Romantic relationships can be a source of incredible joy and excitement in our lives, but what happens when conflict arises in relationships and life isn’t all roses and champagne?
From little lovers’ tiffs to fully blown world-war-three-style arguments, here’s something interesting I’ve learnt about having disagreements with your significant other (or anyone else for that matter):
It’s not you, it’s me.
What do I mean by that? Well, as much as it seems like it’s our partner’s behaviour that causes us to get angry, upset, or downright murderous, sometimes it isn’t actually their behaviour that causes us to have this response; it’s what their behaviour causes us to believe about ourselves.
Now, we all have beliefs about ourselves that we carry round with us, and they largely determine how we feel, what we think, and ultimately how we act. And whilst we are often all too aware of the things we say and do, and how we behave, what we aren’t always aware of is what the beliefs are that are driving that behaviour, because they are rooted deep in our subconscious.
The beliefs we have about ourselves have been programmed into us throughout our lives from a very early age – mostly by other people. They can come from parents, siblings, teachers, friends - anyone. They can be negative ones such as ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I always mess things up’, or ‘I’m bad with money’, or seemingly positive ones like ‘I am a good girl’, ‘I don’t cause a fuss’ or ‘I am a high achiever’.
So when we find ourselves getting angry or upset at our partner, it can often be because they have done or said something that triggers a deeply-held belief of ours, either reinforcing a belief that we find painful, or perhaps challenging a belief that we find comfortable. For example, when your spouse leaves the kitchen in a mess for the hundredth time, and you feel your hackles rising, perhaps it has triggered a belief around ‘I am not valued’ or ‘I don’t deserve nice things’.
So why is this a good thing? Well, if it is our beliefs that cause us to react in a way that we don’t like, we can choose to change them. Beliefs are not set in stone, and coaching helps to identify and address any beliefs that are no longer serving you.
So what programming might be running your life?
If you would like to understand better what beliefs might be influencing how you think, feel and act then click on the exercise below: