You can usually tell when someone is angry. It’s visceral. A raised voice, trembling, fidgeting, fast speech, heavy breathing, the furrowed brow, the clenched hand or maybe flared nostrils. But equally, it can be the opposite. Silence or sudden disappearance.
Gaslighting is a sophisticated, subtle form of emotional manipulation which is so effective that you accept whatever the gaslighter presents as the truth.
When in your relationship do you feel cared for?
Sometimes we feel embarrassed about our wish to be cared for. But Rick Hanson PhD says that wanting to be cared for is natural, and deeply rooted in evolution. Care is a symbol of love. And love, generally speaking, has been the primary driver of the development of the human brain over millions of years. Care is crucial to survival.
Whether it’s wanting them to be more emotionally responsive, more attentive, reliable and financially responsible or just that they wouldn’t squeeze the toothpaste from the middle of the tube, it seems that we can spend years trying to get our significant other to be different.
2019 didn’t start the way I planned. It was certainly difficult to see any colour other than grey. Gratitude doesn’t seem to fit with pain, suffering and fear. When you’re struggling and survival mode, it doesn’t feel as if there’s space to look beyond what’s necessary to keep you going. Life isn’t easy sometimes, and in those moments it feels as if it’s working against you, not for you. The feeling is one of resentment, not gratitude.
It’s always nice to receive a gift, especially when it’s a surprise. A well-chosen gift can let you know that you have been deeply heard and profoundly understood.
In my previous blog post, I wrote about How To Tell If Your Relationship Is Causing You Anxiety. Now let’s address your anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety is common. In 2013 there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK. So if you’re experiencing anxiety symptoms, you are not alone.
If the story of your relationship (maybe it feels more like a drama) is punctuated with narcissistic behaviours sadly, anxiety will likely also play a part.
When the need for self-confirmation becomes excessive, then you enter the realm of potentially unhealthy or pathological narcissism.
Vulnerability does make you more susceptible to hurt, heartbreak and disappointment, there’s no getting around that. But when you shut down the possibility of being vulnerable, you can’t experience the joy and pleasure of life or be our authentic self because we shut down those things too. Everything gets shut down.
I really admire the work of Brené Brown. If you’re not familiar with Brené, as well as being one of the world’s leading researchers on the subjects of shame and vulnerability, she is a wonderfully compelling storyteller. Brené Brown talks about difficult topics in a very soulful, humorous and graceful way.
It’s painful when you find yourself in a relationship continually giving more than you receive. And yet at the same time, it’s hard to stop being a people pleaser. In fact, it’s a role that you’ve become all too used to.
And really, why would you want to do that, even to the point of being unhappy, overstressed, chronically resentful, and physically and emotionally ill?