Why your Stories are Sabotaging your Relationships.

accusation quote kerry

What most of us don’t realize is that we don’t really respond to people. We respond to our stories about people, based on our theory about life and who we are and what we deserve.

Here’s a common example of how this works: You have left your partner at home with the kids while you go off to do something. Hours later when you get home, the house is a mess.

 

The dishes are unwashed, toys and clothes are everywhere and your partner is watching TV.

You walk into the bathroom and there in the empty bath, is a towel that has been obviously used to clean up the floor after someone missed their aim at the toilet bowl and it is clear to you that it has been sitting there for hours.

So here are the facts. Partner at home, house is messy, partner is watching TV and stinky, pee smelling towel is sitting in the empty bath.

Here’s where our stories kick in. See if any of this sounds familiar:

“I can’t believe he hasn’t cleaned any of this up. Bloody typical! He just leaves this stuff for me to clean like he always does. He just takes me for granted and I am so sick of it. He just doesn’t give a damn about me and how I feel. I am so sick of working so hard and trying to do everything on my own.”

Your story about your partner and why you think they do what they do, takes over and you react to that story as if it is true and yet another argument is about to happen, perhaps the same old argument that has been going on for weeks or months or years.

We stop reacting to the facts. We stop reacting to the person. We start reacting to our stories about the person.

We do this because according to our stories, we think we already know.

The only way to truly know what someone is feeling or thinking or why they do what they do is to ask them.

The trouble is, that we don’t.

In that moment when we step into our stories, we lose the ability to ask questions and have a conversation about what is really happening.

Instead of owning our feelings, we accuse other people of “making” us feel something, do something or believe something.

The best way to have a conversation about an issue and step out of your stories, is to talk about the facts and issues and OWN your emotions.

So how does this look?

Instead of you saying something to your partner like:

“You make me so angry when you always leave the mess for me to clean up.”

You say something like:

“When I saw the stinky towel that was left in the bath, I felt like you left it there for me to pick up and I felt taken for granted.”

Notice the difference?

One is an accusation that will most likely get a hurt, defensive response.

The other is your reaction and interpretation of what you are experiencing that the other person can respond to, with what the situation is for them.

The more you step out of your stories, own your feelings and stick with the facts, the more open, honest and real your relationships and communication will be.

Are you stuck in your stories of what might happen or what other people may think? Then book yourself in today for a Complimentary Consult with me today and let’s talk about how to get you unstuck.

Kerry Jeffery

www.lovetransformslc.com

Yes, you can STILL say “NO”!

My client Jenny had been invited to live in a shared house with a work acquaintance, Fiona. The lease wasay-no-when-appropriate2s coming up on Jenny’s unit and the rent was going up way past what she could really afford, so when Fiona made the offer, it sounded like the answer to her prayers!

A big house with lots of natural light, someone who she worked with, in a suburb that she really liked AND, she would be saving heaps of money.

So, she said “yes” to Fiona, gave notice to her real estate agency and started planning the move into the shared house with Fiona and her boyfriend, Garry.

Fiona was SO excited! She and Jenny spent many lunch breaks talking about how great it was going to be, all the things they were going to do and how they were going to spend the extra money they would all save.

But as the move got closer, Jenny started to feel increasingly anxious about it. When she visited the house, she noticed that Fiona and Garry were really social. They had lots of friends who liked to drop by and talk for hours which was not something Jenny really enjoyed.

After a long day at work, all Jenny wanted to do was relax, watch tv, have dinner and go to bed.

Fiona was really lovely but SO full on! At work and at home, things had to be HER way and Jenny found her increasingly difficult to deal with and as Garry adored her, Jenny could see how she would end up with very little say about how they lived.

The more Jenny thought about moving day, the more she began to feel that she had made a horrible mistake. Fiona and Garry were nice people, but SO different to her and what seemed initially like the answer to a prayer, was beginning to turn into a nightmare.

Jenny didn’t want to move in with Fiona and Garry, but because she had said “yes”, she felt trapped and she had no idea how to get out of the situation.

Instead of feeling excited about the move, she was anxious, sick and full of dread at how she was going to manage living with Fiona and Garry when deep down, it was the LAST thing she wanted to do.

By the time Jenny came to see me, she was anxious, teary and feeling constantly sick in the stomach. She knew she did NOT want to move in and she would be much happier finding a place on her own, but she just didn’t see how she could say no to Fiona now. After all, she had agreed.

