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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:27 am 
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There is the fact that I have not developed effective and meaningful conversation over the years . . .the question is when I look on the internet on what are meaningful conversations, I get contrived questions like " what is your fondest childhood memories" which in the midst of trying to develop meaningful conversations during this time of healing, seems so forced and not transparent about what is happening right now . . .what are the "right now questions or topics" to talk about . . .I need to converse meaningfully but most conversations return to the louse that I was . . .


Last edited by DBAck on Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:50 am 
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Great topic, one I am addressing too. Can't type now, will later, have thoughts on identity issues and develop mental problems, lack of skills healthy people learned.

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"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Will look forward to your thoughts


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:03 am 
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Hi dback,

I think you are asking THE question for those in relationships. I remember Shaw said that is the reason we are all here, we don't know how to open up and communicate, why we turned to addiction in the first place. So what a mess, don't know how to communicate, turn to addiction, which creates a huge emotional response in partner, then back to square one with huge emotional land ones to negotiate, yeeks! Like Queenbuzz said I am certainly no expert, can only offer my experience, knowledge. I was and am hoping someone in a relationship can come along and share more.

I would encourage anyone who can, to do private coaching, as they are very experienced in this dynamic, though it certainly can be done with out.

It is a really, really multifaceted situation and as you know, no simple one answer, I think effective communication, if mastered could bring more positive stimulation than about anything in life, and we addicts have so many hurdles to overcome, but if we truly want it we can learn it, but it is going to take significant time and patience.

I think there are two major things that need to be addressed when starting to learn about communicating. First one is ourselves and then the technical part that can be non emotionally learned.

So the first step to me is to assess if we really, really want it. I read what you posted on your thread, about communication, is that from jon? Good stuff and starts out talking about vulnerability. Right there I have a little yuck feeling, well maybe not little:). My whole life has been spent trying to avoid vulnerability, losing power, being weak, Brene Browns book really reframed my view of vulnerability, how it really takes real strength to be real. The I added on the benefits of healing a core self, operating out of my true self, having a chance to get real needs met, being my real self in the world not having to hide, and it started looking better. In general this all sounds good, but in an intimate relationship I would still have my doubts if I really wanted to go there, especially when it brought up feelings of shame, guilt, "being bad" and I knew I had to deal with another's high emotion that triggered my high emotion, then anger, rage, frustration, powerless, loss of control.So if A person decided that for their own growth, not for the relationship they wanted to learn communication skills, it could be a starting point. I did get to this point in a relationship one time, that I could see I needed these skills in or outside the relationship, and I was motivated enough to keep checking my emotion breathing, trying to stay calm, using i statements, listening and not responding, ect. One of the hardest things I have ever attempted. All my issues in one little box, low frustration tolerance, lack of patience, anger and resentment, ready to go off.

So I think the first hurdle is to decide if this major under taking is something we are committed to because it is going to be hard.

If so, active listening skills can be learned, they sound really really stupid if used with the wrong intention or attitude they are ridiculous to hear, we have all heard people say, insincerely "so what I hear you saying is...." But this is the step we missed in development. Normal give and take, listening responding, processing, maturity and interconnection. So I will post some of it at the bottom here to get the idea but I would encourage you as a couple to get a hardcopy, a book, there are many, of a system you both agree to, believe me if you guys are where I have been even this can be hard!!!! Arguing about how to even begin. Again it is going to sound silly but I have seen over and over if you do the format it provides enough structure, emotional safety, for both of you to get to deeper things without totally capsizing the boat. It is much easier in the long run to learn some process instead of winging it,

So if you are committed to spending years on developing these skills and have a format, then it is going to take practice, like on here it is going to feel unnatural, mechanical but if you keep doing it it should start to provide positive stimulation (like getting along, able to solve simply problems together, pride that I kept my temper, the temper was thing I wanted to conquer, that brought positive motivation, sick of being a hot head, wanted to be able to maturely rationally relate to someone:). So I would pick one value you are working on that and hold on to that while going through the frustration of learning this. When you want to chuck it all, go back to that value. Urge control lessons help me here. Instead of yelling, I am going to do my action plan for peace.

