I talked previously about my personal story with hypo-labor. My son is now two years old and in recent weeks he has developed into full blown toddler-hood. He gets frustrated because he wants something and he doesn't know how to ask for it. He doesn't yet have the words to communicate his wants, and he falls into an emotional mess better known as a tantrum. It makes me wonder if any of us have really outgrown this stage.
It is astonishing how many of us carry significant blocks to healthy communication. How many of you have been upset about something, but rather than put yourself in the vulnerable position of talking about it, you nit pick your partner instead? How many of you have felt stress and find yourselves taking it out on the people who are closest to you? How many of you have tried to make someone feel guilty over something?
These are obviously not healthy communication tactics, but we have done them or will do them at some point in our lives. They happen because we don't have enough practice using healthy communication tools. They happen because our fear of not getting what we want or need becomes so large it's hard to see straight. They happen because, like my toddler, we are emotionally frustrated and don't know how better to handle it.
I think the best things we can do in these situations is to start with awareness and objective observations. When we indulge in unhealthy communication patterns, we're already in a vulnerable place. We're afraid of ourselves, the people in our lives, the situations we're in. It does no good to wag your finger at yourself, to beat yourself up or to place judgement on those actions. They happened, and if you can learn to look at it as it being a simple reaction to a situation, you'll be in a much better place for understanding why it happened. You'll better be able to see what fear was contributing to that reaction. You'll be able to identify the thing that needs to be met for you to feel safe, happy and secure.