Posts tagged with ‘communication’

09 mar

The Self-Sabotaging Behavior of Denial

WEJMDMost people have a variety of self-sabotaging behaviors that prevent them from manifesting the life that they want. The first step in overcoming self-sabotaging behaviors is to first recognize them. One of the most powerful self-sabotaging behaviors is denial.

Denial is a defense mechanism that discharges anxiety and emotional discomfort. By denying there’s a problem we don’t have to feel bad about the fact that there’s a problem. Unfortunately this doesn’t solve anything or make our lives better. It just sweeps our problems under the rug. They’re still there. Still gnawing at us and still getting in our way.

One example is the area of health. If we have a bump and we are afraid to go to a doctor to find out that it might be something really bad we deny that it is a problem. Unfortunately when it becomes the elephant in the room, something we no longer can deny, it becomes a problem much more difficult to resolve than had we acknowledged it and faced it when it first appeared.

One form of denial is denying that our behaviors are actually self sabotaging. For example, when we are late for an appointment we might tell ourselves that it’s not going to matter, that the excuse we give will be accepted and that there won’t be any negative consequences. But this usually isn’t true. When we are late for appointments or don’t call people back in a timely fashion, as another example, people may be gracious about it but they probably are registering some degree of irritation, disappointment, feeling disrespected or undervalued. And this may over time lead to passive aggressive behavior on their part or them not doing something to assist us in the future when we ask them for help.

BLAMING OTHERS AND SEEING OURSELVES AS VICTIMS

Shakespeare once wrote “the fault dear Brutus lies not in our stars but ourselves that we are underlings.” So one form of denial would be thinking that the fault lies outside of ourselves and that we are victims of a hostile, chaotic universe out of our control, as opposed to us being the prime movers of our fate.

This is a very powerful form of denial, blaming other people and circumstances for our difficulties. For example when we tailgate and get into a car accident we have a tendency to call it an accident when it is actually the result of our poor judgment and we tend to blame the car in front of us for stopping abruptly.

This is very common to blame others and not take responsibility for our actions. Oftentimes when couples fight, one partner will blame the other partner, stating that “you made me angry, you made me throw the toaster against the wall, you made me scream at you, you made me hit you, if you hadn’t antagonized me, if you hadn’t pushed my buttons, if you hadn’t called me that name, if you hadn’t provoked me, then I wouldn’t have behaved that way.” Denial in this case is the denial of ownership. It doesn’t matter if we are provoked. We have a choice to behave correctly and honorably or not and if we don’t, and don’t admit it then we are in denial.

Denial is very common with alcoholics and addicts. “If I just have one drink it won’t really matter, I’ll be able to handle it, it won’t escalate into a serious problem.” Alcoholics and addicts tell themselves this despite having a history of one drink or one drug hit escalating into a serious problem.

Another form of denial in regard to alcohol and drugs is that people oftentimes convince themselves that other people don’t know when they are high. This is usually never the case. Most people can tell when other people are under the influence.

We are in denial when we abuse other people and tell ourselves that they’ll get over it, they’re not going to leave us. Usually, sooner or later, they do, and when they do there is often too much water under the bridge, too much built up resentment and anger for the relationship to be repaired.

We are in denial when we keep on putting off proper diet and exercise. The denial part is not that we are denying these are important things to do but that it won’t one day catch up with us and put us in the grave prematurely. We deny the long-term consequences of our actions.

SHOOTING THE MESSENGER

When someone tells us something we don’t want to hear or deal with, we find ways to attack them and invalidate them so that we don’t have to acknowledge that they’ve made a good point. We might tell them that “you do it too.” And so this allows us to deny the importance of us getting our own house in order regardless of how other people behave.

In relationships when we tell our partner that “I don’t have any problem. I don’t need anger management. You’re the one with the problem not me. You’re the one who needs therapy not me,” this is denial in spades and is a sure fire predictor of a relationship that will never heal and will most likely one day disintegrate. This is another example of shooting the messenger.

Another form of denial is called “contempt prior to investigation” which means we prejudge and reject an idea without first evaluating it to determine if it might have validity. “That’s not going to work.” “It’s a waste of time.” These are dogmatic denials that have no basis in reality because we actually haven’t looked at the data.

Another form of denial is “doing the same thing and expecting different results.” Some people refer to this as insanity.

When we are told something that is true that we don’t want to hear or deal with and we seek out people who will yes us and support our position, this is denial. Just because we can find a bunch of people who tell us we’re right doesn’t mean we’re right.

“I’m only kidding” is a form of denial. When we say something to somebody that is hurtful and they react negatively, we backpedal and claim that “I was only kidding.” Sometimes it’s not denial, we know that we weren’t kidding and that we were making a harsh point, but oftentimes we con ourselves into believing that we really were only kidding, we were only teasing, we meant no real harm and that the person was being overly sensitive. This prevents us from looking at our behavior objectively and correcting it.

LIVING IN THE PAST

Living in the past and not seeing the handwriting on the wall is a form of denial. Whether or not you think marijuana should be legalized and whether or not you think gay marriage should be legalized, the handwriting on the wall is that these things will one day universally come to pass and to deny this and fight this is really a huge waste of time, energy and resources that could best be spent elsewhere.

Another form of denial is denying that forgiveness, acceptance, and love have the power to move mountains. Most people believe that anger and aggression are the way to solve problems. In the short run this may seem to be the case but in the long run they are not. Love is a miraculous force that can transform. When two people are fighting with each other, if one person can rise above the battlefield and express true unconditional acceptance, forgiveness and love, it oftentimes can discharge all the negativity and restore peace in the relationship.

