Do you ever argue with your partner and feel like it’s the same conversation over and over again? Or the same cyclical pattern of conversation tends to repeat itself? This leads us to thinking “why are we having this same conversating again? Is there something wrong with our relationship?”. The answer is no. As human beings, we have this great gift of intention. With intention comes goals and an ability to control our reactions and behaviours.
Here are two behavioural patterns to consider:
Putting Up Walls
For some of us, when we are engaged in confrontation or even in difficult conversations, our fight-flight-freeze response becomes activated. This is because our system has self-protective measures, whether there is a physical or emotional threat to safety.
What’s also interesting to look into is how our attachment-styles play into whether we put up walls or not. There are 4 main attachment styles:
Depending on what attachment-style we fall into, it can make it easier or more difficult for us build relationships and intimacy. Some behaviours you might notice in yourself or your partner are disengaging from the argument, avoiding eye contact, leaving the room, or even dismissing the issue altogether.
However, putting up walls often leaves important issues unaddressed and can further feelings of disconnect and even abandonment. People who tend to withdraw in this way during conflict or difficult conversations would benefit from learning more about attachment theory and seeking out professional therapy for assistance in better understanding and breaking down these patterns.
Another behavioural pattern we see occurring in relationships that impede on their ability to flourish is accusing or blaming your partner. Usually this is accompanied by someone putting themselves in the position of the victim. Doing so shows a lack of willingness to take accountability for our role in the situation, while possibly making our partner feel guilty and shameful.
Try to remember that it’s not about whose “right” or “wrong”, it’s about collectively solving the issue at hand. The goal should be about working towards reconciliation or problem-solving. If one of you can be present enough and ground yourself during an argument, you can assist in reminding each other that it’s not you versus the other, but both of you versus the problem.
There are just two of many behaviours that we may engage in when arguing with our partner. These two behaviours can be quite damaging and can impede on our ability to work with important and necessary issues. It’s important to be mindful and aware of what injurious behaviours we may be engaging in so that we can begin to break the cycle.
Are you struggling with unwanted behaviours or communication difficulties?
Understanding and rewiring these patterns that are created over time can be difficult, but very rewarding. Contact Mindset First to schedule a therapy session today.