Ok do have to go to face to face world, could keep writing. It would really help me (and others) if I could hear about your journey into this land, I will need it in future relationships, and I want to be of use to those in relationships. I'd say you are embarking on an epic journey :).

Simply things I use, listen, honestly watch my emotional response, turn to a value and rationally decide to act from that. Proactively write an action plan for how I will deal with it next time it comes up. The decision making skills at the end of the workshop are invaluable to me. Really mastering our recovery, our values, skills in the workshop, will take us a very long way towards true interconnection.

Love to hear others ideas, get tired of my own!

Thanks for posting reminds me if I don't master my emotions and learn this stuff, slim chance I have of having a meaningful relationship.

Wikipedia

Active listening is used in a wide variety of situations, including public interest advocacy, community organizing, tutoring,[6]medical workers talking to patients,[7] HIV counseling,[8] helping suicidal persons,[9] management,[10] counseling[citation needed]and journalistic[citation needed] settings. In groups it may aid in reaching consensus.[citation needed] It may also be used in casual conversation or small talk to build understanding, though this can be interpreted as condescending.[citation needed]


A listener can use several degrees of active listening, each resulting in a different quality of communication.[citation needed]

The proper use of active listening results in getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings, resolving conflict, and building trust.[11] In a medical context, benefits may include increased patient satisfaction,[7] improved cross-cultural communication,[12] improved outcomes,[7] or decreased litigation.[13]

Active listening can be lifted by the active listening observation scale.[14]


Active listening involves the listener observing the speaker's behavior and body language.[citation needed] Having the ability to interpret a person's body language lets the listener develop a more accurate understanding of the speaker's message.[1]Having heard, the listener may then paraphrase the speaker's words. It is important to note that the listener is not necessarily agreeing with the speaker—simply stating what was said.

Individuals in conflict often contradict each other.[citation needed] Ambushing occurs when one listens to someone else's argument for its weaknesses and ignore its strengths.[2] This may include a distortion of the speaker’s argument to gain a competitive advantage. On the other hand, if one finds that the other party understands, an atmosphere of cooperation can be created.[3]

In the book Leader Effectiveness Training, Thomas Gordon, who coined the term "active listening,"[4] states "Active listening is certainly not complex. Listeners need only restate, in their own language, their impression of the expression of the sender. ... Still, learning to do Active Listening well is a rather difficult task ..."[5]

Barriers to active listening are those which create hindrance in effective communication between the speaker and listener. Some of the barriers are due to hunger or fatigue of the listener due to which a listener gets irritated and doesn't want to listen to the speaker. Sometime it is due to the language which is used by the speaker (use of high sounding and bombastic words) which can lead to ambiguity and finally it affects the active listening. Such barriers include distractions, trigger words, vocabulary, and limited attention span.[15]

Listening barriers may be psychological (e.g. emotions) or physical (e.g. noise and visual distraction).[citation needed]

Shift response Edit
The first of these is the shift response which is the general tendency in a conversation to affix the attention to you.[citation needed] This is a type of conversational narcissism; the tendency of listeners to turn the topic of conversations to themselves without showing sustained interest in others listening.[16] A support response is the opposite of a shift response; it is an attention giving method and a cooperative effort to focus the conversational attention on the other person. Instead of being me-oriented like shift response, it is we-oriented.[17] It is the response most likely to be used by a competent communicator[2]

Understanding of Non-verbal cues Edit
Ineffective listeners are unaware of non-verbal cues, although they dramatically affect how people listen. To a certain extent, it is also a perceptual barrier. As much as 93 percent of people's attitudes are formed by non-verbal cues. This should help one to avoid undue influence from non-verbal communication. In most cases, the listener does not understand the non-verbal cues which the speaker is using. A person may show fingers to emphasize a point, but this may be perceived as an intent by the speaker to place their fingers in the listener's eyes. Overuse of non-verbal cues also creates distortion, and as a result listeners may be confused and forget the correct meaning. [18]

Overcoming listening barriers Edit
To use the active listening technique to improve interpersonal communication, one puts personal emotions aside during the conversation, asks questions and paraphrases back to the speaker to clarify understanding, and one also tries to overcome all types of environment distractions.[citation needed] Judging or arguing prematurely is a result of holding onto a strict personal opinion.[19] This hinders the ability to be able to listen closely to what is being said.[citation needed] Eye contact and appropriate body languages are seen as important components to active listening.[citation needed] The stress and intonation may also keep them active and away from distractions.[citation needed]

_________________
"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:01 pm 
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Thank you for the active listening ideas and concepts . . .I know that it is going to take lots of time and some of the techniques in the active listening programs can help in developing skills that might improve some of my communication beyond the weather conversations.

It is very multi-faceted and the evil circle that engulfs those of us that have not yet developed some of the communication skills at a rudimentary level is not a fun to deal with. Patience, Patience Patience!!! Keep working and keep listening prior to responding . . .

thanks for the input


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:01 pm 
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Active listening is such a critical topic. As I look back on my relationship with a SA (and I recall signs/symptoms), one t


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:26 pm 
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From supplemental lessons
Communication Skills in Recovery
When considering the manner in which you communicate, there will need to be some immediate changes made. This includes every single one of you — no matter how well you think you communicate currently. Once you develop these skills, once you have implemented these changes, you will have removed a major obstacle along your permanent recovery path — as the implications of altering your communication style impact a great many areas that influence your values (currently, that influence is negative; soon, it will be positive). The goal for today will be to learn how to communicate in a manner that reflects self-respect, honesty, integrity and an overall healthy identity. These changes may not feel comfortable at first…so what. Push through the discomfort and you will be rewarded with a major step forward in your recovery.
There are several areas of communication that we will explore: self-talk, online behavior (chats and discussion boards), social situations, communication with therapists, sharing with significant others/family/friends, trigger situations (i.e. learning to say "no" to acting out compulsively). But first, a little background: For most, learning to communicate in a healthy, positive way comes naturally for those who have been raised in a healthy, nurturing environment. With a solid foundation of values, people are free to communicate openly without having to worry about exposing their "secret" selves. This openness is not usually the case for those who have struggled with sexually compulsive behavior. For us, our ability to communicate has often been significantly diminished by our attempts to hide our behavior — including the guilt, shame, embarrassment and other such consequences of that behavior (e.g. prison, affairs, lack of accomplishment, unfulfilled potential, etc.).
This is not to suggest that people with addictions cannot communicate. In most cases, it is quite the opposite. Their adeptness at communication is what allows them to continue on with their "other life" without their secrets ever being detected. Their spouses never know, their friends, co-workers. It is their communication skills, and their ability to "say all the right things" and "act normal" around others that lead to their double life. Eventually though, it all catches up to them and they are faced with a potentially catastrophic situation.
Romantically compulsive people frequently have the ability to "communicate" on levels that others simply cannot match. They frown upon small talk, and believe it is a waste of time in social settings — preferring instead for deep, meaningful conversations. With small talk, they realize that there is no possibility for an "instant connection" to those they are talking with. It is instead a slow, drawn out process that they feel completely uncomfortable with. It is too unpredictable. Too stressful. They are no longer in complete control of the conversation. While they are engaged in deep conversation, romantically compulsive people have a phenomenal ability to remember all of the lies (both past and current), and to naturally steer the conversations away from topics that might threaten to expose those lies. This occurs as a result of the trance-like state they put themselves in — a state that just can't be reached when engaged in superficial conversation.
Eventually, when superficial conversations can not be maintained for even the shortest while without extreme discomfort being felt — say, in a long-term addiction where all but the most basic values have been eroded — social isolation tends to set in.
And group conversations? Forget it. The sexual/romantic addict is a master at remembering exactly what story he/she is telling, why he/she is telling it, "planning ahead" for the impact of the story, and measuring the outcome of the story. At the same time, he/she is also calculating past stories with this person, and setting them up for future conversations. Part of their extraordinary ability to communicate with an individual is in their ability to read a person's body language and subtle inflections. This is impossible in a group setting. There are simply too many distractions to allow the trance-like state needed for his/her preferred type of meaningful communication.
There is significantly more to the roles of communication in sex/love addiction. Including the reasons behind romantic stalking, voyeurism and other "fantasy-oriented" social behaviors. These will be discussed on an individual basis depending on your own specific past. Let us turn our thoughts to several different areas of communication to consider, and what changes must be made to your own communication style. Emphasizing that once more: …what changes MUST BE MADE…to your own communication style.
Communication in Recovery
There is a phenomenon in early recovery, where many people feel compelled to share every last detail of their compulsive behavior — to unload all of the secrets that have burdened them for so long. And while this may feel wonderful at first, it frequently is a source for much regret and shame later in recovery. Keep in mind, you cannot un-ring a bell. So the people you choose to share your past with, should be chosen with great care. When you err, err on the side of sharing too little information — with everyone but your therapist. The following offers a few guidelines with what to communicate to others regarding your past:
Areas of Communication
Self Talk
We all talk to ourselves. It's the "inner voice" that helps us interpret the things we perceive. For an addict, this voice usually filters everything through guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness, failure, weakness, etc. Those are all destructive filters that eat away at your values. This needs to change. Hopefully, the change began when you let go of guilt and shame earlier in the workshop. Realistically, letting go of such a perception is sometimes easier said than done. You now need to make a real effort (and for most of you who have already let go, and are proceeding with forgiveness in your heart, the following skills will help you solidify that decision) to let go. We are no longer dealing with "the foundation", but have come to the point in our lives where it is time to take action. The actions to take regarding self-talk are:
1) Every negative self-thought must be challenged. Every time. Prepare yourself to be looking for negative thoughts and when they occur, explore them thoroughly. For example, I am sitting at my computer and accidentally click on a site that has porn. Though my plan calls for me to immediately click off of that site, and type in one of my alternate "safe" sites, I realize that I stared at the pictures for a few minutes before clicking away. This led to thoughts of guilt, frustration and shame. I hated myself for being weak. I hated myself for knowing that underneath it all, that monster still lives. After realizing how destructive these thoughts were, and how out of balance they were with all of the progress that I have made, I quickly praised myself for all of the progress I have made, read my list of reality statements (we will be creating these later), and felt good that I had successfully recognized that I was faced with a potentially destructive situation, and learned from it, rather than let it set me back.
2) Create a list of five important affirmations (positive statements) about you, your life and/or your long-term goals. Whether you believe in affirmations or not is not an issue. Do this. And every morning for the next forty-four days, read this list to yourself before you leave the house. If you feel silly, then feel silly. If you think it is a waste of time, then so be it, but do it anyway. You will be developing a new way of communicating with yourself that will later be altered to reflect a more natural approach.
Online Communication
Your on-line communication must also follow a certain pattern. Whether your communication is through e-mail, discussion boards or live chat, for the next forty-four days, ensure that what you say meets the following criteria:
1) When discussing your destructive behavior, talk in terms of how that behavior is changing, not how bad it was at one point in your life.
2) When discussing other people's behavior, stick to facts, personal insights and maintain a "growth-oriented" focus. Ask questions that bring out other's values.
3) In all cases, get to know the people, rather than their addiction. In return, share yourself, not your addiction.
4) When you talk of slips, talk in terms of what you have done since that slip to continue your personal growth. There is nothing wrong with "slipping", as that sometimes cannot be helped in early recovery; there is, however, something wrong in accepting that slip and not actively learning from it so that the potential for future slips decreases. That is your responsibility. If you recognize that you have slipped, recognize also that you have a responsibility to use that slip as an opportunity to grow further.
5) Limit your "online conversations" to no more than thirty minutes per day (the exception to this is when you have established "real life" friends/family who you communicate with via online. But for all relationships developed "online", excluding what is expected in the daily lessons, limit your online communication to no more than thirty minutes/day for the next forty-four days.
6) Finally, in all situations where any of your boundaries are being jeopardized, walk away. End the conversation. Politely, but firmly. You are the only person that is responsible for monitoring yourself. For managing the changes that are taking place. Do not trust anyone else to do this.
Significant Others/Family/Friends
Regarding communication with a spouse (or family member/close friend), there are a lot of variables that need to be taken into consideration. Your relationship with that person, for one. Contrary to what may seem logical, and contrary to what your spouse may believe…absolute honesty is not always the best policy for developing communication skills. It is not in your best interest, nor is it in the best interest of the relationship. Not when behaviors that include the possible destruction of the relationship (or your self-esteem) are involved.
That is not to say that lying (or avoidance) is the goal either, it is not. But it is possible to be honest, and share only what you feel comfortable sharing while maintaining your pride and dignity. It involves requesting time to grow, respect for your privacy, and to pursue your sincere desire to change your life. Those who care for you will want nothing less. Never forget this. You have the right to put this lifestyle behind you, and nobody has the right to stop you. But it is up to you to communicate that right to others. If you allow guilt to make you feel like you are less worthy, you will not succeed in recovery. Granted, in some extreme situations, the consequences felt by others will be lifelong; and you may be held responsible for your past actions, but there is no better true show of remorse than a complete recovery. You will be working with your coach to examine ways of communicating with people who are asking questions that you may not feel comfortable answering.
Therapist
