Attraction to others is neither good nor bad. Although it's pleasurable it doesn’t necessarily help with wise discernment. When it arises, it's up to you to engage in wise discernment about how you manage it. This guide provides practices and points of focus to engage your own attraction in a way that holds more choice about what will meet needs for yourself and others, and what role attraction plays.
Tolerating reactivity, name-calling, blaming, guilt-tripping, or stonewalling can lead to resentment and hurt. Plus, the more you stay in a reactive dynamic, the more you are likely to reinforce the pattern. Setting life-serving boundaries arund reactivity is about letting another know that you aren’t going to participate in that kinds of dynamics. This means knowing what helps with handling difficulties and asking for that.
When someone offers continual unsoliticed feedback or advice, setting a boundary may not be easy if you care about how they might hear you. And if you don't set a boundary, you may eventually become resentful and say something you regret. Instead, here are six ways to respond, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Little negative impacts can become big when left unattended. Watch for things like using a sharp tone, choosing not to share something, going along with something when you don’t really want to, trying to convince your partner, impulsively turning away, shrinking, losing access to parts of yourself, hiding, daydreaming about a different life, and judgmental thoughts. Instead, shift the dynamic: take responsibility, provide empathy, and commit to change.
If it's a tender topic and/or you are looking for a particular level of responsiveness, you can let listeners know what you want back before you share -- or you can ask them for a particular kind of response right after you share. The more you can do this, the more it can create supportive relationships in your life. Read on for ways to ask for a particular kind of responsiveness to meet particular needs.
Unhook from a reactive dynamic, by staying with your needs and requests, and release attachment to outcome. Start by shifting your attention from the other person to get clear on what's true for you. Read on for strategies to transform reactivity, possible boundary setting behaviors, typical signs of escalation, and more.
Most reactivity in intimate relationships comes from a lack of confidence in maintaining intimacy, autonomy, or security. What may help is naming what's happening, interrupting shame, and anchoring or reassuring yourself. You can also reflect on the effects of acting from reactivity. Knowing what helps center you, ask your partner to do or say specific things that might help. Read on for more.
In healing reactivity try identifying your most common complaints, wishes, or requests. Or when you tend to defend, justify, get angry, or protect. Find the tender needs. You can recall when you experienced deep nourishment of that need. Several times a week nourish your tender needs. Be clear about the strategy to address needs by answering key questions. Read on for more.