“Run for your life!” My best friend yelled as the man leaped off his front porch in pursuit of us. He was within centimeters of my long brown hair. Had Carol not bellowed in warning I would have been in a heap of a mess with a clump of my mane missing and trouble with my parents; maybe even the law. Talk about an adrenaline rush! We called this game ring and run. Many homeowners just ignored their doorbells at night. Not this homeowner. When that scary man came dodging at me you can believe I reacted. My sympathetic nervous system, in response to cortisol, secreted adrenaline causing my pulse and blood pressure to increase pumping a larger load of blood to my vital organs. I could have kicked into fight, flight or freeze mode. Wisely, my flight response fired up. I fled. We have all, at one time or another, experienced this reaction to fear.
We use these same mechanisms in relationships when confronted with issues. When confrontations arise, our mind, will and emotions could also react out of fear. One example could entail our fear of the pain of loneliness because a loved one threatens to leave us and our needs for love will go unmet. We often attempt to control and manipulate the situation. This will lead to further disconnection and compounded dysfunctional issues that are difficult to resolve. However, there is a better way. We do not have to succumb to these tactics but rather we can learn to respond instead.
You can, with guidance, train your mind to think, your will to choose and your body to obey prior to a confrontation. This involves choosing to love the relationship so much that you seek connection as you exercise self control. Learning and practicing these skills will afford better outcomes for you and those you are in relationship with whether at home or in business. You will learn to no longer be driven by fear and its reactive mechanisms. Instead you can utilize a response that is loving, powerful, and sound. Danny Silk, in his book “Keep Your Love On” states, “The choice to pursue the goal of connection will bring you right up against the real conflict that lies at the core of every relationship……fear and love.” Choose love. This new mindset can allow space for courage, empathy, reason and compassion. You no longer need to flee or fight but you can face confrontations rationally. It’s a win-win.
EIS Counselor: Anita Arrunategui/Images: Canva Pro/Danny Silk: “Keep Your Love On”