How do you generally react when another is being unloving? How do you wish you could respond?
“When Eddie blames me, I react so fast, before I have a chance to get my loving adult onboard. I’m explaining and defending before I can even take a breath,” Lori told me in one of our sessions. I knew exactly what she was talking about, as I had struggled with this same challenge for years.
Most of us learned early in our lives to react to any kind of rejection – blame, anger, withdrawal, judgment, criticism, or being ignored – with some form of reactive behavior. I had learned as a child and adolescent to react to any form of rejection by explaining, defending, crying, blaming back, getting angry, complaining or giving myself up. Even today, if I’m overly tired, I might go right back to these protective, controlling behaviors.