We’ve all lost our shit. Yelled, screamed, slammed doors, or simply shut down, mute and immobile. Frozen in fear and uncertainty, or trapped in placating to keep the peace. We call this reactivity or Fight, Flight, Freeze, and Fawn.
Reactivity is an involuntary physiological change in our bodies and minds when we feel threatened.
- Fight means getting aggressive, feeling we must overpower to be seen, heard, or even obeyed.
- Flight means we run away from the danger.
- Freeze means we are paralyzed, unable to move or deal with the threat
- Fawn means we try to please to avoid conflict
Often in relationships, there is one person who fights and another who flees, freezes, or fawns. Sometimes a person does both. I know I used to fight to be understood, but I also could freeze and feel unable to do anything, and at other times I tried to keep my partner (past), who was angry, from getting more enraged by fawning.
As you know, none of this is optimal.
Unfortunately, some of us feel shame. Like we need to hide, cover over, pretend this never happened. Because shame is intense and tells us we are not okay.
- Shame means we perceive ourselves as being less than or not okay.
- Shame means we don’t see ourselves as okay.
- Shame means we feel dirty, and we cannot wash it off.
Those without shame, who feel blameless, are dealing with another issue entirely: out of balance narcissism or a lack of empathy and possible Sociopathy.
Sociopathy or Antisocial Personality Disorder may manipulate, use deceit, and aggression, and they simply don’t have much empathy. A sociopath disrespects the rights of others. They may go to great lengths to get what they want via manipulation, violence, deceit, or charm.
But for those of us who hide in shame, hiding is not the answer. Instead, we have an opportunity to tell ourselves that we want more; we want to be more. We want to transform and grow. That we can. That we were born into this life to be our best.
So perhaps there is another way to see this, to tell ourselves this situation, fight, reactivity, and shame are not our fault, but only we can fix it. Only we can begin to look under the covers and see what is going on.
Perhaps you could tell yourself:
- I want to learn
- Relating is a language I wasn’t taught
- My feeling self has wounds that want to be healed
- I can be more; I can do better
- I don’t have to hide
Perhaps you could know:
- What is happening is normal.
- Who hasn’t lost their shit at some point or another?
Perhaps you could hear:
- Humanity is learning to relate
- Relating is a new language
Perhaps you could remember:
- Peace starts with you
- Peace within the self, not just between you and others
There is much complexity here:
- Boundaries to unravel and understand
- How the brain functions
- What trauma does
- How parenting impacts children’s ability to deal with their feelings
What if you knew:
- You could make your life better?
- Have a perfect relationship?
- Feel happy and content?
What if you believed:
- You don’t need fear or pain
- That life is a journey, not a destination.
I know that I am unraveling how I sacrifice my joy to work because of fear around money.
I am moving blocks of my life around—actual activities to some degree, but also attitudes and ways of thinking. Now, I’m onto other areas, other aspects of myself that are not fully untangled.
I’ve already done the relational work. Over the years, my reactivity has diminished and finally evaporated, poof into the air. My relationship sings. It is happy and fun. But I wasn’t always there. I spent years suffering, not knowing how to communicate or what. Or how to listen.
The years I have spent learning the language of relating are coming to fruition.
There is relationship help for reactivity.
The WeConcile App is getting closer to being finished. It will teach you the language of relating. There is no shame in learning this. It is part of self-empowerment, and for most of us, this is much more practical than learning Greek or another language you may never need. We hope you will give it a try (7 days free) when it is out. A month or two away.
Learn about the WeConcile App here: https://weconcile.com/
Learn to calm down your reactivity here: https://blog.weconcile.com/2021/04/03/calming-down-and-managing-your-feelings/
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