She was worried that Fiona and Garry would be really angry with her and how it would affect her relationship with Fiona at work and what Fiona would say about her to people they worked with.

She was worried that sharing the house with them was going to be a nightmare experience for her and she had no idea how she would cope with it.

She was worried about what her family and friends would say if she didn’t keep her word.

At the bottom line, Jenny was about to sacrifice herself by doing something she really didn’t want to do because of the risk of potentially upsetting and disappointing someone else.

She was making herself sick with anxiety and stress rather than be honest and say that she had changed her mind and didn’t want to move in anymore.

She was putting Fiona and Garry’s feelings ahead of her own and paying the price for it.

When you say “yes” to something that you really don’t want to do, you are ALWAYS saying “no” to yourself and you WILL pay the price.

You pay the price in feelings of anxiety, resentment, depression, frustration and loss of self esteem. The price you pay also takes it’s toll on your relationships because all of those feelings will come out, sooner or later.

Here are the steps to saying “NO” even if you have already said “YES”.

  • Be really clear about what you want and why. In Jenny’s case, she knew that she needed her own space and privacy because that’s what makes her feel comfortable.
  • Honor yourself and put your own needs first. Selfish? NO!  it’s essential! This is your life and if your feelings are NOT more important to you than other people’s you WILL find yourself in a pattern of people pleasing and self sacrifice which WILL make you feel miserable. Don’t confuse being true to yourself with compromise. Compromise which is an essential part of life and relationships, means that both people find a solution they can live with, not one person sacrificing their own needs and feelings for the other.
  • DON’T assume that you know what will happen. The truth is that we project our fears and the “worst possible outcome” onto any situation where there may be conflict. Focus on what you want and speaking your truth.
  • Prepare your conversation. In this case, I helped Jenny come up with a way to tell Fiona the truth about what she wanted to do, in a way that honored herself, kept her integrity and was kind.
  • Have the conversation. Here is what Jenny did when she arranged to meet with Fiona. She said Fiona, initially when you asked me to move in with you, it seemed like the perfect solution for me and I am so grateful to you and Garry for making the offer and inviting me to share your home. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s just not a good fit for me as I really need lots of time and space on my own so sharing with other people is not right for me.  For a while there because I value our friendship, I really considered just going ahead and moving in, but I know it would end up really badly for all of us and I don’t want to put any of us in that situation. I need to do what’s right for me, so I’m going to start looking for a smaller place of my own this week.”

We did lots of work on Jenny’s assertiveness skills and increasing her confidence so that when she had the talk with Fiona, she was nervous BUT she felt that she was doing the right thing.

Initially Fiona was upset and disappointed but as they talked it through, Fiona confessed that Garry would be relieved as he had been having concerns about how having Jenny living with them could affect their lives.
Jenny found the perfect place that she could afford AND gained so much confidence in her ability to honor herself and say “no”.
Need help setting boundaries or saying no?
Come on over to www.lovetransformslc.com and discover how working with me will get you saying “Yes” to the things that matter to you.
Kerry

When your Heart feels Broken: 3 Steps to Help you Heal.

ImageThey left you. Whether they left you for someone else or it wasn’t working for them or they didn’t want to commit or in some way, they thought you were not “the one”, the bottom line is that they left you.

And it hurts.

And some days you feel as if you will never, ever get over it.

When any relationship ends, it’s challenging. It makes you look at yourself in a new light and usually the light is a very bright, hard and cruel one.

When you are the one who is left, you look for all the reasons why and inevitably it all comes back to you.

Maybe you weren’t enough.

Not pretty enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not sexy enough.

You spend your days and nights sifting for clues among the memories of the relationship, analyzing what was said and done, wondering what you missed along the way that could have made a difference.

That would have made them stay.

That would have made them love you.

It can feel like there is big, gaping hole in your heart and soul that has been ripped away and when they left, they took your self esteem, your confidence and your dreams with them.

You find yourself saying things like “I can’t get him/her out of my head.” You wonder if maybe they were the only one who would ever really love you and the fear that thought brings is devastating.

Here is how you find your way back my lovely.

This is how you start dialing down the emotional pain, begin to think rationally and clear the fog of confusion and fear.

Grab yourself a pen and notepad, a big box of tissues and start working through these steps back to sanity with me. You can do it and it will do you the world of good. I promise.

Step 1. Seeing what’s real.

Time has a funny way of blunting the bad memories and highlighting the good ones. At the moment it may feel as if you have lost the love of your life, but were they really THAT good?

