Originally posted July 10, 2015
Old Habits Die Hard…
how true is that, really?
Being in a new relationship is always exciting and fun and yet it’s also another way for us to learn more about ourselves. (I know, I know…haven’t we learned enough!!)
I’ve never been in a relationship as who I am today. I like to think of myself as having a high level of awareness and understanding as to how I am showing up to this relationship. What’s interesting, is how old triggers can set us back years in just an instant.
This is where it helps us to be more self-aware. Not judging ourselves for the default tendency that pops up, but to recognize it and know that we can choose differently in the future.
What’s a default tendency? That’s when something triggers us and we unconsciously have a reaction to it. When we become aware of our reactive behavior is only when we can choose to respond differently. I had several triggers in my last relationship. No fault of anyone and I take full responsibility for my own actions because I was not only allowing myself to be triggered, but I was pretty much sleep walking through much of my life at the time and completely unaware of how I was reacting.
The version of who I am now looks and behaves extremely differently and this does allow me to truly choose who I want to be in every moment. But what does that even mean? Think of a time when you do something like snap or react in a particular way just to later feel icky or guilty and have the need to apologize for that behavior. There’s no judgment here, we’ve all done it!! And I continue to do it on some level, but I am improving! However, it feels crappy for us to send a message that we later regret and it possibly feels crappy for the person receiving the message.
Having us be able to choose how we want to communicate with others verbally and otherwise, makes a huge difference when we are awake and can choose consciously. Only then can we respond and not react.
When we’re in a relationship (this goes with every single relationship we have, whether it’s a partner, family, friend, co-worker, even a stranger on the street…) where one or both parties are sleep walking through their lives, and are very much not living in awareness, we can get caught up in the reaction dance. You do something where I react and then my reaction presses your button to react a certain way and we get stuck in a cycle of behavior that doesn’t serve either of us.
As I become more aware, if I have a button pushed, I don’t go into my default reaction where I either feel badly or feel like I must apologize for my behavior later. I can simply sit with my reaction and think, ‘okay, why is this creating a response of being upset or angry?‘ Often it is not the intent of the other person to create a reaction. It is actually how we are receiving and perceiving the message. Taking a moment now gives me a chance to look at other ways to perceive what’s happening and to take a look at myself and why I have that button in the first place. I am now also able to better articulate my thoughts and feelings around my button, not making it about anyone else.
This is interesting new territory for me. But what I’ve realized in my continued life journey is that no matter what, we can ALWAYS choose differently. But we can only do that as we raise our consciousness and understanding of ourselves. It’s also that old buttons may still appear out of nowhere. And that’s okay. Again, it gives us a chance to learn from them and then choose a different behavior next time.
So, get on the dance floor!! Do the tango, the cha-cha, the lindy, the hustle, the waltz…but when it comes to the button dance, well…it might be time to choose to sit this one out!
Here’s to blissfully choosing how you want to respond in all of your relationships!
Lesley Picchietti, CPC, ACC, ELI-MP
© Inspire Bliss Coaching and Consulting 2015
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