Can’t we all just get along?
Guns rights, military spending, a nation at war. We see and hear these things every day. The psychology underneath these political issues is interesting and very complicated. And, as a couples therapist, it boils down into something very simple. How we fight. Or in other words, how we act when we’re angry, or how we defend ourselves when threatened.
What lies beneath
Diplomacy and national security aren’t issues I can claim any special knowledge about. But I do understand fighting. And over the years I learned that anger is not to be overlooked. In fact it’s best to get really curious about it, even welcoming. Fighting is often either protective or an attempt to get a response from the other.
- “LISTEN TO ME!”
- “YOU HURT ME, STOP THAT!”
World stage to the bedroom
So what is the message behind your anger? Knee-jerk reactive anger will likely not give you connection and warm fuzzies with your partner. In fact, reactive anger usually drowns out your message. So, give the anger some quality time. See if you can figure out the message beneath it. Listen. Explore it more than you ever have. Then try communicating the message separate from your reactive anger.