Most people think that forgiveness is a sign of weakness. They don’t believe that the meek shall inherit the earth. This is denial. Forgiveness is a reflection of great strength and personal power. Survival of the fittest will one day prove to be survival not of the physically fittest but of the spiritually fittest: those who choose not to fight and instead insist upon finding peaceful resolutions.

The premise of my book Forgive To Win! is that we sabotage ourselves with denial and in other ways as well because at an unconscious level we are filled with guilt, shame and self-loathing; at an unconscious level we believe we are undeserving and unworthy of happiness, health and success, and that our subconscious mind, believing what we believe about ourselves at an unconscious level, believing that we deserve punishment and not reward, manifests in the real world that “truth” by causing us to do things that get in our way and generate failure.

So — if self-sabotage and denial are the result of guilt, shame and self-loathing, then the way to end self sabotage and denial is to love ourselves and forgive ourselves. The way to love ourselves and forgive ourselves is to love others, forgive others and be of service to others. The more we do this, the more we send the message to our subconscious mind that we are good, loving beings who deserve happiness and success, the more the subconscious mind shifts its purpose. It stops whispering negative messages in our ears, it stops encouraging us to engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, and it helps us to attract positive people and circumstances in our lives that will be rewarding rather than punishing.

The Forgiveness Diet is a structured program of daily exercises and behaviors to help achieve the goal of ending self sabotage.

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Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on March 9th, 2014 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , ,

04 feb

5 Communication Tips to Spark Up Your Intimate Relationship

MotiRonitIn today’s fast paced society, more and more people find it difficult to listen to one another. The stress of modern, daily living affects many areas of our lives, and it particularly takes a huge toll on relationships. Too often, we tend to run our lives in a robotic manner, communicating through codes and SMS.

We often see people talking at one another rather than to each other, hearing but not really listening. Many cannot wait for individuals to finish talking. They cut them off before they complete their sentence, and in turn come up with an answer to bring up their own agenda. Chances are that you have been in this situation and can recall your feelings of frustration.

Do you remember a time in your life when you felt someone really listened to you with his/her whole being?

Do you recall listening to someone wholeheartedly with “all ears”?
Listening plays an important role in the success and vitality of relationships. Heartfelt listening enables an intimate connectedness and an empowered union to flourish. An honest wholehearted listening deepens the partners’ familiarity with one another and opens their eyes to explore the richness of each other’s inner worlds. It offers an opportunity to discover the mystery of intimacy.

Dr. Jack Zimmerman and Dr. Jaquelyn McCandells developed a relationship model for couples intimacy which is based on a unique way of communicating and listening without judgment .The practice named, “Flesh & Spirit”, emphasizes listening to the voice of the relationship, which best serves the relationship. This practice enables a heartfelt dialogue which transcends the couple’s relationship into a new path- a place of the heart. The model encourages the growth of the relationship as well as the individual empowerment within the relationship. Many couples that practice this heartfelt communication reported rejuvenation and a deepening of their intimate bond.

HERE ARE FIVE TIPS THAT IMPROVE AND DEEPEN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS.
1. Designate time to frequently celebrate the relationship

Allocate a quiet place with no interruptions from cell phones, TV. etc. Create a romantic setting filled with candlelight. Sit, facing one another, hold hands, look into each other’s eyes and share a positive story, a positive memory that you remember about your partner. Focus on something you love and appreciate in your partner that brings a smile to your face.

Not only share with your partner what you feel will enhance the relationship and deepen your intimate bond, but also share what are you willing to do to make it happen.

The practice helps create a safe environment that can transform your relationship into a source of inspiration by stretching your imagination through, creativity, playfulness, humor, adventure and spontaneity. The transformation brings a fresh new energy and a renewed life force into the union.

2. Listening without interruption

Each time you feel like reacting when your partner speaks, take a deep breath, and listen to the end of his/her last word. It helps to use a talking piece, and only the person who speaks, holds it. Put the talking piece down when you finished speaking, and allow your partner to express him/her self.

3. Speaking from the “I feel”

Ask yourself, “am I communicating from my ego or from my heart?” Relax and be totally present. Allow your vulnerability to emerge when you speak from the” I feel” place rather than reacting or blaming. When speaking from the heart, share how you feel without pointing a finger. It creates a room for healing, as obstacles and challenges turn into stepping-stones and opportunities for growth.

4. Affirmations

We all can use positive affirmation… a show of love, kindness and support rather than criticism.

Express to your partner frequent words of affirmation. Compliment your partner. Leave love notes, write poems and love letters, and express positive validation towards your partner for the things he/she does that make you feel good. Familiarize yourself with those things that make your partner happy or that are important to him/her.

A hug, a pinch, or a smile will spark up your day. Your relationship thrives on such shows of affection.

5. From the “Me” to “We”

In every relationship, there is an individual voice within each partner that feeds self-indulgent, egotistical needs. But it is important to stay mindful of the relationship’s needs. This third voice is called “The Voice of the Relationship”, a neutral voice that serves the well being of the relationship. In times of tension, conflicts and disagreements, attuning to the voice of the relationship cultivates a conciliatory atmosphere by bringing a different perspective to consider. It’s like going out to the balcony to get a different view on things.

Dr. Moti Peleg & Ronit Rinat Peleg

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Posted by Moti & Ronit Peleg on February 4th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , ,