Control Your Emotions In One Simple Step

One time a couple came to see me, confused and upset by an encounter they had with their clergy-person. They went to him explaining that they were having marital problems and they wanted help. He was a lovely and loving man. He listened carefully and told them they had to start acting nicer to each other. They looked at each other and then at him. “But” the wife said, “we know that! We just don’t know how.” Now it was the clergyman’s turn to be puzzled. “You’re such lovely people!” He exclaimed. “Of course you know how!” There was an unfortunate chasm between this couple and their clergyman. He couldn’t understand their problem because he didn’t understand how emotions get in the way of rational conversation. But it’s the emotions that keep therapists in business. If all you needed to be told was, “Act nice!” and all you had to do was think, “Oh, okay,” wouldn’t that be Paradise! When your emotions take over your brain and you do and say things that later on you will deeply regret, obstacles are introduced into the relationship that change a logical, simple process into one that sometimes seems insurmountable. Kinds of Emotional Obstacles In my last two posts, Small LIes Are Emotional Abuse and What to Do If You Are Being Gaslighted, I described one emotional obstacle: seeing reality through a warped lens. The person doing this is terribly insecure and holds on to this warped view of reality because he or she desperately needs to. It’s his way of calming anxieties about things he really doesn’t get. If it fits...
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