Other Emotional Issues

Relationships

Relationships - on "Being Right"

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Hi Everyone,

David Lake, MD (from Australia) uses EFT extensively for relationship work with his clientele. One of the issues that comes up in almost every relationship, of course, is the need to "be right". David addresses this issue with his usual insightfulness and, along the way, he brings us such ideas as...

"Far more useful than finding the right words to say is the idea of using a lot of EFT at the "hot point" of your frustration. This represents massive leverage toward the real problem...."

and...

"Another very useful strategy is to use opposite polarities on alternate points while tapping: "This is right for me" on the first point; "This is wrong for me" on the second, and so on. Or you could say: "I know I'm right" on the first, and "But it's not working" on the second, and "I must keep going" on the third, for example. Quite quickly a new balance is established. In short you are using all the negativities in a creative way without denying them."

Hugs, Gary

By David Lake, MD

"Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

It is quite gratifying to be in the right. To be superior to those lesser beings who have not understood how things are meant to be, and whose behavior is far more childish that your own. Never making a mistake--apart from the semi-permanent one of "not getting" what your partner or family really want or need from you! And the universal mistake of not listening to others in the first place.

As Frank Farrelly says: "Don't tell me the truth--leave me with my distorted perceptions"

But if you are always trying to be in the right in a committed relationship then you can easily make your partner "one-down" and "wrong". Your mind thus struggles with your conscience, intuition and heart in an effort to ease the tension caused by inherent fears and anxieties. It even tells you that you can hurt yourself, or your best friend, and get away with it! The result is a life-denying stalemate where all energy in the relationship is blocked. Authentic feeling and response goes out the window and is replaced by wounded pride and vanity.

The resulting feelings of anger, hurt and helplessness for both are best treated initially with EFT as 'first aid' (regardless of the cause or doer).

The great intensity of those emotions makes relationship the crucible of change (this is David Schnarch's idea of marriage). It also makes a technique like EFT the most useful kind of self-help possible. With each "opportunity" (there's my reframe for getting hurt by the thoughtless behavior of others) we can tap, and avoid the pointless fighting and retribution we usually indulge in. After treating the body problem (EFT is a bodymind technique) in this way, at length, it is far more likely that the mind will be settled, and ready to negotiate or learn to change.

The Role Of EFT

Far more useful than finding the right words to say is the idea of using a lot of EFT at the "hot point" of your frustration. This represents massive leverage toward the real problem, which I conceptualise as a disturbance in our inner world. Sometimes this is a fruitful struggle, as we are "stretched" to change, but more often it is just the feelings of the old hurts of long ago, triggered by the behaviour or attitude of the partner. Very often those behaviours are parts of our disowned self in any case.

Here are some shortcuts in dealing with the suffering (note that all possibilities integrate with using EFT):

1. Cry

2. Breathe

3. Tap at length on the hurt feeling wherever you feel it in the body

4. Reflect, meditate, relax, whatever works for you

5. Creatively ignore the hurt. Your partner is going to hurt you sometimes--just as you will hurt them

6. More tapping for the injustice, resentment and unforgiveness standing in the way of your recovery

7. Apologise if necessary. Negotiate the problem.

8. Reconnect. Life is short.

I suggest using continual tapping (not requiring a set-up statement unless you really want to use one) on your favorite points, ideally a composite point such as the crown of the head or the inner and outer wrist points (two finger breadths down from the crease). This is 'self-soothing'.

Another very useful strategy is to use opposite polarities on alternate points while tapping: "This is right for me" on the first point; "This is wrong for me" on the second, and so on. Or you could say: "I know I'm right" on the first, and "But it's not working" on the second, and "I must keep going" on the third, for example. Quite quickly a new balance is established. In short you are using all the negativities in a creative way without denying them.

Acceptance of Both Sides

If accepting yourself or others takes some mental gymnastics, because we feel that first we must be faultless, or they must change, then go ahead and be inconsistent. The mind is always wanting us to choose between good and bad--when everybody is a balance of both qualities, and relationships are a compromise. Self-acceptance is one of the keys to dealing with this complexity. Using your intuition to promote whatever will work (e.g. goodwill and friendship) is another. EFT treats much of the resulting mental discomfort if you use it persistently.

[Steve Wells gives some very practical pointers on using EFT for Self Acceptance, and a program for self-help at:

http://www.emofree.com/articles/WellsSelfAcceptanceSeries.htm 

Conclusion

Whose values will prevail in the relationship? This is a game which you could play all your life in an attempt to preserve what you consider to be the "truth". The real truth is that if this game hurts your partner then you are both going to suffer and that cannot be a good thing. Satisfied men all over the world have realised that women run relationships and families very well, so their values need to be honoured, and to prevail in the home--but that subject is a book in itself.

Take care of your own dark behavior first before judging the efforts of others. You are not perfect, but this area is under your control to a degree. Work on your own faults first. It is because of grace and kindness in the world that we are forgiven for being "wrong". Don't make the mistake of letting your mind run the show when happiness is at stake. Whatever puts a smile on the face of those you care for should be on your agenda.

Jack Kornfield, the Buddhist scholar, has just written a book called "After The Ecstasy, The Laundry". He tells many amusing stories about what happens after enlightenment to those who have families and relationships--and the difficulties that bring them down to earth in a hurry. What have we gained if it can't be put into practice everyday with those we love?

In the end I think the path is all life-long personal work on our toxic reactions (no matter what the trigger). EFT is the natural antidote.

Dr David Lake

 

 

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