Bill White’s HEALTHY COUPLES Web Blog


** BOOK Excerpts: BLINDSIDED

 

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I am writing a series of books on CAUSING HEALTHY LOVE. 

 

At present, the first book is about people who never admit fault, and who as a consequence, become impossible to relate to in a healthy way.

 

Below is a link to the most recent summary of the book. This summary will give you life-saving information on identifying people who are impossible, and knowing who is simply difficult and still worth your efforts. Click on the link:

 

10-1-14 BLINDSIDED overview

This next link to a chapter in the book is a guide when you find yourself in a relationship with a person with a difficult personality:

YIKES I’m in a relationship with a toxic person

THIS NEXT LINK GIVES THE PERSON WITH A DIFFICULT PERSONALITY STEPS TO TAKE TO HEAL AND IS A CHAPTER OF THE BOOK

Chapter 4–HOW TO CHANGE YOUR DIFFICULT PERSONALITY to send out

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****The below info is not recent (but good!), and is from another book I’m writing.

 

The tentative title of the book is:

 

 

THE 7 MYSTERIES OF ANGER REVEALED

 

NEW GUIDELINES FOR COUPLES THAT DISSOLVE ANGER, ELIMINATE ARGUMENTS AND FIGHTING, AND RESTORE LOVE, PLAY, AND PARTNERSHIP

 

*******

 

To get an understanding of the basic philosophy behind the book, go to my blog page “Articles” and read the article “FREE YOURSELF FROM ANGER AND ARGUMENTS”.

 

 

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UPSET AS OPPORTUNITY FOR CONNECTION

 

When you’re upset, there’s something unseen in yourself, or unseen in the other, that if you did see it, the upset would resolve. You’d experience freedom from the upset and you would experience a sense of connection with the other.

 

Upsets are an opportunity to restore that freedom and connection.

 

When you avoid dealing with upsets, or when you deal with them but don’t deal with them effectively, the end result is an experience of being stuck, blocked, distressed, and disconnected from others.

 

 

HAVING A GREATER PURPOSE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP THAN YOURSELF

 

 

Ultimately, in order to be able to stay with the process of growth and healing in a relationship, there has to be a purpose greater than yourself or your relationship. Usually that greater purpose is about contribution. Certainly it is healthy to contribute to yourself and to your relationship, but it seems to be the nature of humans that giving to something greater than ourselves takes us out of our limited and self-centered view of life.

 

The relationship can be designed to contribute to the health, healing, and well-being of the other, as well as having the relationship be a contribution to others by example and by actions. Those ‘others’ might include children, extended family, community—such as, work, church or spiritual group, etc., and humanity as a whole.

 

 

 

WHY HUMANITY HASN’T FIGURED THIS OUT

A key reason humanity hasn’t figured out how to dissipate anger is this: The solution to anger triggers a fight or flight response.

 

Being vulnerable–the very thing that practically guarantees the resolution of anger and feelings of separation–is what has our animal brain (the survival brain) feel even more scared and unsafe. Being vulnerable scares us, and leads us back into guarded protection modes. Guarded protection modes will block the resolution of conflict every time.

 

 So, essentially, human beings are wired such that it is practically impossible to consistently resolve conflict and emotional upsets. We inadvertently bypass the solution. We go into fight or flight at the drop of a hat. Being vulnerable is not an option to the fight or flight brain.

 

The good news here is that now that you have become aware of the distinctions of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘protection’, you are in a position to consciously choose to respond with vulnerability even though it feels counterintuitive. Stay with being vulnerable until the emotional upset dissolves.

 

‘Being vulnerable’ at times when the body and brain is sure it needs to protect itself is completely counterintuitive. On the other hand, the only time you’ve ever resolved a conflict or an emotional upset is because someone was courageous enough to be vulnerable in the face of feeling fear.

 

Key examples of being vulnerable: feeling or acknowledging fear or grief, exposing our less-than-pretty personality traits, and looking inwardly at ourselves–instead of blaming the other person.

 

 

LIVING BY THE GOLDEN RULE

 

In order to have a healthy love relationship, you must make an agreement with yourself and others to live by the Golden Rule.

 

That is, you must treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Not because it’s right or wrong to do so, but because, on a soul level, you are love. You don’t feel right when you aren’t treating another the way you’d like to be treated. On the flip side, you feel right when you do live by the Golden Rule.

 

If you are being unkind in actions or words—and yes, even thoughts—this is the only place to start putting in corrections for creating a healthy relationship. All other steps will be practically useless if you don’t treat others with kindness and respect. On the other hand, when you are living by the Golden Rule, or putting in corrections as soon as you notice you aren’t being kind and respectful, the other tools of communication actually begin to work very well.

