that keeps us from having happy and healthy relationships. We do something that Terry Real calls “keeping a parent spiritual company” by living in the same world they live in, e.g. being mistrustful like your father, or being passive aggressive like your mother, or overidentified with independence like your father, or overemotional like your mother, or too easygoing and disconnected from our own needs like your father and so on. When we try to move beyond that it might feel disloyal to the respective parent.

At other times, we might be invested in not wanting to be like one (or both) of our parents at all costs. For example, not wanting to take advantage of your spouse like you experienced your mother doing, or not wanting to abuse power like your father did and so on. When we identify with the opposite of an energy we are equally not whole and not able to create a balanced relationship. Moving into happiness in all those cases is synonymous with separating from our family. That’s were belief change techniques like PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics come in to change our subconscious programs.

If you dare to move beyond your parents and you dare to be happier, more vulnerable and more intimate than they were able to be, you are forging into new territory for your whole ancestral line. You are changing the future for your children and grandchildren, who will receive a different legacy because they now have new role models.

 

For individual sessions or couples sessions, please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Check out my discount packages for couples.

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

 

How To Do the Time Out Right

“You did it again!”, Sarah yells at Frank, her face red and her eyes dark and full of fire. “If you think you can treat me this way, you are mistaken! You just wait! I will show you!…” She takes another breath to continue her loud tirade, but stops herself. She realizes that her angry and vengeful self has taken over. Before she can say another word, she says, “I need a time out…” and storms out of the room. Ten minutes later her husband gets a text from her “I need a time out to calm down. I will be back in an hour.”

When one or both people in an interaction are emotionally triggered, perhaps even feeling extreme anger or rage, absolutely nothing good can come out of continuing the fight or emotionally charged conversation. While we are in fight, flight or freeze mode, we simply CANNOT problem solve.

What Do We Do When My Partner and I Trigger Each Other Emotionally? (Relationship Tip 1)

When a protective part has taken over, for example anger, harshness, revenge, moral judgement, defensiveness or fear, we do not have enough Self, or in other words, not enough “heart energy”, present to connect and solve an issue as a team. We need to get back into a calm, clear, collected, creative and even compassionate state first.

The time out is like a circuit breaker. When one of our protective parts takes over, it can be powerful and it might feel like we are just not in control anymore. Remember that you are not the anger. It is just part of you. The initial angry impulse might come too quickly to do anything about it. However, any emotion that we engage in longer than two minutes, is not an instinct anymore, but a choice. Like Sarah, you have enough control to turn around and leave. Terry Real likes to point out, and I agree with him, that if you truly could not control your anger and rage, you would be raging everywhere. You would lose your temper at work, in public situations—for example at the cop who stops you for speeding—and you would end up in prison or in a mental institution. If you can control your rage somewhere, you can control it anywhere. If you can control your anger in other situations, you have the choice to control it with your partner.

It is a myth that love has to always be passionate. This myth has us believing that in order to have the positive passion that we want, we also need to put up with crazy jealousy and anger. Emotional ups and downs will ultimately burn you both out and destroy the relationship. It pays off to learn to use the time out method.

Terry Real names ten rules for applying the Time Out method successfully. He calls them the ten commandments.

  1. Use a time out as a circuit breaker
    Time outs immediately stop a psychologically violent or nonconstructive interaction between you and your partner.
  2. Take your time out based on how YOU feel
    You call the time out for yourself, no matter how your partner feels. It means advocating for your own needs because you don’t want to feel and/or act the way you are.
  3. Take distance responsibly
    When we decide to take distance, we can do it provocatively or responsibly. Responsible distance taking has two parts: 1) an explanation and 2) the promise to return. You need to get across to your partner, “This is why I need distance and this is when I intend to come back.” When you don’t give an explanation, you are disregarding your partner’s anxiety about your distance taking and you are further triggering your partner. Provocative distance taking tends to get you chased. Do not play games with your partner. Be very clear about when you are going to continue the conversation.

  1. The phrase “Time Out” or the “T” sign
    If you are able to say something like “I don’t like how I’m speaking to you and I don’t trust what I am about to say/do, therefore, I’m taking some time to regain my composure. I will be back” that is great. However, most people are not able to express all of this, so a previously agreed upon phrase or signal are helpful.
  2. Don’t let yourself get stopped
    Terry Real stresses that time outs are unilateral. Unlike any other relationship tool, time outs are a non-negotiable declaration. You’re not asking permission. Leave the room and go into another room and close the door, or even leave the house.
  3. Use check-ins at prescribed intervals
    The purpose of the time out is not to punish your partner, but rather to calm things down. Therefore, it is critical that you check in with your partner from time to time in order to take the emotional temperature between you. The intervals Terry Real suggests are: an hour, three hours, a half day, a whole day, an overnight. You can check in by phone or even by texting.

  1. Remember your goal
    The goal of time outs is to stop emotionally violent, immature, and destructive behavior. “Stopping such behavior in your relationship is a goal that supersedes all other goals. You may need to work on better communication, more sharing or negotiation, but none of that will happen until you succeed in wrestling the beast of nasty transactions to the ground” (Terry Real).
  2. Return in good faith
    Don’t return with resentment or self-righteousness. Come back when you are truly ready to make peace.
  3. Use a twenty-four-hour moratorium on triggering topics
    In severe cases, put the triggering topic on halt for 24 hours. When you come back from a time out, put a pause on the reoccurring fight you are having. First get comfortable with each other again. Engage in a non-triggering simple every day activity together, like having a cup of coffee or watching TV. Return to the topic the next day when you are calm and collected.
  4. Know when to get help and use it.
    If you find that a certain topic, for example money, children, sex, trust, ex-partners, etc. always triggers a nasty transaction, take that as a signal that you need some outside support in order to break through to having constructive conversations. There is no shame in getting help; it is what smart couples do.

 

For individual sessions or couples sessions, please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Check out my discount packages for couples.

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

5 Losing Strategies in Relationships

“All relationships are an endless dance of harmony, disharmony and repair. Closeness, disruption and return to closeness.”

– Terry Real

Harmony, disharmony and repair are the essential cycle of all relationship experiences. Closeness, disruption, and return to closeness, happen in many smaller and bigger ways in all our relationships every day. This can already be observed when you watch mothers or fathers and small babies.

