Why Can’t I Control My Anger? “Why can’t I control my anger” is a desperate cry I hear from so many people who pick up the phone and desperately want help in turning that switch off. “Why can’t I control my anger when the slightest little thing irritates me?” “Why can’t I control my anger [...]
Thin Skin Narcissists Operate on Rage and Passive Aggression Thin skin narcissists are highly sensitive, envious and insecure. They react instantly to any observation about them that isn’t superlative. They tend to withdraw and treat others as potentially hostile and dangerous, and likely to victimize them. Thin skin types feel enormous shame when they are [...]
Three Ways to Deal With Spiteful Actions Against You How do you deal with spiteful actions against you It’s a stinging experience when your partner watches you squirm when they just happen to let you down, or when you’ve worked hard on something that then falls through. Or what about when you are struggling [...]
Do you ever wonder whether your partner has the capacity to love you , just for being you, rather than what you do for them? Are you often disheartened that your partner seems to focus on what you have done or not done, rather than care about your experiences? Maybe you had a similar experience of 'love' from a parent, who never seemed interested or joyful in your company, let alone genuinely into whatever was exciting for you. You know that feeling, when you long to share your joy or sadness, but instead of tuning into you and being happy with you and for you, the interaction switches to being about what they are needing from you. And, its not until you fulfill that need that you are 'loved.'
Then I encouraged Rachel to explain how she felt in that situation, and why she went to a cold, mean place later on. She told Byron how she wanted to show their closeness, that speaking about his view was a way of expressing togetherness. When she was controlled and humiliated, it made her want to hurt him by withdrawing and shooting verbal barbs that stung – in other words, taking back control. Making room for both of their wounds and pain showed them that each was trying to control the other to protect their sore spots. Now that they understood the nature and origin of the hurt, they no longer had to use control to manage their couples communication issues, but could instead remind each other of their sensitivities and have other more comforting responses from one and other. Then I encouraged Rachel to explain how she felt in that situation, and why she went to a cold, mean place later on. She told Byron how she wanted to show their closeness, that speaking about his view was a way of expressing togetherness. When she was controlled and humiliated, it made her want to hurt him by withdrawing and shooting verbal barbs that stung – in other words, taking back control. Making room for both of their wounds and pain showed them that each was trying to control the other to protect their sore spots. Now that they understood the nature and origin of the hurt, they no longer had to use control to manage their couples communication issues, but could instead remind each other of their sensitivities and have other more comforting responses from one and other. Do you feel like your partner cuts you off mid-sentence, or gags you just when you are about to say something that bothers you? Maybe you find that the subject has been artfully changed so that you can’t talk about what’s really important to you. Perhaps you feel that you don’t want to hear what your partner has to say because it is nonsense or just irrelevant. One of the major couples communication issues that brings them into couples counseling is where one or both attempt to control the other by the way they react to each other’s efforts to get something across.
After chiding her live- in boyfriend of five years, thirty-three year old boutique owner Nicole was full of self-loathing. She was angry that she had lost her temper with thirty-five year old car service manager Craig who was constantly letting her down. Nicole watched herself berate him for his sloppiness and half-finished chores. She saw Craig cringe and it reminded her of the times when her father laid into her for not doing as he expected. She didn’t want to be anything like her father. She was alarmed and ashamed that she behaved exactly like her dad, and wasn’t able to do anything to stop it.
Gina a twenty-seven year old recent law school graduate was bubbling about her acceptance as an intern at a prestigious law firm. She jumped into the car when her thirty-two year old boyfriend Jake, vice-principle at an elementary school came to pick her up. She started talking excitedly before she strapped her seat belt on, but was gutted when she was abruptly cut off in mid- sentence. Three sentences in Jake sighed, avoided eye contact and told her he had to concentrate on the traffic.
Two years into their engagement, twenty-nine year old medical billings specialist Rachel vowed to leave her thirty-two year old fiancé Brian, a banker and property developer – for the millionth time. She was full of anger and bitterness about Brian’s willingness to help his sister manage her financial problems while making excuses about planning their long awaited vacation to Italy. Brian felt torn between Rachel and members of his family. He wanted to share himself with them all, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to do so without alienating one or other of his loved ones. He liked the fact that he was wanted and needed but he hated being put on the spot over and over again to choose between them and live with the discomfort of divided loyalties.
For the millionth time that day twenty-seven year old receptionist Camille yelled at sound engineer Mario, her boyfriend of eight months. He was never on time, drove carelessly and today he had forgotten the address for her urgent dental appointment after promising to get her there punctually. What made it worse was his utter calmness in the face of her escalating outrage. It was if she were a mere twig on the road that he could go around and continue on his merry way. Camille rejected his hug and concern for her when she came out of the dental office. She ignored his interest in what she could eat and drink after her tooth extraction. Camille avoided any eye contact and refused to talk to him on the way home.
No matter how patient he was or how many allowances he made, at the end of the day he felt dumped. Just as he was looking forward to looking for a house and planning the details of the wedding Sheila backed out saying she couldn’t go through with it. She wasn’t ready. She was very sorry, especially as this was a repeat of what had happened before, but it wasn’t going to work out. Neville was in shock. This was the closest he had ever gotten to tying the knot with someone he was nuts about, and it all fell apart. Would he ever get married? Would he ever find that magic that his parents seemed to have and that he desperately wanted to capture?