How we react to what people say can become automatic. Sometimes this can be based on misconceptions and fear and not be the most appropriate reaction to the situation. But by following the steps below, we can train ourselves to react in a more calm and considered manner.
Note down your patterns and reactions. Often we repeat various ways of acting. These are called “patterns”. For example, every time a husband might approach his wife, she might react by moving away from him because she wants to test his determination to be with her. But when he feels rejected and withdraws, she feels rejected and, thus, fulfills her own prophecy even though he may have really wanted to be with her.
After each positive or negative interaction, please answer the questions below. You might decide to fill it out together, or you may fill it out separately and then compare notes. Remember, this exercise is not about what the other person could have done differently. It’s about how you could have stopped reacting in the same old way in the same old pattern.
How did you react?
What pattern was present in this interaction? What triggers do you see?
What could you have done differently to stop the pattern this time?
The aim of this challenge: To get you to be more aware of the patterns you easily slip into.