I was fortunate enough to visit a beautiful young friend the other day who just had a baby daughter two months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow pace and rhythm of the baby’s needs. I was also able to observe how, from the first day on, we learn this dance that Terry Real describes.

The baby is all relaxed and everything is in perfect harmony. The intimacy and peace is palpable. Caregiver and baby can just look at each other forever, connected through perfect closeness, and eventually the baby falls asleep peacefully. Then the harmony gets disrupted by a feeling of hunger, or the wet diaper, or a gassy tummy, or a sudden loud noise. The mother or father responds by soothing the baby, fixing the issue, and restoring harmony, whether that is with the breast, or the soother, or a dry diaper.

The parent does not argue with the baby if they are right to cry, or punishes the baby for being upset, and hopefully does not let them cry themselves to sleep. Yet, in our love relationships, we employ such useless and damaging strategies. Here are five strategies which are futile and harmful to your relationships.

1 Being Right

I often see couples having a discussion about who was right or what is true. That usually means they argue about who remembers something correctly, or who has the correct perspective on an issue. As Terry Real says so poignantly, “Objective reality has no place in personal relationships”. Or in other words, it does not matter who is right and who is wrong!

If you ever took a workshop with me, you will recall the story of the five blind men and the elephant, which I often share. In doubt, you both have only part of the truth in a given situation. If you asked a third person about the event, they might have a third perspective. There is no such thing as objective truth when it comes to our experiences. Our memory tends to be faulty and betray us because we will remember very selectively, depending on how something impacted us emotionally.

What wanting to be right leads us into is what Terry Real calls “perception battles” or “objectivity battles”. Trying to sort out our relationship issues by wanting to figure out who is right and who is wrong, is an endless losing strategy that has us running around in circles. In fact, if we argue about who is right, nobody wins! As Stan Tatkin likes to point out, if one partner wins and the other loses, you both lose. However, the relationship wins when you create a win-win situation for both of you. What matters is not who did what and who is right, but how you are going to solve a situation or issue in a way that your needs and your partner’s needs are met.

 

2. Control

Trying to control your partner and make them do something can show up in two ways: direct control or indirect control by manipulation. We all have those protective parts inside, that want to come up and control a situation either openly or more subversively. Traditional feminine expectations want women to be indirect instead of openly speaking up for their feelings, needs and wants. Therefore, women might often have a stronger manipulative part which helps them to get what they need.

My grandmother was a master of manipulating others around her, either subtly or less subtly, because she felt she had no other way to have her needs met. 70 years ago, or even 40 years ago, that might have been true. However, in order to be in an equal intimate relationship, we need to find the way out of stereotypical gender roles.

Even though the conventional male and female roles are slowly changing, women still tend to lose their voice. Or as Terry Real says, women “learn to close their voices and men still learn to close their hearts” and disconnect from more vulnerable feelings.

Manipulation is a way to play or manage your partner, which is detrimental in a relationship, because it fosters resentment. Nobody likes being controlled. Even when it looks like your partner is relenting and not objecting to giving in and doing what you want, the likelihood that he or she will grow resentful over time is great.

 

3. Unbridled Self-expression

The third strategy that Terry Real discusses is “unbridled self-expression”. This refers to venting and vomiting up not just the present issue, but all past situations when your partner did something similar.

Why does it not work to bring up past offenses that tie into the present issue? Functional moves in a relationship, whether that is with your partner or anybody else, are moves that empower and motivate the other person to come through for you.

If you are a parent, you know that if you “flatten” your son or daughter and make them feel not good enough and incapable, you are not inviting them to change. If you tell them what they aren’t doing right now in the present, they can do something about it. If you tell them all the things they didn’t do in the past, perhaps throwing in some general accusations starting like “You always…” and “You never…”, the only effect this has is that the other person feels helpless and insufficient. This trend talk then often leads to criticizing somebody’s character, rather than staying with the present issue that can be resolved. You end up with a partner who feels helpless and paralyzed.

When expressing our feelings and needs, “short and sweet” is the winning strategy, while keeping in mind what actually encourages and empowers our partner to meet our requests.

 

4. Retaliation

Revenge and getting even are another losing strategy. This strategy can show up overtly or covertly. The latter occurs when we get stuck in a victim story of “He/she hurt me, so I will hurt them back”. Terry Real calls this offending from the victim position. This makes your partner the perpetrator while featuring yourself as the victim. Every perpetrator thinks they are the victim and have no choice but to fight back with self-righteous indignation. The faulty idea behind revenge is to want to make the other person experience the pain we have experienced. Punishing somebody will never bring them into increased understanding or accountability for their own actions. That’s how legal battles or wars between countries are started. Whenever has the losing party in a court case or in a war said, “Now I understand that I shouldn’t have done this and how my enemy felt. In fact, I am going to love my enemy now that they have won”?

There are two forms of retaliation. Direct open retaliation, or the even more destructive indirect retaliation which is passive-aggressiveness by withholding something, most often love and affection. Both does enormous damage in the relationship.

 

5. Withdrawal

Passive aggressive retaliation can look like withdrawal but is really about revenge. Actual withdrawal is were one person leaves the field. That can be the refusal to engage about an issue, for example trouble with other family members, financial challenges, or the addiction issues which are going on, or opting out of a particular aspect of the relationship, for example the sexual part of the relationship. This can even mean checking out of the relationship entirely. When the latter happens, the end of the relationship is often near.

When withdrawal happens, you might mistakenly think that the withdrawing partner is moving into acceptance. They might say, for example, “I just accept that I cannot talk to my partner about this topic”. However, is the withdrawing partner somewhat resentful in this situation? Resentment is not acceptance.

girl-sea-white-shirt

Withdrawal is also different from having a healthy detachment from what is going on. Withdrawal is unilateral and a rapture. Sweeping things under the carpet and not dealing with them might work as a temporary strategy when we are very overwhelmed, but ultimately backfires.

Withdrawal often looks like provocative or stubborn distance taking. When you can see that a protective part comes up and says “Let’s get out of here. The only way to handle this pain is by distancing yourself.” This is totally different from taking a needed and conscious time out when there is an escalating conflict, or what Terry Real calls “responsible distance taking”. Conscious distance taking means letting your partner know that you need some distance and why. You are also letting them know when you will be back to continue this conversation. If you do this responsibly, you help your partner not to feel abandoned or spin into anxiety. Then they do not need to react from their own protectors like anger or control, or their own inner child, which might respond with fear.

