This week, Imagine Hope is reviewing the different ways we "exit" in our relationships and why. Remember... "exit" doesn't just mean physically leaving. We exit by our behaviors with our significant other-- an exit is any behavior we use to act out our feelings. This could be things such as silent treatment, using short answers such as "whatever", becoming defensive or reactive, raging, being passive aggressive, etc.
- We exit when we've been close and closeness in childhood was always followed by conflict. When we grow up in a home where closeness is quickly followed by reactivity or conflict, it makes it difficult in our adult lives to trust being close to someone. It's like an impending sense of doom or fear.
- We exit when we are afraid! Fear can make us do things reactively if we aren't aware of how we are feeling. Perhaps when you are afraid you clam up and stop talking, or maybe you distance from your partner. It's important not only to recognize what you are feeling (afraid/fear), but also to realize WHY you feel afraid AND to recognize what your behavioral reaction is to this fear. Being able to say what you are afraid of is so important. It allows you to tell the other person what you need from them, and helps you to work through the fear instead of reacting to it.
Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.