Making room for our partner's humanness is important for the health of relationships. It is helpful to understand the inner workings of the nervous system that are at play when we and our partners are caught up so we can see their psychological innocence. Realizing that our fight, flight, or freeze responses are involuntary can help us take our partner's behavior (or lack thereof) less personally.
Ultimately the fight, flight, and freeze responses are meant to keep us safe. Our nervous system is triggered inside of us when we perceive we are in danger -- we have no control over this natural response. But what we can do is practice self-care and support our nervous system. Taking care of ourselves helps us to maintain perspective, and this helps us to have greater clarity to see what is a threat and what isn't.
Respecting a settled and relaxed state of mind is important too. The more time we spend in a settled state, the less often our nervous system is involuntarily triggered. But perhaps most important, is to understand that we're all on a learning curve with this, and our partner is acting the best way they know how for protecting themselves, even if the threat is just perceived. So if we can see the psychological innocence of our partner, and afford them that grace as their nervous system activates, we can wait for a better time to address issues and lessen the amount of escalation in the relationship. The more we see our own psychological innocence, the better we'll get at this.
This episode explores:
- the nervous system is involuntary and protective
- if we're suffering it's because we're identifying with our painful thinking
- our partners are human and have their own responses to perceived threats
- the less time we spent caught up, the more our nervous system settles
Spit out the dummy: To have a childish overreaction or angry outburst to a negative situation or outcome
Pear-shaped: A British idiom that means something went wrong or "went south" as Angus would also say.
Fight, fight, or freeze: Angus's version of the nervous system fear response
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Listener shout out!
Thank you, themindfulheartla! We're so glad you're listening and enjoying :)
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Download the Transcript
Angus & Rohini Ross are “The Rewilders.” Listen to their podcast Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. Many couples don’t know how to navigate low moods, conflict, and emotional reactivity. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini love working with couples and helping them to reduce conflict and discord in their relationships by pointing them to their innate wisdom and wellbeing. They work with couples who are struggling and couples who would like to deepen the love and intimacy they already have. They co-facilitate a private couples' intensives retreat program that rewilds relationships back to their natural state of love.