Wondering how to stop blaming others for your feelings? Blame can undermine relationships and impede the love and empathy you crave when feeling hurt. Are you ready to learn where blame comes from, how to end it, and how much richer your relationship might be if you do?
It’s not unusual to describe what happened after an argument occurs. Many of us do this. We think about who said what and how we responded and we explain that what was said was not helpful and we talk about what might have been better and we do this with complete confidence that we see things the way they are.
I have worked with couples where one person is excellent at detailing what went wrong and how those things could be avoided. I listen to the explanations that are extremely detailed and I think to myself, “But how does this help?”
When we live with another and in a close relationship it is very common to think we know exactly what our partner is thinking or what they are about to do. This just happens in many relationships. Sometimes we are absolutely right. But sometimes we are not.
And that is the point of this article. Often we can see that our mate should just do such and such, especially when we are having a disagreement. If they only said or did this then everything would be better.
A lot of us in relationships try and get what we want to make ourselves feel comfortable. Sometimes our mates do things that make us uncomfortable and then we tell them what we like and don’t like. This is very common.
But when we get into difficulty with our partner and they don’t do what we like, we might fall into a pattern of telling that they are lazy, stupid, mean, unkind and more. We might start to label them. And this labeling can have a devastating effect.
Often when people get their feelings hurt they take what happened to them and re-run it through their brain again and again. Sometimes we can see that we should have said something different, and sometimes we just get madder and madder.
This situation happens in all our relationships, especially with the people we are really close to. I know that when I used to get mad at my partner I would just “stew” over what happened. It was as if I was marinating in the juices of what was done to me.
The more I sat in the stew the madder I got. You see how this works? We get our feelings hurt, something normal that happens in relationships, and then we run it through our minds over and over and over.
Criticism in relationships is incredibly common. Wonder why? All of us in a relationship like things the way we like them. Including how our partners act. We like them not to embarrass us and we like them to talk to us pleasantly. As humans we prefer things that please us. This is entirely normal.
But as someone who is sensitive to criticism, I know how terrible it feels when someone points out what you do not do well. It hurts some of us to our core. We can’t help it, that’s just the way some of us are wired.
All of us grow up with some ways of interacting with the world we live in. Most of us use our experiences to form patterns when we are little, and we use these patterns throughout our lives.
They often are just fine, unless we use them on our beloved and our mates don’t appreciate them. My pattern when I first met my partner in life was not helpful.
I was talking to a potential client for couples counseling when she asked me if I would be giving her a prescription to follow in order to get better.
I was stunned for a moment and I think in all my years of counseling I have never been asked this. But I do know there is absolutely no way to understand a couple without meeting them, and I don’t have any idea what would be helpful for them, because there is no one size fits all plan for couples.
Communicating feelings in a relationship can be hard. Clients sometimes ask, “I tell him how I feel! Why doesn’t it work?” Let’s look at some differences in how we communicate and the best way we can reach each other.
Some of us are very good at speaking what is happening to us when our feelings get hurt. I know I grew up that way, always saying what I needed to say and hoping someone would listen and help.
This is probably a lifelong habit that many of us are very used to. But some of us in this world are not talkers. Maybe you are partnered with one. I am. He is great at a lot of things, but he doesn’t need to talk about what is happening to his insides. I do.
All of us in this world have basic kindness, compassion and insight. These are human traits that we all have inside of us. Sometimes, though, when there is a fight between partners, we forget our goodness and make our mates the enemies or tell ourselves we are at fault.
This always creates hardship in a relationship between two people. We all couple with the one we love so we can have a good life. We are always drawn to the person who makes us feel alive and at home in a good way.