Surviving challenging relationships during lockdown.
If you find yourself getting in arguments and you don’t know why or if either of you tend to pick a fight for no apparent reason, it may be a sign that you are experiencing these addictive tendencies.
Does this mean your relationship is doomed? Not necessarily.
If both partners are willing to make a conscious effort to stop the addictive behavior there still is a chance to have a great relationship. The key is to recognize warning signs that lead to fights before they happen.
What are warning signs?
Below are some of the examples of warning signs that a drama cycle may be beginning. Arguments tend to progress in this order. Keeping your eye out for these behaviours in yourself or your partner can help prevent escalation.
Warning Signs to Watch For:
What are examples of you and your partner’s signs?
1. Changes in body language (slouching, eye gazing, looking down, fast breathing, fidgeting, pacing).
2. Changes in voice and language (raising the voice, negativity, using harsh words)
3. Negatively interpreting what the other is saying.
4. Invalidating what the other is saying.
5. Bringing the past into the conversation.
6. Using terms such as “you always” or “you never”
7. Using words and comments intended to hurt the other person.
Initially it will be difficult to become aware of the cycle and stop it; just like any addiction, it will take time to break through the patterns. Don’t beat yourself up if you catch yourself in the act—this is the goal! What matters is that you become more aware of these behaviors as they begin so that you can stop yourself before that addictive dose of adrenaline kicks in. The more you can stop yourself, the less frequently you will find yourself engaged in that insane drama. Once you become aware you are doing it, the cycle loses its power.
Often, we expect the other person to do the self-development exercises which leaves us disappointed and even more frustrated. Writing down our benefits if we start doing the changes in our behavior can help us be the first one to make behavior changes. You can ask yourself- What is my benefit if I make some changes in my response? Believe me it works like magic. I have changed my irritable nature, snapping out, taking things personally forever. When I made a list of positive outcomes which would come to me if I made some changes in my responses, changing my habitual behaviors, patterns were quite easy. My list included- My child will get a happy environment at home to live, I will have a happier family, my husband will feel much more relaxed and it will result in a better relationship with my husband. These outcomes were good incentives for me to make changes in myself. What are your incentives?