What moves a conversation between two people from the issue at hand into personal meltdown?
But this isn’t all bad, emotional reactivity also turns out to be nature’s way of informing us of where we are on the path of emotional maturity (another way of thinking about growing up and differentiation).
One of the measuring tools for getting clear about how much growing up you have to do is time to reactivity – how quickly do you lose it?
How easy is it to push your buttons?
How many buttons do you have that can be pushed?
How often do you stoop to pushing your partner’s buttons – either to have it your way or just to keep them from having it their way?
Usually the issue (call it the what) triggers some difference between you and your spouse that creates tension – more for one spouse and less for the other. The more important the what is to you, the quicker you become emotionally reactive.
Your energy will be intensely focused on the outcome of the what – either by getting what you want, or by getting your spouse to validate your wants.
A major shift can occur when you “get it” – the what is actually an indicator of your emotional maturity.
At this point, you have two choices -[Continue Reading…]