None of these five strategies—or any combination thereof—are in any way helpful or beneficial for a relationship. We need to remember that our partner is not our enemy, but our ally. Instead of controlling, venting, retaliating, withdrawing or wanting to be right, realize that all these strategies are us operating from a protective part and not really connecting from heart to heart. Instead, it is our job to take care of our inner child parts so that we can refrain from using any of these detrimental strategies in our relationships.

Take a moment to honestly assess what your top one or two default strategies might be when the going gets tough. Be compassionate with yourself as you make that self assessment. These are protective parts that step up to protect your vulnerability. Meanwhile, they are keeping you from what you most long for, but might be afraid of: true intimacy and closeness with your partner.

Stay tuned for the next two blog articles “Five Winning Strategies in Relationships” and “How to Do a Time Out Right”. If you have subscribed to my blog, you will be notified by email when the next article is posted.

 

For individual sessions or couples sessions please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Check out my discount packages for couples.

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Conflicts in Relationships

“How can you be so heartless and cold?” Sandra asks with anger in her voice, “Why don’t you have any sympathy for my brother? You are so cruel!”

Kyle is looking at his wife and is wondering how they ended up in this escalated conflict, one of many fights about her brother. He is silently reminding himself that she has simply been taken over by not just an angry but also a judgmental protector right now. And underneath those protectors are feelings of fear and responsibility for a younger sibling who has always relied on Sandra. She feels helpless, guilty and frustrated.

She continues defiantly, “I will not turn him away if he needs my help! I am giving him the money, no matter what you think! You always support your ex-wife when she needs extra money, supposedly for the kids…”

Now Kyle can feel how his own protector is coming up. There is a part of him that just wants to reply sharply, “No you will not. I am the main provider in this family and I make our financial decisions.” But thankfully, he still has enough awareness that his controlling protector is gearing up for a fight in response to Sandra’s anger. He remembers to use their code word, ”Fire.”

The protectors are like Firefighters. They don’t care about the damage they cause; they only care about “putting out the fire”. In our inner world, that “fire” equates to our vulnerability and our emotional pain. That code-word “fire” for Kyle and Sandra means, “Stop. Let’s take a break right now to calm ourselves.” When we are triggered by our partner we need a time out of at least 20-30 minutes. During that time, we need to allow our sympathetic nervous system to calm down again. The time out is probably one of the most important agreements to make when couples struggle with escalating conflicts.

When our partner shows up in one of their protectors, rather than connecting from a more loving, calm or even vulnerable place, we often wonder what we are doing with this awful person. We might think, “How could I not see from the start how horrible he/she is?” While we are in this emotionally activated state, we perceive the situation and especially each other as a threat. We are unable to see clearly, problem solve or make rational decisions. Any conversation that we continue in this state can only become more destructive.

Terrence Real mentions in his book “The New Rules of Marriage” that we all have two competing images of our partner. We have one image of them at their best and one of them at their worst. You could perhaps say that when we hold the first image we see them for who they really are at a core level, or for who they are capable of being. That positive image might be identical with what we fell in love with when we first met. When our partner is being taken over by one of their protectors, we can hold that positive image as a beacon to remind us that he or she is more than this angry, controlling, judgmental, negative, complaining, or defensive person across from us.

In some cases, this core positive image can of course be problematic as well. If one person is holding the potential of who their partner can be so insistently that they ignore detrimental aspects of the relationship instead of acknowledging them, the image is creating an issue.

However, in most cases we need and want to cultivate the positive image to get through tough times. We can cultivate this picture by focusing on everything we love and like about our partner. A practice of appreciation of each other allows us to keep this image alive.

According to Terry Real, we also harbour a “core negative image” of our partner. That’s the combination of all the things they do that trigger us into judgements and challenge us in our relationship. It includes all the pain we have experienced with or through this partner. When we are emotionally activated, we are unable to see anything but the negative. We are seeing the other person through the glasses of the fight and flight response. Or Terry Real would say through “fight, flight or fix”. By that he means, we want to fight back, or stone wall/retreat/run away in some way, or quickly fix the tension in the room without addressing the problems and individual needs. Backing away from the issue just to fix the disharmony won’t help us. It breads resentment.

“The difference between real acceptance and just backing away from an issue, or away from the whole relationship, is resentment.”

Terrence Real, “How Can I Get Through to You?”

Why do we want to fight, run or fix? The reason is instinctual. We don’t see the other person accurately when we have been taken over by our protectors. In that moment in time, we also often assume that our partner has the worst intentions instead of being able to consider that they might have good intentions or reasons underneath their behaviour which seems so outrageous to us.

This goes both ways. Just as you might be triggered into seeing your partner from the core negative image when your vulnerabilities are triggered, your partner also experiences you from their perspective of the negative core image. What we really are seeing are our protective parts responding to what the other person activates deep inside of us, or in other words, what that person reflects back to us.

 

Take a moment to ask yourself what characteristics trigger you in your partner, and write them down. Because the people close to us always mirror to us what we have disowned, you will create a list of traits that will mostly be excellent shadow traits to work with in your next session with your relationship coach.

Now write down what you think your partner gets triggered by in you. What does his or her negative core image of you probably look like?

The work in individual sessions or in couple sessions is to understand our protectors—and those that our partner tends to go into—and to learn to speak “for” them rather than “from” them. It is also our responsibility as an individual to notice and work on the triggers or shadows that the relationship with our partner activates for us.

For individual sessions or couples sessions please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Check out discount packages for couples here.

You can also work on your relationship by subscribing to my Patreon. The package “Relationship Tips and Partner Exercises” provides you with my ongoing support to improve your relationships beyond sessions with me. Please click here for more information and samples.

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Whether you think you can…

You probably know the famous quote by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” In the belief change technique PSYCH-K®, the belief “I can” is named as one of 13 core beliefs, next to such core beliefs as “I want to live”, or “I love myself”, or beliefs around the world being a friendly place.

Our subconscious mind agreeing with the fact that we are capable of doing what we set our mind to as opposed to the belief “I can’t” is one of the main factors for success. Believing “I can” goes beyond self-confidence. It is a necessary subconscious belief which needs to be in place to learn or accomplish anything new.

When I am not working in my main profession as a belief change coach, I teach German to adults through an online school. Most students are really motivated and I am always in awe of how they embrace the new language and complicated German grammatical rules. Without curiosity and an open mind, they wouldn’t get very far.

A couple of days ago, I was paired up for a private lesson with a lovely gentleman from Scotland. He had a profession for which he needed a university degree and which required him to be intelligent and organized. This was only his third German lesson and within the first five minutes, he shared with me the following: “My company is paying for these lessons because they want me to learn German, but I don’t think I can get to the level they want me to get to.” He also said, “Learning a language this complicated feels like a big commitment”, “I feel stupid” and “I can’t do it”.

The lesson was about learning new vocabulary in regards to furniture pieces and going over the basic sentence structure, subject-verb-object. Of course the grammar is different than in English, for example German nouns have three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine or neuter) which you simply need to memorize with each noun. Each time we got to a new presentation slide and something wasn’t quite the way it is in English, he would literally roll back in his office chair and throw his hands up in the air, and ask “Why is this so difficult?” or declare “I will never be able to learn this!”

I had to take my German Teacher Hat off for a bit and put my Coach Hat on and be very candid that the only thing keeping him from learning was his insistence that he couldn’t ever do this. His pronunciation was good and clearly he was a smart man. What was however providing a huge roadblock for him was the belief “I cannot learn another language” and “German is too hard for me to learn”.

I look forward to teaching this gentleman again because I know for certain that all he needs to do is shift his belief system and put a bit of memorizing time in to be very successful. Shifting from “I can’t” to “I can” opens up so many new doors and exciting experiences for us, whether in our career or in our private life.

In a client session, we can change a core belief like “I can”—or any other belief for that matter—by using an energy psychology technique like PSYCH-K® or the belief change process from Shadow Energetics. These changes are quick and effective and don’t usually take longer than 10-20 minutes, but have lasting results that can shift your life around.

For more information on PSYCH-K® or Shadow Energetics contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

If you would like to read more about how beliefs shape our life and how we can change them, the following books are available on Amazon. Thank you for using my amazon associate links below.

The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton

“PSYCH-K®… The Missing Piece” by Rob Williams

 If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

I’ve Got You

Ten days ago, I had an unusual anniversary. Three years ago, I slipped and fell down the last couple of steps on a staircase. I fractured both my ankles. My legs were both in casts for six weeks and afterwards I was working from a wheelchair until my ankles were strong enough and I had learned to walk again. You could say the experience was a bit of a trauma, even though it was of course also a gift. It included experiencing dependency, vulnerability, and held a lot of learning and growth, which I have written about repeatedly. What was left over from that accident was a fear of walking down a slippery slope. I experienced that I would literally freeze and would be unable to walk down if there was any danger of potentially falling. Consequently, I did my uttermost to avoid situations that could trigger that fear.

However, the Universe in its wisdom can be absolutely marvelous. It knows exactly when and how to bring us opportunities to step out of our comfort zones. Last week, coincidentally the day before the three year return of the accident, I joined a group of 10 other people on a nature walk of the Bruce Trail, without knowing what I was getting myself into. It was rainy and muddy, and the trail was steep all the way through.

I had a moment of doubt when the rain started and when I realized what I had committed to. However, I had the most empowering experience on this hike. Every single person in that group had my back. There was always somebody next to me offering to hold my hand, or somebody saying, “I am right behind you, Angelika, I’ve got you”, or “let me go ahead and find the least slippery route, so you can just follow in my footsteps.”

I felt incredibly held and safe and loved. Nobody treated me with impatience or looked at me strangely; they all got it. They were the most loving and supportive group I could have gone on this slippery trail with. In fact, they did not just make sure I was okay at all times, but they watched out for each other. At some points during the walk, we were all holding hands helping each other back down the trail.

That experience of being able to be vulnerable and held in whatever trauma each of us is working through, is exactly why I do what I do. A world in which we are gentle and supportive with each other is exactly the kind of world I want to live in! I am passionate about creating a world of love, acceptance and total support. That’s why I teach workshops like the upcoming Shadow Energetics Workshop, in which we do deep inner work, while everybody is held in complete love and trust within the group.

That is also why I love individual sessions with clients who are ready to be curious about their raw and vulnerable experiences and to heal what holds them back from health, happiness and fulfilling mutually supportive relationships. And nothing brings me greater joy than when a couple comes in together, ready to hold each other in their vulnerability and keep each other feeling safe, as they work through things.

After all, the purpose of our intimate relationships is to create a sacred space in which we can be vulnerable, authentic and reveal our fears and weaknesses. Are you and your partner able to create this sacred space together? Or are you stuck in disillusionment, hurt or pain because your old emotional wounds are resurfacing?

This simply means that the honeymoon stage of the relationship is over. This honeymoon phase was not supposed to last forever. It was supposed to bring you together. Stage 2 of the relationship is about learning how to deal with disagreements, vulnerabilities and challenges, so that we can advance to stage 3, the mature love stage.

The challenges in stage 3 don’t stop, but we have learned how to deal with our triggers in a conscious way so that we can have each others’ backs, like the participants on the nature hike had each others’ backs. This requires that both partners put in the necessary effort to understand themselves and each other so that the relationship can get stronger. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help to achieve this. In fact, it is the smart thing to do. Working on the relationship with a therapist or coach ensures that your relationship progresses to the next stage.

If you would like to do a meditation on feeling supported and being supportive, or do a partner exercise to experience support, go to my Patreon.

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

 

Listening to Our Gut Feelings

Con Artists and Other Untrustworthy People

Did a liar, manipulator or otherwise untrustworthy person cross your path lately? Sadly lying, manipulating or taking advantage of others is part of human nature. Everybody shows up in their shadows at times and that could mean lying, manipulating or acting in a way that is a betrayal. Why do our friends, family members or colleagues do this?

Usually, they act out of their own fear and neediness. It might be the need for love, attention, admiration, recognition, an addictive substance, money, or sex. That doesn’t make them a “bad person”. In another situation, this person might show up loving and kind, perhaps they are nursing a loved one through old age or an illness, or they are a wonderful caring mother or father, or they help the driver whose car broke down in the snow storm by the side of the road, even though it makes them late. Nobody is just good or just bad. However, we have the capability to choose in each given moment whether we show up with integrity, or out of integrity. And if somebody around us shows up in a shadow, let’s be very clear with what we observe and what it means to stand firmly in our own integrity. Having discernment is not judgment. It is taking good care of ourselves.

