Relationship FORM B. (Part 2)

couple problems 

‘keep the focus on myself!’


REMINDER: The term FEEL has 2 totally different meanings, used interchangeably, referring either to thoughts or to emotions, BUT most people only use the word to mean thoughts. This makes communication – with oneself or with others – very confusing, especially for ACoAs, since we don’t know what we really think or feel half the time!

The EASY way to tell the difference:
a. Emotions are always one word – sad, happy, angry, sexy, lonely….
NOT to be confused with Physical feelings, also one word: hungry, thirsty, tired, strong, healthy, ….
b. Thoughts are always a sentence, often starting with “I feel that you…. / I have a feeling that he’s not…..” which is the dead give-away they’re not going to talk about Es, even when they’re implied.
When we are asked how we feel, the answer rarely is what’s we are actually experiencing, but is more likely:
— what someone else said or did
— or about what we’ve done or want to do
— about that we are Thinking, even if we don’t really hear ourselves!
— or what we’re afraid others will think of us

REVIEW: KtFoY (keep the focus on yourself), from Part 1
WHEN YOU ___________________________________________
I FEEL  _______________________________________________
& BELIEVE THAT I AM ____________________________________
These are my thoughts & feelings, which are not your fault & not responsible for.
HOWEVER, I’D APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD ______________________________________________________
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO TRY THAT? ________________________

WHEN YOU (As) – spend too much time talking to other people (especially to ___) when we’re out together
I FEEL (Es)  – invisible, disrespected, humiliated, angry, hurt, lonely
& BELIEVE THAT I AM (Ts) – not attractive, not desirable, boring, a burden to you
These are …
HOWEVER, I’d APPRECIATE it if YOU WOULD (As) – pay more attention to me, include me in your conversations, show people I’m important to you, maybe even brag a little about me to others… 🙂
WOULD YOU BE WILLING….?Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 4.29.26 AM

REMINDER: Don’t wait endlessly before saying something appropriate about an annoyance or a serious problem. Otherwise you’ll just be in a rage & any communication will be short-circuited.

Re. US
• ACoAs unconsciously expect others to know our needs without having to say anything. This is ‘mind-reading’ & not kosher to expect. It comes from the WIC, whose needs were not met sufficiently at a very young age, when we genuinely needed mom, or someone, to consistently know what to do for us, especially before we could talk.

NOW we refuse to ask for what we want & need – not just because we’re not ‘allowed’ but because we insist (unconsciously) that if we have to ask then whatever we get doesn’t count! What the kid doesn’t realize if that ADULTS are supposed to ask.

• Here again, the main source of our reaction is either the WIC or the PP. However, if the other person has consistently disappointed or wounded us, then we have a ‘legitimate beef’. It can take some work for ACoAs to know the difference. This will happen as we identify a combination of our specific needs and our human right, giving the WIC permission to speak up, & having enough of our UNIT in place to take care of ourselves.

• If you’re dealing with an older child or teen – the way to handle them will be quite different. You’ll need to be more assertive without being punitive, & may need to insist they ‘behave’ by your rules.Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 4.29.57 AM

a. But if you’re dealing with a self-centered, immature, narcissistic adult, they’re not likely to do as you ask – even if they promise to. With anyone who is that heavily ‘armored’, you probably won’t get anywhere.
They may not even be willing to look at the ‘dumb’ form you worked so hard to fill out!

In that case the purpose of the Forms A. & B. is for YOU to be clear about the issue, & stay awake to who / what you are dealing with. You may have to decide this is the wrong parent, spouse, boss or friend for you to stay with! Save every form, & fill a new one out each time a new ‘issue’ comes up, for you or from them. Then only show these forms to someone trustworthy, like a sponsor or therapist. They are NOT to be used to beat someone up, or to hold resentments.

b. However, regarding some of these annoying or bad actions, such as
• at home: ruining things like curtains, chairs, rugs…
• in public, revealing too much, over-explaining, not answering direct questions…
• inter-personally: promising but rarely coming thru, not listening, not following thru… / not holding up their end of responsibilities…..
➼ ….  one possibility is that the person has ADD, OCD, dyslexia, serious depression… & isn’t getting the right treatment for it.  So they may not be able to stick to an agreement, even if they want to.

EITHER WAY: If the person balks – either at listening to your request, at thinking about it or at actually doing something differently – it’s important to ask “why not”:
— What would it mean to them to comply?
— What worries them about your request?
— Can they give you an alternative action they are willing to do – but only if it’s legitimate and acceptable to YOU – for you to consider?

• Of course, if the other person receives this request with an open heart, you have a chance at getting some of your needs met.Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 4.30.23 AM
• Even if the person’s response is favorable, don‘t expect miraculous shifts.  We all take time to change. Be willing to remind then, nicely! Start the sentence with “Please, would you … / Do you remember you said you would be willing to…’ , rather than angrily: “You never… / Why haven’t you… / You promised to…”!
• Also, when possible, we may want to be more assertive, more pro-active, more visible – so we’re not a victim of other people’s personalities & / or their damage. ASK. ASK. ASK – but nicely!

NEXT: ACoAs – Being Visible – #1


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