Challenge those stories of why they were so wonderful. Were they really? They are your ex for a reason so now it’s time to remind yourself of what all those reasons were.  Take your pen and paper and make a list of how it really was.

Were they unreliable? Did they cheat on you? Were they untrustworthy? Did they leave you for someone else? Did they drink too much or have addictions? Were they always putting you down, picking fights or they just didn’t “get you.”

Did being with them mean that one of you had to change who you were or what you wanted?

Did you feel accepted, loved and cherished or always left uncertain or insecure?

Did you feel like you always had to be the perfect partner to make them stay with you?

Don’t hold back, be 100% honest and don’t in hindsight, make the issues seem less than what they were.

Remind yourself of how you REALLY felt in the relationship, remembering that the bottom line is; you deserve someone who loves you and accepts you exactly as you are, warts and all!

Step 2. Know what you really want in a relationship.

This is a great opportunity to start to get serious about what you MUST HAVE in a relationship.

What are your deal breakers?

How do you want to feel and how do you want to be treated?

We teach people how to treat us by what we are willing to accept.

Just read that sentence again out loud.

“We teach people how to treat us by what we are willing to accept.”

Without judging or attacking yourself, write down what you have been accepting.

Then take a new page and divide it into two columns.

Title column one “MUST HAVES” and column two NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Then start writing your dream list. Don’t hold back, put every quality that you want under “must haves”, list everything your little heart desires.

Once you are done, read through the list and notice how it makes you feel.

Now get to work on column 2 and list everything that is not acceptable. If you are stuck for inspiration, look at what you have under “must haves” and write the opposite.

Your first list shows you what you really long for and your second list will tell you what your heart and soul is not willing to accept.

When you accept what goes against your soul, when you make excuses and justify bad behavior in your partner, when you take less than you deserve it comes back and bites you right in your self esteem.

You start making yourself “less than” and marking down just how much you are worth.

Remember, you deserve someone who loves you and accepts you and adores you, exactly as you are right now!

Step 3. Letting go with love.

Now you are clearer on who they really were, how the relationship felt for you, what you really want and what you are not willing to accept.

Now it’s time to let go and it’s going to be better for you if you can let go with some love.

Feelings of anger, resentment and the desire for revenge do not hurt the other person, it hurts you.

 To quote the Buddha: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

If you were meant to be together, you would be. Arguing with the reality, refusing to accept what is, causes so much emotional pain and it’s time to stop fighting what is.

If they truly are the one for you and you want any hope of reconciliation, you have to create the space for them to be without you, to have the experience of missing you.

You have to take responsibility for your own happiness, well being and for your life. The only person who can make you happy my darling is you.

When you give another person the responsibility for your happiness, you not only give away your personal power, you place a huge and unreasonable load on their shoulders.

Take your power back and start asking yourself “what can I do to make myself feel better today?”

When you feel ready to let go, write your ex a letter of goodbye but with a twist. Set aside a few hours when you know you will not be disturbed and write your heart out.

Don’t censor yourself, don’t judge yourself, just say to them everything that you want to say.

Be as angry, sad, or desperate as you want. Remember, do not judge yourself!

Once you are done, here comes the twist. Reply to the letter, writing as if you were them.

This may sound strange or even impossible but trust me, you will gain so much insight and healing from this final step.

Let go of your disbelief and just take the pen and reply to your letter in their words, in their voice, in their way.

There is a part of you that will know exactly what to write. Go with the experience and when you are all written out, prepare to let them go.

Have one final read through of the letter, the words from you and the words you channeled from them.

Have another cry if you need to.

Get a large heatproof bowl and twist each page of your letter into a long tube as tight as you can, one tube per page.

In a safe, open place, preferably outside, light up each page one by one and as the page burns down say “I forgive myself, I forgive you, I release you with love and I set myself free”

Following all these steps will start the healing process, give you insight and knowledge to what you really want and empower you to take charge of your own happiness.

If after this process there are still issues that you are having difficulty overcoming, seek the help of a compassionate therapist that you feel you have a rapport with.

Remember: You deserve to be loved, you are loved, you are loveable.

In the words of Alan Cohen:

“There are only three reasons to be with a relationship partner:


1.You love each other.

2.You want to be together.


3.Your lives are better for being together.


Nothing else matters. 
Nothing else will work.”

If you need some extra clarity, help and support, head on over to http://www.lovetransformslc.com and you can book a Skype or in person session with me.

Be very kind to you.

Kerry