When considering what to say to your therapist, the answer is simple: everything. Let your therapist be the one place that you open up your vault of secrets and clean out your entire closet. Until you do this, it will be a matter of playing games to see if your therapist can put together a puzzle with a bunch of missing pieces. That is not in your best interest. If you are seeing a therapist, share everything and everything with him/her…and let true therapy begin. If the therapist is any good, they will know what to do with the information. If the therapist is not, you will have saved years of wasted time.
Trigger Situations
There are social situations, especially involving romantic addictions, where the communication style will trigger the need to act out. It is important to recognize these triggers and practice in advance how you will handle them. For years, whenever a woman would tell me how special I was, I would develop a compulsion to sleep with them. Whether I was attracted to them or not, I felt their loneliness and pain, and wanted desperately to make them feel better. Once I recognized this, it only became a matter of learning how to communicate my feelings in a way that reflected both my compassion for them, and my respect for myself. It was only a matter of learning how to say it. We will be working with some of the more common communication triggers that people face.
Learning to communicate effectively is a skill. Anyone can master it, but you must first know where to begin. For the sex/love addict, this is that beginning:
Troubleshooting
There are five communicative trouble areas commonly found in those struggling with compulsive sexual and/or romantic behavior. Some may find that all apply to them, others merely one or two.
Shyness — Everyone knows what it means to be shy, but only those who suffer from shyness can know how excruciatingly painful this affliction can be. Whether learned or genetic, shyness often begins at an early age, disrupting the development of healthy patterns of communication. Like most skills, the earlier the onset, the greater the disruption. Left unchecked, shyness can infiltrate just about every value in that person's life. The consequences can range from isolation to promiscuity; from fantasy to obsession; from depression to apathy.
Perfectionism — Another communicative problem that some addicts face is that of perfectionism. The need to always say exactly the right thing, or to forever act within the bounds of a particular image. Ironically, this image often parallels their very weaknesses — that of being socially adept. To perfectionists, the pressure to always have the right answer, the right anecdote, the right witty come-back, or the most compelling question — all while maintaining a facade of natural ease — makes regular involvement in social situations intolerable. Their social skills have diminished to the point of performance, rather than a forum for open communication. A performance for which there is no room for mistakes. Often, the perfectionist will guide the conversations to ready-made topics — topics where he/she can be seen as having extreme intelligence, intuition and/or depth (e.g. religion, morality, meaning, death).
Shame — While we have gone over shame previously, in terms of communication, shame paralyzes a person's ability to communicate effectively. Effective communication requires each member of the interaction to listen to what is being said and respond to what is being said with their own honest thoughts. The initial dialogue is spontaneous, as are the patterns of response. Shame forces the addict to look ahead. To someone struggling with addiction, a successful conversation is not when there has been an increase in knowledge, values or opinions, but rather, success is seen when a conversation has been completed and there were no hints given towards revealing their shameful secrets. Often, those who hold onto shame become quite adept at avoiding conversations altogether, or in implementing other techniques for avoiding potential intrusions into their "other world" (e.g. humor, intellectualization).
Dishonesty — Closely associated with shame, those who use dishonesty as part of their protective barrier, do so at the expense of their own value development. Often, lies are created to protect the shame that lives within; other times, lies are created to compensate for a perceived lack of value. Still other times, lies are nothing more than a step in the addict's attempt to manipulate their target. Whatever the reason, the consequences are the same: an absence of long-term intimate relationships; an absence of self-respect; and an enormous amount of energy that is spent to avoid detection. What this means specifically to conversations, is that a person who routinely uses dishonesty in their communication style, has a tendency to avoid large groups (too many chances of being caught); an avoidance of repeat conversations; and a lack of opportunity to receive accurate feedback from others.
Confession — The final communicative problem is one that is surprisingly common in addiction, and mentioned earlier in the lesson: that of telling everyone everything about their addiction. Akin to the lack of boundaries found in the addictive behaviors themselves, there also exists a lack of boundaries in communicating with others. This may be characterized by someone who tells their co-worker intimate details of their recovery; by someone who reveals problematic issues on a first date; or by someone who martyrs their issues as evidence of their sincerity to recover. Such a "confession" not only blocks the paths of communication, but often offends those on the receiving end. To the addict, it may "feel good" to confess such burdens to others, but confessing to the wrong people, or at the wrong times can stimulate further isolation, humiliation and shame.
These five concepts are by no means inclusive of all the issues related to communication problems involving someone struggling with a sex/love addiction, but they are common, and can all be eradicated. Recognizing their presence in your own style of communication is the first step. The next is to learn the appropriate boundaries in regards to what to say, how to say it, and to whom. The intention is not to pre-program your responses, but to create a set of rules for which spontaneous interaction — and thus, effective communication — may occur.

