1: De-Sensitise To The Drama & Control Your Reactivity

A desensitising process is the artificial recreation of a stressful situation in a safe space and calming the body down as the associated negative feelings arise - repeatedly.

The purpose is to slowly desensitise to the ‘stimulus’ and our reactions become less intense. Moving away from defensive reactions with our partners is the very first step to breaking this pattern.

2: Get Honest About What You Want & What Your Partner Wants

Think deeply about what you want from this relationship. Now consider what your partner wants. Often we know. More time, more acknowledgment, less criticism, more affection and more help. We need to be open to both needs even if we’re still hurt.

3: Recognise Healing Comes As A Result of Getting Closer, Not ‘Once We’ve Healed We’ll Get Closer’

When we’re hurt, we withdraw physically and emotionally. If it’s been long term we *expect* our partners to hurt us, so are in permanent readiness to defend ourselves (and read hurtful things into most statements). And we can nurse and nurture old hurts and wounds.

When we are doing this, healing is not possible. Our hearts are closed.

Step away from this defensive stance to one of simple neutrality.

4: Bring Back the Basics: Manners & Fundamental Respect

Damage Limitation refers to emotionally stepping away from the snipes and complaints of daily discord and consciously letting go of defensiveness and blame. We can return to relational basics: manners and fundamental respect.

This means re-introducing ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and it means doing so in a tone of voice that is either neutral or if possible, gentle. Watch out - our hurt feelings will tempt us back into sarcasm and a passive aggressive attitude.

Keep reminding yourself why you are doing this: because what you were doing before was not working.

Stuck In Withholding & Defensiveness In Relationship

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Common Pattern: Due to Long Term Hurt the Relationship is in an Emotional Standoff of Withholding and Defensiveness.

A desensitising process is the artificial recreation of a stressful situation in a safe space and calming the body down as the associated negative feelings arise - repeatedly.

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