What trips us up in life is assessing behavior on whether it is good or bad, right or wrong. Initially (birth to three, four, five, or so), our children try to meet our beliefs about that, when, if you really observe young children, what they (and you and I) are all really interested in is how things work, what works and what doesn’t, and not whether something is right or wrong or good or bad. But remember, given that we live in a culture that tends to emphasize and thus reward or punish what is considered good or bad or right or wrong, it works to be sure our children understand these conflicting and confusing ways of assessing, judging, correcting, exacerbating the behavior of other human beings. And we don’t have to use them.
I invite you to experiment in your own family life. When someone does (or doesn’t do) something, and you get upset about it, notice what thoughts and feelings occur almost simultaneously. Notice that you don’t stop first and decide whether or not to get upset. Notice whether or not you decide what exactly to say, or consider different options and what might result. Since you are continuing to read this, note: neurologists have seen that our muscles go into action for a response before we consciously decide what to do - from about one-tenth to one-half a second BEFORE WE DECIDE. That we react so quickly and automatically to what has been done in the past, and that we have survived, has been and still is, on occasion, a valuable way of making decisions when in danger or under attack. But it also has its downsides, its limitations, and results in our relational responses - in all other circumstances - being stuck, stuck in the past, not moving forward with new conversations. We wonder why we end up unsatisfied, bored, and frustrated with each other or even ourselves.
Until you begin to notice this (there is no right or wrong thing to notice or not notice, just practice noticing before you respond, or, stop for a moment after responding and note what happened, what someone did, and your immediate physical, emotion, facial, and verbal response). Until you notice (consciously note) your immediate reactions, ones that occur with no pre-thinking, no consideration, there is no solution. You cannot escape, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And life will go on as it has been going on. But if you want some new excitement and intimacy in any relationship, I suggest you do a little homework - ideally with a partner or email me via the Contact page. There is really nothing to do about this except to notice it. Just doing that will make a difference. If, however, you want some assistance in doing it and getting some feedback, just ask me for assistance via the Contact page, and I will send you a short process.