How often have I seen with others, and I include myself in this group, that we do not always listen to our gut feeling regarding other people, certain situations, or at least regarding a certain area in our life. Often the intuition is present but we then choose to ignore it, in favour of a left brain analysis of the facts. We do this even though we know that the left brain is less powerful than our right brain or intuitive mind. Why do we choose to disregard our gut? What happens inside of us that we ignore this powerful sense that we all have to guide us?

There is Jessica, who wanted to believe that the man she met online was truly looking for a committed long-term relationship and that he was not seeing anybody else, as he had repeatedly declared. Through a series of coincidences, she found out that he was simultaneously dating other women, just looking for a variety of sexual encounters. You could say that he was a talented actor. It took synchronicities for her to have her eyes opened to the manipulation and true character of this person. Yet, her gut feeling had told her in different instances that something was not right.

There is Mike, who repeatedly fell for the “damsel in distress” act of a much younger female friend who, as it turns out, just wanted his money. It took him being repeatedly taken advantage of financially for him to have his eyes opened. Having a very strong sense for other people in business, he completely disregarded his intuition when it came to this friend.

There is Ashley, who wanted to believe her boyfriend had stopped taking drugs and was loyal to her, when her gut told her otherwise each time he lied in her face.

And there is Jacob, who didn’t want to believe that his partner in business was dishonest, until he took off with their money and the business went bankrupt.

What happened in each of these situations?

Trust is the natural default setting of our human brain. As social beings, we need others and we tend to be trusting rather than mistrusting. Certain factors contribute to us trusting.

 

Familiarity Breeds Trust

The man Jessica dated quickly and purposefully created the illusion of familiarity by using loving tender nicknames, like “sweetie” and “darling”,  sending her love poems, telling her he loves her, and that he wants a future with her. That, as well as her own hope to have found someone to love, allowed him to deceive her for a while.

In Mike’s case, the younger female friend had helped him through a very traumatic and painful personal loss in the past and that created the illusion of familiarity between them. This made him more likely to help and trust her than as if this had not been the case.

Just like in Jessica’s and Mike’s cases, the familiarity factor was also present for Ashley and Jacob. Ashley’s boyfriend had just proposed to her. She was envisioning him as the future father of her children. She was also deeply enmeshed with his family, who saw her as his future wife and his saviour from addictions.

Jacob’s partner wasn’t just a business partner, but a close friend from primary school. Jacob felt that he knew him like his own brother. They had always dreamt of having a business together.

 

Oxytocin Is Involved

The bonding hormone oxytocin is responsible for how much trust we have when responding to others. When we are in a romantic love relationship with another person, oxytocin is produced. Most of us have probably experienced that the moment we engage sexually with another person, our critical faculties are reduced. Through physical touch and intimacy, oxytocin is increased, giving us the feeling of being bonded into the other person. The same applies for close friendships in which we bond with each other. Oxytocin increases our trust in the other person. We feel safe with them and are not on guard for a possible betrayal.

So, is there a way not to fall for con-artists, or lying, dishonest or manipulative people who take advantage of us?

There must be a healthy balance. We cannot go through life mistrusting everybody and assuming the worst. What we can all probably tune into more though, is our gut feeling. The more we learn to trust our intuition, the less likely it is that we are repeatedly conned or fall for people who do not deserve our trust.

There are different levels of utilizing our intuition, from simply sitting with and exploring a gut feeling to communicating with your Higher Self (the Superconscious Mind) through meditation or muscle testing. You can use self muscle testing or muscle test with and for others.

In general, when you feel peaceful, calm and confident, or you feel inspired and excited, or when the same opportunities seem to keep coming around, you are most likely in line with your inner guidance. If you feel pulled in different directions, anxious or experience some sense of heaviness in your gut that is not going away, you might be receiving a message that you are not on the right path.

If you would like to do a meditation on trusting your intuition and receiving guidance from your Higher Self, and/or an intuitive exercise to explore with a partner how to dial other people’s energy out, please join me on my Patreon.

In order to trust our intuition and to act on it, we need to have certain beliefs in place, for example:

  1. I am aware of my gut feelings and I listen to them.
  2. I easily and effortlessly communicate with my Higher Self / the Divine guidance.
  3. I take my time to assess others accurately, using my intuition.
  4. I make sound decisions when I enter into a business partnership and when I invest in a romantic relationship.
  5. It is okay for me to assess relationships when a gut feeling comes up and to act on that feeling.
  6. Even though somebody else might be acting out of integrity, I stand firmly in my own integrity.
  7. I live with integrity and I am honest with others.
  8. I deserve to take clear actions regarding people who act out of integrity.
  9. I let go of the need for revenge and I trust Karma to take care of it.
  10. I am clear about my deal breakers in a relationship.
  11. I completely forgive myself for falling for a dishonest person.
  12. Breaking up with a dishonest friend or partner frees me up to attract an honest person.

To clear out limiting beliefs and to learn to trust our intuitive mind more, we can use belief change techniques like PSYCH-K®. For a free phone consultation or to book an appointment, please contact me

Angelika
905-286-9466
greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Infertility – Issues, Fears and Emotions That Prevent Conception

Diane and Paul have been wanting to conceive for eight years. After trying to conceive naturally, they have done two rounds of IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) and two rounds of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) without success.

“I am a go-getter, a type A personality”, says Diane. “I am good at managing and I like things to be “just so”. Paul sometimes thinks I am too controlling and rigid. But I have achieved a lot in my life. I had athletic accomplishments, I have a masters degree and a very successful career. I have my diet under control. I eat very healthy, I barely drink, and I work out. I do everything to achieve this goal but the one thing I keep failing at is becoming a mother.”

What Diane says in her intake session is fairly typical for women who struggle with fertility issues. We are so used to being able to control everything, to plan our entire future, set our goals and then work hard at reaching them, that we expect it will be the same with conception, pregnancy and birth.

As Lynsi Eastburn, author of “It’s Conceivable!” and “The 3 Keys to Conception” and one of my mentors and teachers, likes to point out, “you can not left-brain a baby.” Conception is one of those areas that are exactly the opposite of doing. It is all about letting go of control, surrendering and allowing.