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"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:17 am 
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Hello all, been thinking on the communication thing and what I realized is I know the mechanics of how to effectively communicate but it is the emotions that interfere, like the workshop teaches us. My values of respect, patience, confidence take me along way, head off most communication problems but once in awhile with family ect, I still feel emotionally overwhelmed, this has gone from a daily constant to maybe once every couple of weeks, thank god! Again it is doing the lessons that changed this, so hope you all keep going. I did many action plans on emotional regulation and this from a partners lesson is really similar to what I used. Coach Mel said it was fine to post it here, suggested we pin it at the top of the forum. Jon teaches not knowing how to emotionally regulate is the reason we turn to addiction in the first place.
Peace

The 4 A's method
Acknowledge!
Accept!
Ask!
Adapt!
Acknowledge!
Acknowledge what you feel...
What do I notice in my body?
What do I notice in my thinking?
What do I notice in my emotions /feelings?
Accept!
Accept what you are feeling...
It's ok to feel this - I accept the way I feel.
Is it safe for me to choose to feel it? If so I will feel it.
I can limit how long I want to feel it for. It's my choice!
5 secs - 5 mins- 5 hours - or 5 days!
Accept it with words: Try an affirmation like this:
“Even though I feel sad, angry, stressed...I am okay!”
Sometimes it's not safe to feel and accept an emotion, ( for example if the emotion is leading you to behave against your values) if this is the case - for whatever reason, find a way to step out of the situation or step out of the emotion by seeking help. It is important to note that if you are unsafe you must take steps to protect yourself: physically remove yourself and dependents from the situation.
Ask!
Ask yourself What's going on here?
Is it simply a stress reaction?
Or have I drawn conclusions about a situation? Is it reasonable and healthy for me to make those conclusions now?
What is my system telling me?
Is it intuitive?
Is there something misaligned? With myself? With someone else?
Has a boundary been transgressed by me by another? Whose responsibility is that?
Do I have to deal with it now? How long have I got to deal with it? Can I deal with it later? (Make a note- make a plan)
Ask yourself: How do I want to be different?
Adapt!
Adapt current beliefs, behaviors, language, to meet the outcomes of 'how do I want to be different?'
What little thing can I adapt to change my emotional state? It may only require a 1% change.
Do I need to adapt anything in order to resolve the mental/ emotional /physical imbalance? Can I adapt a belief, behaviour or my language, in a way that will benefit me? (for example If you feel worthless because your husband forgets your anniversary, you may have an internal story running in your head that you are useless and not worth bothering with, that you are unlovable ... a change in focus and belief may help to shift the way you are feeling - “ this is about his lack of remembering not my lack of worth”...
What can I actively do? (When I am in healthy balance make a list of self supporting activities…see Partner's Workshop: Stage Three; Lesson Two (Exercise 15) link: Developing a Support System
Am I safe? If not what can I do to make myself safe? Do it!
By answering those questions for myself I was most often able to shift my own mood into a more positive one and I was also able to manage the emotional overwhelm that came from the post traumatic type symptoms, triggered by the traumatic discovery of my husband's sexual addiction.
Memory Joggers
Sometimes when we are extremely stressed, in crisis or emotionally overwhelmed it can be useful to have a memory jogger to remind us what to do — I wrote my “4 A's” on the back of old business cards which I kept in my purse. Another memory jogger I had was “Stop, Look and Listen” I would say it to myself when I recognized that my emotional state was getting out of hand. It became shorthand for a technique to help me get back on track:
Stop Look and listen
Stop engaging in activities which promote depression/ negativity for you (These will be different for each of us) this requires brutal honesty with ourselves…and requires us to actively stop choosing to feel an emotion for a given period of time. It's a positive form of dissociation or compartmentalizing.
Look at the different domains of your life-(the pillars) what areas can you derive value from? Do an activity which nurtures a positive value...physically do it, rather than just thinking about doing it !
Listen to your positive self. What would you advise yourself to do if you were your best friend or your own coach?
Activity A:
Take a moment to consider what the main pillars of your life are?
Which pillars are currently unstable or crumbling?
Which pillars are in need of repair or attention?
Which are strong and stable?
Activity B
Run through.... the 4 A's method when you are not in emotional imbalance.
Make a record of the 4 A's method so that it's available to you when you might need it (stick it on the side of the freezer or save to your PC.... Then try using it when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
What could you alter or adapt in the method to make it work better for you?

