Many of us bring our old childhood habits into our relationships. They appear whenever our feelings get hurt and if we haven’t worked though these old patterns, we will use them on our partners. Like blaming them when we get hurt.
I grew up getting mad at the people who hurt me. I know this is not a good way to let people know they hurt you, but I was not trained to do any better. My single mother was overwhelmed trying to manage three rambunctious children and she often just got frustrated and yelled at us.
This is what I saw, so this is what I learned. When things didn’t go my way, I yelled. Of course, when I grew up, I didn’t yell that much, but when I really got my feelings hurt, I did. It took a while to figure out that I was bringing a lot of the chaos into my life by just getting angry.
Sometimes when we fight with the person we love we might feel bad about ourselves. On other occasions we might feel angry at them. It just depends on the way we are wired.
Some of us believe others hurt us and therefore we have to react. That’s how I grew up. Others believe they are at fault for the difficulty and blame themselves or just hold things inside. This is how the other half live.
But as I explain this to you, maybe you can see that both people are trying to make sense of something that went wrong: a problem, an argument, a disagreement, or a misunderstanding. It doesn’t matter what gets in the way, we all know when it’s something that keeps us apart it feels terrible.
All of us have habits we bring into our relationships. Some of them are very good, but some of them can bring about pain and hardship to our partners. And if we have those bad habits, what can we do about them?
Plenty! But the first thing we have to do is understand what it is we are doing.
One of the hardest things to teach someone in a relationship is to stop getting angry at their mate. I know because this is how I grew up and this is the response I used every time I got my feelings hurt.
I know there are many, many people who suffer from this and it is a big problem for those of us who get mad. But there are ways of understanding what we do and helping ourselves do something different.
Sometimes when we get our feelings hurt, we want to lash out at the one who caused us to feel bad. This is pretty common for some of us. I know it was for me.
I grew up in a household where my mother was overwhelmed and released her frustration by yelling at her children. I know she loved us, but as a child I learned that this is what you do when you don’t like something: you yell.
You may have heard the story about a Native American grandfather talking to his grandson. The grandfather told the grandson there are two wolves inside of him having a war. One is mean and angry. The other is kind and loving.
Curious the grandson asked, “Who will win?” Grandfather replied, “The one that I feed.”
I have heard this story a few times and every time I nod to myself that I too want to feed the right wolf. I want to be kind and loving, not angry and mean. And I bet if you are reading this right now you would agree with me.
Many of us got hurt during our childhood. And some of us were not able to talk about our pain to our parents or the people who cared for us. So when a young person gets hurt and there isn’t another person to help them, some of us turn toward our anger to get attention.
This is how I grew up. I got hurt, but didn’t have the skills to talk about what was bothering me, so I resorted to yelling at the person who hurt me. This is common when some of our needs are not met.
Many of us in relationships get our feelings hurt. This is pretty normal and happens even when we love our partners. But some of us when we get our feelings hurt get really, really upset. I know I used to do that too.
When we get really upset, well we can’t think straight. Our minds narrow with maybe one thought. We got hurt and someone has to pay. This is common if we didn’t learn how to understand our hurt feelings.
I didn’t while growing up. There was a lot of yelling in my family and I grew up thinking that yelling was the way to solve things when upset. It works in a family of yellers, but most people don’t grow up this way.
Humans are very complex. We can be in two feelings at once. We can love our mates, and be extremely mad at them and we can feel both of these things together. That is how the mind works. All of our minds work this way.
It is very common to get our feelings hurt when we are in a relationship with someone we love. Loving a person requires us to move away from barriers we place around our heart. We push them aside and love deeply another person.
And because these barriers are not there to protect us, when we get our feelings hurt, we really, really hurt! There is no protection around the heart to keep the heart safe and that’s why it stings so deeply.
All of us in relationships come into our union with the skills we learned growing up. Many of us might have come from homes where the problems never got solved. Some of us might even be new to even thinking about saying, “I am sorry.”
That’s how I grew up. My family was full of love and deep connections, but the display of those emotions was buried under a lot of anger and disappointment. When someone drank the milk and another family member wanted some, that person would yell, “Who drank the milk?” If someone answered, then there would be an argument about why they drank all the milk.