If you've followed my previous blogs, you know that heated fighting creates a biochemical imbalance in men—called ANS arousal, or the Fight-Flight response.
When a man withdraws from conflict (verbally, physically and/or psychically), a woman naturally feels hurt (mistakenly interpreting the withdrawal behaviors as a sign that her guy could care less about what's bothering her).
Unfortunately, most people sidestep the weak and vulnerable feeling of hurt in favor of the more palatable and powerful emotion, anger. Instead of speaking about her hurt—which would arouse the desired empathic response—most women make the error of blasting their men with anger. This is a fatal mistake precisely because emotional intensity and heated fighting triggers the chemical imbalance that fuels withdrawal behaviors. It's easy to see how chronic fighting is born!
The only way to break this cycle is to cool down the emotional climate using what I call Climate Control Techniques. Thus far, I've discussed two Climate Control Techniques: Identifying and Elimating Fight Traps (otherwise known as faulty fighting tactics) and Identifying and Healing your Old Scars.
In this blog, I present a brief overview of another of my proven Climate Control Techniques: Training Your Brain to Fight For (Not Against) You.
What do I mean by this?
The human mind has an unfortunate habit of distorting what is seen and heard. As it happens, these distortions are directly linked to our Old Scars. To illustrate the point, let me return to the example I used in the previous blog in which I discussed the case of Susan, a wife whose father never had time for her when she was a child. In my example, Susan was out to dinner with her husband who kept checking his watch (to make sure to feed the meter on time). Susan went ballistic because she wrongly interpreted his behavior as a sign that he, too, wasn't interested in spending time with her. The point is her mind played a trick, negatively distorting and inaccurately interpreting her husband's behavior.
Why would Susan's mind play such a cruel trick on her?
Here's where Old Scars come in. Susan's Old Scar (Dad never had time for her) caused her to associate her husband with her father. She unconsciously assumed that her husband didn't want to spend time with her either.
Why would her mind make this painfully inaccurate link between her father and husband?
The link is both a symptom and a plea. The fact that she sees her husband as not wanting her is a symptom that she is laboring under the influence of an unhealed Old Scar.
As for the plea, the mind continually returns us to earlier points of trauma in a desperate attempt at healing. Just as a person finds it impossible to leave the dinner table when he or she is still hungry; the mind also keeps bringing our issues to the table, begging for an emotional "feeding" or healing.
The negative distortions our minds create are designed to nudge us to relive the Old Scar, to bring the emotional pus to a head, so that we may finally, once and for all, heal the pain--which means receive the emotional goodies that we didn't receive in our formative years. In Susan's case, the emotional healing she needs is to feel that her husband adores her and wants to spend time with her, the way her father never did.
Can you see the fatal flaw here? Can you see that the way her mind misreads her husband's behavior (her negative distortion) actually shoots herself in the emotional foot? Her distortion insures that she won't receive the healing response she desperately needs. This is because, each time she sees her husband as her abandoning father, she responds by attacking him. In response to attack, her husband becomes defensive. The last thing he feels like doing is telling her that he adores her and wants to be with her!
So what began as an unconscious attempt at healing, has now gone miserably wrong. The couple is fighting, which drives Susan even farther from her needed healing.
The only way out of this mess is for Susan to Train Her Brain to Fight For Her (Not Against) Her. This is a five-step process, which includes: 1) Hold Your Horses; 2) Take a Step Back in Time; 3) Take a Hard Look at Reality; 4) Check Out Your Suspicions; and 5) Smooth Any Ruffled Feathers.
Obviously I don't have adequate space to discuss the above steps here. I, therefore, encourage you to read Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First) in which I outline, step-by-step, how to train your mind to work for you.
As you learn to properly interpret your partner's words and actions, you will be amazed at how much calmer you feel. When your cannons are no longer pointed at your partner, he or she will want to stick around, listen, understand and actually respond to your needs.
You will soon see why Training Your Brain is such a powerful tool for creating a climate in which Old Scars heal, fighting fades and relationship harmony rules.