So if our main personality parts, like in Diane’s case, are a Driver/Pusher, a Perfectionist and a Rational/Analytical Self, it is going to be harder to let go and to relax. If you come to see me, we will work on achieving more separation from those parts. We want them to “step back” and to allow you to relax into this experience of conception and birth happening in its own time and its own way.

It is easy to see how stress at work or in our family would cause overwhelm, tiredness and anxiety, and how that can affect our fertility. Having personality parts that push us to be perfect at work and in our relationships causes us to override feelings of exhaustion, anxiety and overwhelm. That contributes greatly to stress and therefore to infertility.

However, conception goes beyond “stress”. Infertility is not simply a biological process of a tired body but it is a more complicated culmination of our deeper mind and body working together.

In his book “The Body-Mind Fertility Connection” James Schwartz documents studies that indicate that psychological and emotional blocks appear to be the root of many fertility issues. I have sited some of those scientific studies on this website. To read more click here. 

“For many women, the process of healing the emotional issues that are blocking pregnancy is a key component in unlocking fertility and opening the door to conception. The body and mind work as a synchronistic team.” (James Schwartz, The Body-Mind Fertility Connection)

When it comes to the very painful experience of infertility, we have to remember that our subconscious is always trying to protect us, not trying to hinder us and prevent us from reaching our goals. Our deeper mind is operating on the fears and beliefs which exist in the inner system. Here are some examples of what that can be:

– Feeling stressed or overwhelmed with life

For example, feeling overburdened with work, family or other situations. Our subconscious will respond to that by not allowing us to take on another burden (having a child)

– Fears around pregnancy or birth

For example, fears of doctors, hospitals, medical treatments, labour, giving birth, or our body changing

– Fears around parenthood

For example, beliefs that we or our partner won’t be a good parent; the idea that parenthood means a lot of sacrifice and a loss of independence; worries around balancing parenthood and career

– Fears around the marriage/relationship

For example, worries about the longevity of the relationship with our partner, or about the changes in the relationship, or about a lack of resilience due to the new challenges as parents

– Guilt and limiting beliefs around deserving

For example, due to an abortion in the past, or not having been a perfect parent to other children, or in regards to sexual abuse, rape or other traumas

– Fears of loss

For example, due to past miscarriages or stillbirths

– Rejection of physical functions

For example, beliefs that the female period is disgusting, that sex is dirty, or that giving birth is awful and messy

– Fears based on other people’s experiences

For example, our mother/sister/aunt etc. had difficulty conceiving or had challenging pregnancies/births, therefore we expect the same experiences

– Other limiting belief

For example, in regards to our age, “old eggs”, general health, body image issues etc.

If you read the points above, you might recognize some concerns, or you might consciously feel that there are no problems. However, subconsciously, certain programs might be running based on past experiences and learned beliefs which are stored deep in your mind, often completely without conscious awareness. Our subconscious mind can work for us. It can also work against us, if it is trying to protect us in a way that causes us to experience blocks like infertility.

“…the subconscious mind holds our habits, beliefs, behavioural patterns, anxieties, and fears that we have been accumulating since birth. Then, as adults, when we experience emotions like anxiety, sadness, fear, or anger, we are responding to the cumulative effect of the information and programming that has collected throughout our entire lifetime.” (James Schwartz, The Body-Mind Fertility Connection)

Conflicts, unresolved issues, fears and limiting beliefs send a message to the body at a cellular level. The very diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” means that the presenting infertility is psychosomatic.

Fortunately, any and all of those emotions and fears mentioned above can be healed. As the emotions, fears and issues are processed, conception rates increase dramatically.

To clear out limiting beliefs and fears that keep you from getting pregnant, and to shift into surrendering and allowing rather than trying to control the process of conceiving, I use hypnosis and belief change techniques like PSYCH-K®. The first session is 3 hours long due to an intensive intake, subsequent sessions are between 2 and 2 ½ hours.

For a free phone consultation or to book an appointment, please contact me

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

If you would like to do regular meditations to destress or use exercises to improve the relationship with your partner go to

My Patreon

I offer different packages starting at 4USD/month.

To read any of the books mentioned above, my amazon associate links take you directly to your country’s amazon page by clicking on an image. Thank you for supporting me by ordering through my links. You can also get a copy of “The 3 Keys to Conception” directly from me.

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Why Do Men Always Change?

Sarah sits in front of me, confused, hurt and anxious. “I don’t understand why men always change? At first, they are all over me, they can’t wait to see me, they call and text a lot, they bring me flowers and buy me cards, and they want to do all these other things for me like repair my leaking faucet. And then they change. They don’t call anymore and don’t bring flowers anymore, and I have to mention the leaky faucet three times. Once men have ‘caught me,’ they change. They become lazy and they stop caring about me.”

My client Sarah is, according to Alison Armstrong, not the only one stuck in this pattern and confused about it. She meets a man, they hit if off, have a fabulous first date and a second and a third, he pursues her, texts and calls a lot, listens and communicates, wants to spend lots of time with her. Then a few weeks or months in, he does something that is the beginning of a downward spiral.

He doesn’t text all day or doesn’t call; he doesn’t respond to the hints of what she needs, wants or likes; he comments on the looks of another woman; he retreats and appears distant; he forgets something that is important to her; he says no to an activity suggestion from her without offering an alternative; he says he is busy and doesn’t share what he is doing; he makes a joke that she is hurt by; he sides with another person in an argument she has; he doesn’t notice the new haircut or how good she looks in the new dress and so on. All these things usually happen because men are men; they are human. They simply are busy or tired or forgetful or insensitive at times.

But Sarah thinks, “I would never do this to him or anybody else I love. Why did he do this? It must be because he doesn’t respect me, or care about me or really love me, or he wouldn’t have done this. I am not important to him anymore. Maybe I never was and he just pretended at the beginning. Why does he not love me (anymore)? It must be me. I must be too much or too little of something. Haven’t I always been told I am too much / too needy / too fat / too emotional / too…” and the list goes on. And she either starts to feel depressed, or she ponders ways of improving and changing herself until she realizes that she has completely lost herself.

I am convinced that a lot of misunderstandings between the sexes are due to the fact that we do not understand the ways in which men’s brains work differently from women’s and how men’s motivations are usually also different from ours. We expect men to be like us and are disappointed if they are not. Or as Alison Armstrong says it, we look at men as “hairy misbehaving women” because they do things a woman would never do. And just as we would judge ourselves or another woman for doing those things, we judge them.

