We exit when we can't find the language to express our feelings - sometimes it can be hard to find the words to clearly express what we're trying to say. Sometimes we choose not to say anything at all because we either can't find the words, or because we don't think anyone will understand or "get us". When we fail to communicate how we're feeling in relationships (family, friends or romantic), our needs will at some point start to be unmet. This is when some people decide it's best to end a relationship, than work on finding a more effective way of expressing how they feel. We exit when we feel something we weren't supposed to feel in childhood - messages we received when we were younger don't go away just because we become adults. Those messages stick with us. If in childhood we weren't supposed to feel sad, angry, proud, confident, scared, etc... then we weren't given the skills to know how to express that feeling in a healthy way. If that feeling comes up when we're an adult, we believe it's "wrong" or we feel overwhelmed by it and we don't know what to do about the feeling. We still don't have the skills to handle the feeling. If this continues to happen over and over in a relationship, one might decide to end the relationship in order to avoid feeling the emotions.
If you find yourself relating to any of the Exits we've been discussing so far this week, please re-consider your "flight" response as Teri described yesterday. We have several more Exits to discuss, please check back in all week for more. Thank you for reading!
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.