When you are in an argument with your partner or friend, yelling at them is not only going to cause more hurt feelings and problems but it can and sometimes does break up those same relationships. In yesterday’s blog I talked about doing something constructive with your anger and then talking about what caused the anger. If you cannot talk about what caused the anger then it will repeat itself. Your partner or friend cannot be expect to know what the problem was unless you tell them. They will continue to make the same mistake until you tell them it is one. These conversations are difficult but necessary if you value the relationship and do not want to lose it. During the conversation, if you feel anger building again or the person you are talking to is becoming angry, stop the conversation and get rid of the anger before you continue. Do this until what is bothering you is out in the open. When discussing one issue do not bring another problem into it, deal with that during another conversation. If it is a repeated pattern of behavior, discuss the pattern not the individual symptoms of that pattern. An example would be if your partner leaves their coffee cup one time, a plate another time, a glass another time, their clothes another time in places where they shouldn’t be, do not discuss each individual time. The pattern is picking up after themselves. Discuss picking up after themselves and only give the most recent time as an example. Discussing everything but the kitchen sink during an argument only confuses the issue you are discussing and the person feels attacked. One issue at a time. These discussions should not be about winning or losing the argument. They should be about coming to a place of mutual agreement, win win. Know though that just because you have asked the person to pick up after themselves, does not mean they are going to do so. It may take time for them to develop this new behavior or they may refuse completely. You then have some choices to make about whether you can accept that fact, what limits you will place on the relationship, what you will and will not tolerate within those bounds. You will have to think about how much stress this particular thing causes you and if you will be able to tolerate it or not, if there is a refusal on their part to change. There are always choices, sometimes not great ones, but always choices. These video’s will help you to relax and give away what you have no control over, while you make your choice. the link to the video’s. Enjoy!
I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist. View all posts by dtoomey2015