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"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:35 pm 
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Thanks for your input . . I have been out of state and internet for a week or so .. .still working on effective communication and consistent communication! All input is appreciated.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 7:14 pm
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Thanks for your input . . I have been out of state and internet for a week or so .. .still working on effective communication and consistent communication! All input is appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:56 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 am
Posts: 687
Dback,
Hello, someone else may come along and offer their perspective, I often wait to see if that will happen, but in the meantime, as in life, I don't think that we should wait for that person:).

I went back to your thread to see if I could find a couple of values that looked like they were so important to you that you would do anything to defend them. That in a face of an Isis attack, and you didn't know where your family was, these values would provide you enough direction to function (Sadly, I am creating an emergency plan this morning, what we do, how we would contact each other, ect, as my family is traveling all over the world the this Christmas and being a mother my kids can depend on is one of my highest values) So if you lost everything, career, family, status, your addiction, these values are what you would hang on to, they were so much a part of you, that you couldn't really imagine living without them, life would have very little purpose, direction, or meaning, losing them would be losing yourself.

You probably know what I am going to say next:). I didn't get that far in your thread, your last post on communication covers the question you are posing, we need to be willing to risk, to be vulnerable, to be real. But to do that we need to really know ourselves inside and out, all the nooks and crannies, I like the saying we need to be able to see ourselves coming. So I looked back a few posts and I think one aspect of the trouble in communicating is not having a strong enough foundation in the workshop. That is why the couples workshop comes after the couple has a strong healing and recovery in place, they both know their values and themselves to the degree they can weather the storms of trying to communicate, that they have done the whole workshop and their action plans so many times that under the extreme stress of communicating in a relationship or an Isis attack they know what to do, it has become their natural way to think, to problem solve. They are confident, they will not emotional over react, they can trust themselves.

So I would be glad to help you get the foundation if that is what you want, you are more than capable of creating it. At the end of the workshop jon has us map out our anger rituals. To do this we have to have mastered learning how to map rituals. If anyone wants to be successful in the workshop they have to come to a place where breaking down their thoughts and actions into very minute detail becomes a natural jumping off place to problem solving. It is a ton of work in the beginning, but what is the alternative? So if you want to work on those lessons and want an objective outside take on it, just ask, it is worth the frustration of doing it. Anyone who can create a secret life for ten years is more than capable of mastering these workshop lessons!!!!!

As always take what you want and leave the rest, peace

_________________
"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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