In the natural way of things, a child learns to regulate his emotions through his attachment to his primary carer, usually his mother. When he experiences distress or pain, he runs to his mother, and in finding comfort, his distress will subside. Through this natural cycle, repeated over a period of time, a child learns that he can experience pain, but not be overwhelmed by it. He gains the tools to comfort himself and regain his equilibrium. Conversely, if the mother is for some reason not attuned to the child or is unavailable to meet his needs, the child experiences emotional abandonment. If this happens frequently, the child’s ability to regulate his emotions will be limited and this may lead to relationship difficulties later in life. [Read more…]
If you’re having difficulties in your relationship and find yourself going round in circles and resolving nothing, the Karpman Drama Triangle may help you to get a handle on the dynamics and help you to make healthy changes.
We’ve all been there…Your partner said something that upset you and you responded with an emotional outburst…You received an email that annoyed you and you dashed off a knee-jerk reply that you later regret…
When we feel under threat and are scared and anxious, our brain’s processing shifts to primitive neural networks designed for survival. In this survival state, it is difficult to think clearly and to make wise choices; anxiety and fear inhibit the sort of processing required for good judgment, problem-solving, compassion and empathy. The more threatened we feel, the more likely we are to dig our heels in and fall back on rigid thinking and behaviours; there is no room for more adaptive behaviours such as negotiation and creative problem-solving, and growth (of the person and of his/her relationships) is inhibited.
Ever wondered why you’ve stayed in a relationship you know is bad for you? Or why it’s hard to shake off an abusive ex-partner months or even years after you’ve broken up?
Bonding is a biological and emotional process that makes people more important to each other over time. Bonding is cumulative and grows with spending time together, living together, eating together, making love together, having children together, and being together during stress or difficulty. Experiencing extreme situations and feelings together tends to bond people in a special way, which may be healthy or unhealthy.
Anger is an emotion common to all of us as human beings, whether we recognise it in ourselves or not. The way we express anger (or don’t), is largely shaped by our past life experiences. You may have been punished for expressing anger when you were a child, or you may have witnessed your parents’ anger when it was out of control and frightening or when it manifested in other ways, such as through stoney silence. [Read more…]