Reworking Relationships 

Do we create conflict when we really want connection?

Ailsa Keppie Feb 21 2020

Do we create conflict when we really want connection?

The older I get, the more humble I become about my own behaviour. Recently I have been finding myself in many conflicts, especially in my close relationships. It is almost as if there was something else going on.

Ha! Of course, there IS something else going on, and this is where my sleuthing into my own psyche is paying off.

What I really crave is connection!

This may not seem truly groundbreaking news to you. In fact, this human need for connection has been studied quite intensively in recent years. Gabor Mate, posits that connection is the antidote to addiction after his many years of working with drug addicts in the East Side of Vancouver. Connection and our attachment style has been studied as it relates to our first experience of relationship with our primary caregiver in psychology circles for decades.

However, the realization that connection was something I was seeking but not asking for clearly. That even with my years of self work, I was sabotaging my own relationships, by creating conflict just so I could get a reaction from the other person. This hit me like a glass of cold water first thing in the morning.

I so wanted to feel connected, that any interchange would do, even a bad one!

Of course, this backfired in the end, because conflict doesn’t make you feel connected, it makes you feel pissed off, frustrated, and even despairing. The tearful hugs and make-up sex is only real in the movies. It hasn’t worked for me at all.

After some further contemplation, I realized that I may create conflict or the proverbial ‘drama’ out of a feeling of vulnerability. This fear of being rejected which stops me clearly stating my needs in a relationship, is a long term pattern for me.

Some of you out there, may not be shocked or surprised by this at all. Lucky you!

For those of us for whom creating drama has been a mode of protection for many years, we definitely have our work cut out for us.

Feeling the sensations in my body that show up when I am feeling unsafe, unheard, or afraid is a great first step. This somatic awareness precedes being able to choose a different course of action. Once I notice the panic feelings, I can stop myself for a few moments, and find my centre. Take a breath and decide if I really want to go down this road of creating conflict, or is there something else I want?

Creating this small window of space, in order to choose a different response, is the basis of Somatic coaching. Our bodies really do have innate wisdom, and learning to listen to it is one of the great potential joys we have as embodied beings.

Interested in learning how to listen to your body? Know what you really want? Be able to communicate effectively without drama?

Contact me for a free consult, I look forward to speaking with you.

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