A man’s brain usually has a single focus while a woman’s brain has a more diffuse awareness. We do and think a million things at the same time while they usually only concentrate on one thing and are able to tune everything else out. That’s why they don’t notice that the floor needs to be vacuumed or that the garbage needs to be taken out or that another person in the room is needing some attention or that it’s time to buy the birthday gift for their mother today so she will get it on time. They are focused on a specific task they are completing right now and everything else gets filtered out.

Our motivation is often different as well. Women are more externally motivated. We are often highly susceptible to other people’s opinions. If our girlfriend makes a comment that the grey colour of our top does not bring the best out in us but a blue top would, or if our aunt mentions that she misses hearing from us, we will stop wearing grey and we will wear blue, and we will make sure we call our aunt more often. That’s why we criticize men and think that this should motivate them, but in reality it just demotivates them and makes them feel not good enough. “We are shocked that men don’t spring into action when we criticize them. We think it means they don’t love us or respect us.” (Alison Armstong, Making Sense of Men)

Men are more internally focused. They do something because they are internally compelled or inspired to do it. And, this might surprise you, but they are actually motivated by seeing the woman in their life happy. There is no greater motivation for a man than when he has provided something for her with his actions that makes her life easier or better. When we can express to the man in our life how he is providing us with something or helping us with something, in short actually making a difference by doing something for us, his willingness to help is usually high. Most men actually want to help if they are able to, and if they are being recognized for it by their partner.

What attracts a man to a woman and why do they change? Contrary to what we might believe, it is not the shininess of our hair, or the perkiness of our breasts or the shape of our figure. A male colleague of mine spells it out for his female clients who are worried about their body, “All he thinks about when he is getting physically close to you is ‘boobs’ and perhaps ‘I wonder if I may touch them’. He does not see that one breast is bigger than the other, or thinks they are too small or too big. That is female thinking!” His single focus screens every imperfection out.

So if it’s not the perfection of our body that attracts men and the imperfections of the body that drives them away, what is it? Alison Armstrong names four qualities that, according to research, attract a man to a woman.

  1. Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is irresistible in any person, male or female. What keeps us from being self-confident? Our Inner Critic that judges everything we do and feels it needs to point out that we are “too this or too that” or “not enough this or that”.

Men are actually not even close to as critical with us as our Inner Critic wants us to believe. They adore us exactly the way we are. They are able to see our beauty and adore our shape and imperfections.

So on those days when the Inner Critic gets too loud, how do you boost your self-confidence? Does Yoga, working out, going for a walk, singing or dancing do it? Or cooking and eating healthy food? Or having a pep talk with your girlfriend? Getting a hair cut, manicure or eyebrows done? Or dressing in clothes that you love and in shoes that make you feel confident? The key is to do these things, not because our Inner Critic says we need to but because they make us feel good and boost our self-confidence.

  1. Authenticity

Nothing is more charming than authenticity. And the more confidence we have, the more authentic we can be. One of the highest compliments a man can give a woman is that she is “real, sincere and warm”.

  1. Passion

What are you passionate about? Your career? A hobby or your volunteer work? People or animals? Dancing or painting or writing or meditating? Or your crystal collection and your native drum circle? When a woman talks about her passions, scientists have measured (using magnetic resonance imaging) an increase of well-being hormones in a man’s brain. So instead of holding back and just listening to his interests, express your own passions.

  1. Receptivity

Over the last thirty years, women have learned to value themselves for masculine traits like being independent and productive. The focus has become, especially at work but also in our personal lives, how much we can make happen, organize, control, manage and provide for others. What gets lost in that productivity is being receptive to help and support.

“The first kind of receptivity men need is women being open and responsive to all the ways they express caring for us. Allowing their unique expressions of that big feeling in how they take care of us, protect us, contribute to us and make us happy.” (Alison Armstrong, Making Sense of Men)

Are you aware of the ways in which the man in your life cares for you? What is his love language and how does he provide something for you, practically, emotionally, financially or otherwise?

The second kind of receptivity is, “men need us to be receptive to who they are. The way one man said it was, ‘there is nothing like looking in a woman’s yes and seeing that she accepts you.’” (Alison Armstrong, Making Sense of Men)

That means not to judge them for all the ways they are not like us but to accept that they think differently and are motivated differently but the more we accept them the way they are, the more they want to provide, help and make us happy.

So it is perhaps true that men change, but it is also true that we change. We tend to go into the spiral, like Sarah does, when he does something that we would never do, and we interpret it as “he does not care enough or love me enough”. We take what is simply thoughtlessness or forgetfulness very personally and we think that his behaviour must mean something about us. We conclude that what he did or didn’t do must be the result of something being wrong with us. And as we strive to figure out how to be enough, we lose our self-confidence, authenticity, passion and receptivity, which are the four qualities which attracted a man into our life to begin with.
When we lose sight of our passions and we forget to be receptive to what men want to do for us, we change. Instead of receiving their gifts of caring, we focus on what they are not doing and how what they are giving us is not really what we need and want. And men respond to that lack of receptivity. They stop giving.

If you would like to do a meditation on embracing your confidence, authenticity, passions and receptivity, go to my Patreon. I also offer journal prompts and a partner exercise called “When I look at you, I see…”

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.
Angelika
905-286-9466
greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

What is PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics©?

Listen to the blog article as an extended interview version on my podcast, or read it below.

When people look at my list of services, I often get the question, “What is this psyche thing you do?” Even though PSYCH-K®, originated by Rob Williams in early 1989, has been around for 30 years now, it is still is a bit of an “insider tip” when you want to change your subconscious mind.

Bruce Lipton calls PSYCH-K “an energy-based psychological treatment system” (The Biology of Belief) and recommend it as one way of changing your belief system. In fact both PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics, developed by my friend Darryl Gurney, are energy psychology techniques which allow us to effectively shift our beliefs at a subconscious level.

When I first learned PSYCH-K® in the spring of 2006, my background at that point was hypnosis to help my coaching clients reach their conscious goals. I hypnotized them, and taught them self-hypnosis in addition, to be able to continue certain suggestions at home, but wondered, what if there was a faster and more efficient way of changing our beliefs and seeing the results right away? There is! PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics both allow us to change a particular belief in just a few minutes.

