Hi coaches. On Friday I participated in a really useful coaching call with Sara Fisk on relationships. One of the main things Sara communicated to us, which made me think a lot afterwards, was that in our close relationships we often focus on what she called ‘deficit thinking’, ie focusing on what we ‘ideally want’ from the other person, rather than what is right with them and with our relationship to them. She said that we all “have an ideal about what we want a relationship to look like”, and if we “subtract the other person” in our thought work ( as we don’t have any control over them), we can focus on our thoughts.
A few months ago I focused on relationships in the study vault, and did a lot of work on my manuals for my loved ones. I want to go further on that work as I think I have a long way to go still! These are some of the problems I seem to be stumbling on continuously! I’ll write down some of my thoughts (manuals???) about my husband & son, and how that makes me feel. These are deeply entrenched patterns in my life with them, and I want some help to do some systematic work to address these patterns & shift them.
Some of my (entrenched) thoughts and reactions. You can assume by what I write that I act on all of these thoughts by attempting to change my son & husband, telling them “how they should be”, nicely or with irritation. It doesn’t work. So where to start?
Thought: my husband is not as sensitive and emotional in his reactions as I want. He is not empathetic in the way I need (=which involves intense and eloquent emotional reactions)
Thought: my 13 year old son is not sociable this year, I worry he’s a loner, I want him to take steps to reach out to friends
Thought: my 13 year old son should eat a much wider variety of foods
Thought: my husband gets anxious about many things and when he does he “uses me” by wanting to discharge it all on me. As such, I feel accused and suffer
Thought: I am the one who takes the lead in all sorts of organisational tasks at home.
Thought: my 13 year old son does far too much screentime and it’s my failure as a parent to stop that.
Where do I start to do this work in a way that can build some momentum, rather than just doing the old model on this issue? I love both my husband and son very much, yet I find myself constantly irritated and annoyed, imagining how I want them to be. After watching Sara speak about this, I realise these continuous small (or bigger) irritations are actually a massive source of unhappiness in my daily life. However much focus I put on my work (which I do), in the end these tensions in my family life play a far bigger role in my happiness and unhappiness.