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Vicious Spirals by Kirsten Long

The teenagers were in tears. They had each shouted really nasty words at each other. The answer I got from each of them was that the other one started it…  The vicious spiral: someone hurts you; you lash out and hurt them back; they hurt you even more. You hurt them back even more…Eventually the relationship breaks right down.   This is not the exclusive domain of teenagers – it’s more common in adult life that we care to admit. How many people do you know of, who for years have not spoken to their sister/ brother/ mother/ father? How many friends are not talking? Break-ups? Divorces?

It all begins with your reaction to that initial hurt.


Notice that I did not say it begins with them hurting you.

It all begins with your reaction to that initial hurt.

If you lash out and react instantaneously, the chances are that you have stepped onto the vicious spiral and you will dance around each other, inflicting emotional wounds until things spiral out of control. If you stop a moment, think about the possible different ways to react and the possible consequences of each, the chances are that you are finding the way to a stronger relationship.

The key is making sure there is enough time between the words that hurt you, and your response. Ancient wisdom has told us: "Think before you speak.” It’s probably even better if you say something like “I need to think” and then remove yourself from the situation altogether. This creates the time you need to consider your options more clearly.

Train yourself to delay your response when you are angry or hurt. Being able to do this will serve you well in every relationship for the rest of your life.

Start practising today. Use small issues, so that when a big one comes along – you are trained and ready.

Remember these wise words by William Arthur Ward:
“Before you speak, listen.
Before you write, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you invest, investigate.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.
Before you die, give.

Life Coaching : Coaching is about empowering you to find your own answers. Coaching encourages and supports you as you make important choices about your life’s journey. As you discover and learn about yourself, your awareness increases and you start making different choices. In this way you end up improving your performance, your relationships and your life! Contact Kirsten today  on 082 801 7513 , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or go to the website


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