“PSYCH” stands for “Psyche” and the “K” for Kinesiology. Applied Kinesiology, also referred to as “muscle testing” or “energy testing”, allows us, whether we use PSYCH-K® or the belief change process from Shadow Energetics, to communicate with our Subconscious Mind and our Higher Self (called the Superconscious Mind by Rob Williams).

We cannot say something that our subconscious believes to be a lie without experiencing a weaker muscle response—compared to when we are expressing something our subconscious deems to be true. That is extremely fortunate for us, because it allows us to determine what our subconscious really agrees with. Once we have detected that a certain beneficial belief is not held at a subconscious level, we can ask permission (through the muscle testing) to make a change and to program or establish this more supportive belief. Both, PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics have strict permission protocols. We always check if it is in the “highest wisdom and benefit” (Shadow Energetics) or “safe and appropriate” (PSYCH-K®) to make a shift at a given point in time.

In addition to giving us a technique to change our beliefs at a subconscious level, Shadow Energetics recognizes the importance of muscle testing emotional charges in our body and releasing them, as these stuck emotions causes interference patterns. Just like our limiting beliefs, our emotions also create our experience of reality below our level of conscious awareness. 90% of physical issues have an emotional root. Emotions are normal; in fact, all feelings and emotions are good. They provide us with feedback that we need to address something. However, some emotions do not resolve themselves completely; they can cause an obstruction in the physical body, sending out a continuous interference resonance. As a result, we perceive and respond to reality from our emotional pain.

The key piece of the Shadow Energetics system is the integration of our shadows with the goal of becoming whole and more heart-centred, by being able to accept ourselves and others unconditionally.

The term “shadow”, coined by Carl Jung and made popular by the late Debbie Ford, refers to the fact that other people mirror to us what we had to disown growing up. As we develop our personality, we learn to identify with certain personality traits, usually those which were deemed good by others and brought us attention and love in our environment. Yet, all energy outside in the world exists inside of us. Because we have learned to disown certain ways of being, we can only perceive the unwanted traits in projection in others. We carry them inside of us as “shadows”.

A shadow can either be a “dark shadow” or “light shadow”. Dark shadows, contrary to what I occasionally hear, have absolutely nothing to do with evil or with an Ego that we need to get rid off, but simply with the fact that we are human and flawed. That which we do not like or that which we hate about ourselves—and think that we are not—is a dark shadow. We also all carry light shadows, which are the qualities we admire in others, but again, which we think we are not. The truth is, we are everything: Good and bad.

Debbie Ford compares our traits, the ones we like and the ones we don’t like, to a pack of wolves. Her quote from her book “Why Good People Do Bad Things” says it best:

“Truth be told, there is a whole pack of wolves running around inside us – the loving wolf, the kind-hearted wolf, the smart wolf, the sensitive wolf, the strong wolf, the selfless wolf, the open-hearted wolf, and the creative wolf. Along with these positive aspects exists the dissatisfied wolf, the ungrateful wolf, the entitled wolf, the nasty wolf, the selfish wolf, the shameful wolf, the lying wolf, and the destructive wolf. Each day we have the opportunity to acknowledge all of these wolves. All these parts of ourselves, and we get to choose how we will relate to each of them. Will we stand in judgement on some and pretend some don’t exist or are we going to take ownership of the entire pack?” (Debbie Ford, Why Good People Do Bad Things)

Should we only feed the white wolves and ignore the black ones? If we only feed what we were told is “good”, and try to starve the other impulses and energies inside of us, the latter will wait for an opportunity to attack when we least expect it. ALL energy USED WITH CONSCIOUSNESS is good, beneficial or useful in some way. However, the key is that we are consciously aware of our shadows and have learned to love ourselves with them. Loving ourselves including our darkness allows us to truly love and accept others with all their imperfections and flaws as well.

Join us for the next SHADOW ENERGETICS WORKSHOP at the end of May. You will learn all the processes to do your own healing work and/or to use them with your clients. To find out more about what is included in this four day training please click here or read testimonials of past students.

If you would like to read more on the topic of beliefs and shadows, or watch Debbie Ford’s movie, the following products are available on amazon by clicking the image links.

(DVD)

 

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Spring Equinox & Super Moon

The spring equinox is one of the four solar festivals of the year. Day and night are equally long today on March 20. Right now, light and dark are balanced, but about to tip over on the side of the light as the days are getting longer. This year, the beginning of spring also coincides with a full moon, in fact a super moon. A super moon happens only when a full moon aligns with the point closest to the earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit. The moon appears brighter and bigger than normal. It is the third and final of three super moons in 2019 and perfect for manifesting what we want to bring into our lives.

The longer days of spring symbolize the time of a new life. Spring stands for new beginnings, new birth, and new growth. Spring is the season of change, of awakening, renewal and outward movement. It is a time to focus on clearing out the old and creating the new. Just as we might feel the urge to do a spring cleaning of our house, we need to clean and clear out our body, heart and mind as well.

The full moon, especially this super moon, with its intense amount of energy, is the perfect time for releasing the old and for manifesting the new. It is a time to let go, to release any attachments and resistance and to attract and embrace the new. This is the time for cleansing and clearing out the old; our fears, our limiting beliefs, the emotions we are stuck in, the relationships that we are hanging on to when they really belong into the past, and the hurts and old wounds that we identify with.

Holding on to hurt, resentment, anger and judgment is affecting every moment of our day and is ultimately robbing all joy from our life. We are giving the people we have not forgiven power over us. Trust that what goes around comes around and that the Universe has a way to take care of justice through Karma. You can make the choice to let go and forgive; you can decide that it does not matter anymore.

Spring is a call to let go of emotions, like frustration, anger or resentment. They do not serve us. Anger and resentment energetically bind us to the past and to people we do not really want to be connected to. Spring Equinox and Full Moon are the optimal time to set intentions, to make a new start, to create an image in your mind of what you actually want to see in your life. What intentions do you want to set? What are the qualities you most want to manifest in your life? What are your goals and dreams for a joyous future? What would you like to feel and experience? These are the seeds to plant in the garden of your being.

Let’s celebrate the spring equinox with a meditation to set clear intentions, so that we can harvest a more bountiful future. Join me for this

Spring Equinox Meditation and Full Moon Meditation

For more meditations please subscribe to my Patreon.

 

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!