ACoAs – Dealing with Disputes (Part 3)

you who they are!

PREVIOUS: Disputes #1

“TALKING to the WALL” by DMT

RECOVERY Awareness (cont)
4. Is what’s bothering me – a recurring pattern of behavior?

5. What did I notice about the other person (job, group, teacher….) from the very beginning that I promptly ignored?
This goes to the previous point.
While we may not always know the specific characteristics of Narcissism, Emotional Abuse, Co-dependence, Victimhood…. we do get mental & emotional hints when something is off in the way we’re being treated. Do you have a feeling of discomfort, wondering “What the hey??”, not liking something they’re doing/not doing, afraid to upset or disagree, fear of losing them….. all the red flags we ignore so we don’t have to leave the PPT we’re attached to

6. What is my Enneagram, MBTI, numerology/ astrology charts.vs. the other person’s – ie. how are we different & how are we similar?
Most of the time we won’t know someone else’s Type or chart, but knowing our own is crucial. At the very least we always have to keep in mind that other people have their own personality traits – usually different from ours.

• How they view the world & what’s important to them…. may be so unfamiliar or opposite to ours that we can’t come together. What kind of wounding they’ve experienced, whether or not they have any genuine self-awareness will also make a difference. What’s important is to keep these realities in mind – always – & ASK Qs whenever possible, to find out where others are coming from. Don’t assume!

7. In spending time with this person, job or group, how do I feel
Before (anticipation) – am I excited & happy, assume acceptance, look forward to having fun, learning something & gaining from the encounter?
OR fearful & worried, anticipating rejection or being ‘invisible’? Do I spend a lot of time worrying about what to wear, what to talk about, what uncomfortable or painful things are bound to happen? (usually with family events)…..

During – am I feeling safe, comfortable, respected – or not?
After (hangover) – do I come away with a pleasant feeling, having been re-energized OR drained, depleted, angry, lonely, frustrated? (Emotions lists)

8. Am I prepared to respond to an accusation or hurt feelings?
I do not have to respond right away (if at all). Most often I’ll need :
• To take the time to process what happened & how I feel about it
• To ask: “Do I agree with the other person’s assessment of the problem or situation?”
— If YES, am I willing to face it head on without shame or S-H?
— If NO – do I know what’s wrong with the ‘picture’ the other person presented?
• In either case – I need to figure out what I want to say – sticking to the point & speaking from my Adult
• If I’m confused or ambivalent, it’s appropriate to go to others I trust to process the event & think thru the best way to proceed. I may also need time to gather factual info to back up my legitimate points

9. If it’s an inappropriate relationship
 for me – what price am I paying for staying?
Emotions & functions: depression, anxiety, S-H, obsessing, loss of sleep, isolating, trouble concentrating, over-reacting, ever-sensitive….
Actions: over-spending, over-eating, using drugs or alcohol to dull the pain, starting fights, constant complaining, escaping with TV / porn /internet, cheating on mate, being controlling….

10.What dysfunctional behavior gets triggered in me from being with them?
↘ Raging, co-dependent, passive, people-pleasing, rescuing, dissociating, being demanding, procrastinating, sabotaging myself, passive aggressive ….

11. What are the negative benefits for staying in a situation I know is unsatisfactory or harmful? See those posts for some ideas.

12. What am I willing to give up / change in order to have something better? What actions will I need to take?
This will include using your 4th Step inventory, & then actively work to make changes in thinking & behavior.  (12 Step ACoA Inventory Workbook)

13. How have I already begun making positive changes in my own behavior, & in my choice of work or personal relationships?
✳ Make a list of all the growth you’ve achieved so far – no matter how small you think it is. Give yourself kudos & share the list with everyone you trust to give you validation, admiration & encouragement!

NEXT: Communication categories #1

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