Protection, Reaction, Connection
If we truly ‘get’ how these 3 (protection, reaction, and connection) are intimately intertwined – life will change 180 degrees! Let me explain…
Have you ever been in gridlock with someone? Where every conversation seems to get stuck in tension, misunderstanding, or an argument? What the heck?!
Something happens, and we just react – or they do. Usually, we notice what they do before we catch on to our own reactivity 🙂
Our reactivity to someone doesn’t mean what we sometimes think ie. that there is something wrong with the other person. Nope.
Our reactions are our ninja-style protective system, firing off because of some perceived threat. We get anxious, fearful, upset and we move to protect ourselves. Our attempt to protect ourselves looks like a big REACTION.
We might seem hyper-sensitive and even a little over-reactive. Our childhood experiences can fuel this. Hence what we do is indeed a RE-action. A repeat of actions that used to work for us, or were our best efforts to be safe and loved.
But whoops! Our raw reaction in turn sets off the other’s protection system. And so it’s game on! Reactivity triggering more reactivity. 🙁 Two Things To Know shows how to untangle this.
Hang on a minute! Are we destined to be stuck in this??? No. We can all learn and grow our way out of it. You can do this! With or without help, depending on where you are at.
Firstly: It’s vital to understand and accept that we are primed to protect ourselves and survive. Connection is one of our big sensitivities because being safe has historically come from being part of the tribe. That’s why for example inclusion, belonging, love, self-worth, significance are common human needs.
Fortunately, we are adaptable as a species. We can CHANGE and ADAPT how we go about experiencing connection and reacting to fear of disconnection.
Change begins with kindness to ourselves and others, just for the fact that we have reactions 🙂 More criticism doesn’t help. I’m sure you have already noticed this! There are other steps too.
In relationship, we can adapt and learn to engage in new ways so we get well above the survival line, and thrive together.
We create this change and continue the upward spiral of positive connection through understanding our emotions and discovering how to honour each other’s needs. Real change doesn’t come simply through intellectual education.
Hmmm. Not sure if any of the above applies to you at all? Here is an easy check. Resistance is a sure sign that your protective reaction is switched on. Are you inclined to push back, block out, or pretty often blame events/ other people/ your partner, when you aren’t happy?
The essence is this:
- Authentic care and understanding open up connections beyond what most ever dream possible!
- Connection comes from saying ‘yes’. Yes, to what is here. Saying ‘yes’ breeds more empathy and connection, less reaction/protection.*
- Connection is where we feel safe.
Let me know if you want help.
p.s. *If you need safety from violence – please get professional support and check back with me.