 

Note: Living by the Golden Rule is not all-or-nothing. We aren’t ever going to be perfect. We can, however, commit ourselves to making amends for harm done.

 

 

As bad as anger feels, interestingly, anger seems initially preferable to feeling the true feelings of grief—and especially fear. We’re scared of fear. However, facing our fears, and feeling our grief is a magical path to health, healing, and freedom.

 

 

 

YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK BY SCREAMING AND HITTING

 

When doing the work of the anger and argument solution, if you find your body getting too uncomfortable to face the emotional pain that comes up, or if you find you can’t seem to control your rage or fear reactions, do yourself a favor and try the bioenergetic and somatic therapies. You need a safe place where you can be supported in screaming, yelling, hating, crying, hitting, kicking, and the like. In fact, here’s what I tell people who frequently yell, scream, punch walls, and hit others: “You’re on the right track. You need to express the same things, but do it alone or with a therapist. Don’t express it towards the person who triggered your anger. Don’t even express it towards some thing while the person is present.”

 

 

LISTENING

 

 

I think we humans operate from the premise that most of the time we know what we think and feel. I operate from the premise that we humans are only partially aware of our thinking and our feelings. We often need another person to listen while we express ourselves so that we become present to what we actually think and feel. Every time we have a conversation, it can become a fascinating self-discovery. [Example to be included later]

 

During times of emotional upset, the need to be heard is much greater. As I write this, I recognize for the first time that expressing oneself when one is upset is a fundamental need; a need like the need to eat food when hungry or to be sexual when horny. If you don’t honor that ‘need to express’ when you’re emotionally upset, there will be deep consequences to your emotional world and your relationships.

 

I suspect those deep consequences to one’s emotional world are depression, anxiety, boredom, lingering sadness, anger and irritability. The consequences to our relationships are that we give up on expressing and being heard. The joy in relationships dies off.

 

When I work with clients who are interrupting each other and generally not listening, I use this analogy: If someone were throwing up, would you put your hand over their mouth and tell them to stop? Well, that is essentially what we’re doing when we stop someone’s emotional expression.

 

Another analogy I use: When someone is sharing something with you, it is a gift they are handing you. Our responses vary from looking at it and ignoring it, to pushing the gift out of your hand and onto the ground, to taking the gift momentarily, judging the gift and dropping it on the ground. Then we hand the other person a gift (i.e., attempt to express ourselves), and we get the same treatment from them of our gift.

 

Treat another’s expressions as a gift being given to you with love.

 

 

LISTENING

 

Make sure you understand what the other person is saying

 

Many people think that listening is passively hearing what the other person says. Listening is active.

 

Maybe the bottomline for listening is simply this: Make sure you hear and understand every word and message the person is giving.

 

The really cool thing about making sure you understand the other person is that the other person may then actually understand him or herself. Often the person really doesn’t understand the message he or she is attempting to convey. When you hear enough and ask enough questions so that you understand, that may be the first time the person actually understood the message he/she was trying to get across.

 

***

What we’re looking for is a sense of completion (reference Landmark), a sense of nothing inside; an experience of being empty of disharmonizing energy. We’re also looking to be inspired by connecting with our grandest sense of ourselves. Your spirit self.

 

This is similar to ideas from Zen Buddhism. When allowing ‘what is’, ‘what is’ disappears and you’re left with nothing, an empty space from which anything is possible.

 

When I’m listening to someone, I’m ‘getting’ their words and their message such that in their expressing how it is for them, they are either empowered by being in touch with their grandest sense of themselves or freed up as the unpleasant experiences disappear. So while listening, I’m watching—feeling—for the moment when someone is inspired or freed.

 

So, listening is not just hanging out and hearing the words. It is an active process. It is a holy gift. It is the possibility of transformation and magic right in front of your eyes.

 

 

From main article/philosophy

 

It is very easy to discount the idea that your childhood pain is the source of your emotional upsets in the present situation. Here’s why:

 

Most of us (including me), can look back in childhood and remember being criticized, or whipped, or laughed at, or not listened to, or neglected. Upon looking, we have no emotional reaction. Even those who had severe abuse can look back on their abuse without the memory triggering emotion.

 

The pitfall is that, on the one hand, seeing the person in front of you who you are incensed with, and on the other hand looking back at childhood pain—but feeling no emotional reaction—you erroneously conclude that childhood has no bearing on your present situation.

 

My point here is to tell you that you don’t have to have an emotional reaction to childhood pain for that pain to be playing a part in your present emotional reaction.

 

 

 

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks Bill, I love ‘active listening’ is listening as if what is being said is a gift of love.

Comment by Gary Olsen

You’re welcome, Gary. Thanks for saying so!

Comment by healthycouples




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