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resolving Conflicts in Relationships---Part One

» Introduction
Are you tired of experiencing conflict in your relationship? Do you ever find yourself choosing the wrong person? Have you ever thought, “if only I’d known…” about my partner? Just imagine what it would be like if you could have a relationship where you could easily resolve problem, make conscious choices and had a partnership where you both felt fully empowered. Imagine being able to let go of potentially destructive negative emotions and patterns.
» Step 1
RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN RELATIONSHIPS
Part One
By Jim Britt

Are you tired of experiencing conflict in your relationship? Do you ever find yourself choosing the wrong person? Have you ever thought, “if only I’d known…” about my partner?
Just imagine what it would be like if you could have a relationship where you could easily resolve problem, make conscious choices and had a partnership where you both felt fully empowered. Imagine being able to let go of potentially destructive negative emotions and patterns.
When we find ourselves struggling in our relationship, or wondering whether we will ever find that “right” someone with whom to share our lives, resolving the problem sometimes seems almost impossible, doesn’t it?
We are all born loving and lovable, and with our own unique qualities. Our true essence is love, joy and happiness. However as we grow older, significant people in our lives tell us, through their language and behaviors, that we are not okay. As we have less than positive experiences, we internalize them. These experiences surface later in life in the form of feelings, emotions, beliefs and behavior patterns. We develop a distorted view of ourselves covering up our true essence, blinding us to our loving qualities. In other words we develop distorted beliefs about who we are. Because it is so painful, and even sometimes shameful, we put up a “socially acceptable” front built around our need to be acceptance or our need to stay in control. These two needs are at the root of all our problems, both in relationships and other areas of our lives as well.
As an example, let’s say a child has a need for a hug, and the parent unknowingly, ignores the child’s need. As a result, the child then develops loud behaviors in order to gain attention. Annoyed by the child’s behavior, the parent then yells angrily at the child and sends him to his room. The child now feels even more rejected. The child loves and trusts his parents and counts on them for his survival. He assumes that they can’t be wrong because they are the authority he looks up to for guidance. The child’s conclusion is this: “It’s my fault. There must be something wrong with me, otherwise I wouldn’t feel this way.” The child then ends up hating himself for feeling the way he does, but at the same time he feels he has to feel that way in order to survive. The end result is, Self-hate = Survival and Survival = Self-hate.
The child decides to be perfect in order to get love. Then the “sub-personality” is born. “The judge,” that determines “right” from “wrong.” Over time, in our effort to be “right,” we overcompensate to be perfect, and eventually nothing is good enough. Our conclusion becomes as follows: “Needs are bad.” “I’m bad for having needs.” “I hate myself for not being good enough.” “I don’t deserve happiness.”
Later in life these self hate patterns show up as emotional reactions of fear, anger, depression, loneliness, perfectionism, addictions, which result in the behavior patterns of the “need for acceptance” or “the need to be in control.” In a relationship where one person has an extreme need for acceptance and the other has an extreme need for control, most often ends up in an abusive situation, or not staying together very long. Even one’s need for control is really the persons deeper need for acceptance. Their behavior just shows up as needing to be the controller. Either way, if these issues aren’t dealt with, the relationship is doomed for failure. When we interact with another from either of these behaviors, we do not connect from a place of whom we really are, our resourceful, full-of-source, loving self. Resourcefulness is a state of our ability to see the truth in a situation, and to be open to the correct solutions available to us instead of being blinded by the problem we find ourselves caught up in. If we can’t communicate with an open heart, from a place of love, how could we ever expect to attract someone, or be in a totally loving relationship with another, free of conflict?
The need to be loved is the greatest of all human needs. As a child we feel the need to be accepted, loved, and connected to our parents. That need is so strong that we carry it with us all our lives. As we grow into our childhood and teen years, we feel a need to be accepted by our peers. Our friendship circles are made up of people who satisfy our need to be accepted. As we begin to form significant relationships, the need for acceptance plays a major role in the people who are attracted to us. We look for acceptance from those with whom we work. When we marry we have a great need to be accepted by our spouse. And when we become parents ourselves, we want to be accepted by our children—we want them to love us and remain connected.
Our greatest problem lies in the need. A “need” is defined as “a situation of great difficulty or misfortune.” When we are in a state of “need” for anything, we are automatically in a state of difficulty. Need has the same meaning as lack. When we focus on our need for acceptance, we are focused on lack, and we are always in a state of non-resourcefulness. So, when we “need” acceptance it means we have none.
People who have a deep “need” for acceptance from others are like vacuum cleaners sucking up attention. Of course it varies in degree, but when it’s there, these people are often very wearing to be around. They are almost impossible to accept when they are so needy of validation, and aren’t accepting of themselves. People seeking acceptance from the outside world can’t receive it until their inside world feels it. It can be a vicious cycle. (end part one)

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