Who are you at your relational worst?
A crazed lunatic? An ice queen? A critical tongue-lasher? Shiny Teflon? An Olympic runner?
In other words, what is your favorite adaptive behavior that you learned early and use adeptly and automatically?
If you don’t know, ask your partner. She or he surely knows. They have been on the receiving end of your injurious behavior too many times.
What I find most interesting in my work is that as much as our partner wants us to grow-up and become relationally savvy, we also want that for ourselves – at least the adult part of us does. No one enjoys our displays of regressed immaturity, even us.
Sure, it feels good in the moment. Drowning myself in Tequila, throwing shit against the wall or calling my partner for life a colorful name can be very satisfying to our inner child who wants immediate gratification and emotional release.
But, afterwards? Everyone feels like shit, including us. It’s like eating a box of Krispy Kremes and thinking that you are going to have a good day. Our digestive system doesn’t work that way and neither does our emotional/relational life.
Accountability is our friend. It feels good to color in the lines. To be responsible for my best relational moves. To know I can do better and that I have a partner, children and my wisest best self counting on me to do so.
So, show up. Always. That’s a given. But, you gotta weigh in too. Know your numbers. Because when you face yourself with measurement, you can’t hide from the truth. Honesty spells reality and you do want to be your best self. Count on it. And besides. You have a bunch of folks rooting for you. We are all on your team. You can do this. You were born for it.
For the rise of your life …