All posts tagged: conflict

relationships, online dating, raising a teenager, over 50, positive ageing

Is it a pothole or cliff? Measuring the drama of your argument

Main Attachment styles: Anxious, Avoidant, Secure Most regular readers know I had a Bumpy time with ‘H’ on the last interstate visit, and you were all so supportive and encouraging, many¬†thanks. Long distance relationships can be a challenge indeed. It took a lot of patience not to have an immediate, dramatic reaction myself, and now that we’re all snuggly and cute again [phew!], I’ve been reflecting on how it felt as it happened. As I previously wrote¬†HERE on ‘Bread & butter vs death’, there is a biological reaction to that disagreement with your beloved. Once triggered, your attachment system will flood you with the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to process and dilute these chemicals to return to normal, (a little longer for men), so going for a walk or taking ‘time out’ is actually a fantastic idea. But what’s actually caused the triggering? In a nutshell, a serious argument is received as a threat to our safety. I’m not talking about the simple ‘bread & butter’ …

relationships, online dating, raising a teenager, over 50, positive ageing

bread & butter Vs death: the neuroscience of Arguing

#1. You [with soft tone]: ‘Sorry I’m late for the movie, I thought you said it started at 7 not 6. And the traffic was terrible.’ Me: ‘ I feel pretty annoyed you’re so late, but I guess we can see the 8pm session, or just go home? Maybe we need to check in re the exact movie time on the actual day, so this doesn’t happen again?’ You: ‘I’m so sorry darlin, I felt really bad when I realised I was letting you down. Let’s see the 8pm, and I’ll buy the popcorn. Hug me for a moment first though.’ This is a ‘bread & butter’ misunderstanding and reaction (i.e. just an everyday disagreement). The exchange is clear: You made a genuine mistake, and have owned it, apologised, and given the injured party the power to decide what happens next. Both of you decided to reassure the other that they were still important and cared about, despite the mix-up. Plus long hugs are calming. #2. You [in brusque tone]: ‘Sorry I’m late for the …

Update on Episode 9: the sign still applies (phew)

[EPISODE 9 HERE. Worth reading first]. Arguments suck! We all know that. Yet still they explode from seemingly nowhere. One minute everything is cute, cosy, safe and understanding; the next, it feels like the floor has dropped out of your world, and either one or both of you is willing to fight, flight or freeze your way to a land of Disconnection and possibly Sulks. It happens so fast, and furiously. Even for snails. Snails? What the hell do I mean? Well, my Love H is a Snail: slow, steady, sensitive to loud sounds and being startled, quick to retract into the shell, cautious to emerge. I’m more like a Crab: fast, sideways, big claw, unpredictable, fond of dark caves, difficult to prise out. Hard shell, sweet-bellied soft. But no matter your style, no matter your inner totem creature, you gotta T-A-L-K. Whether it’s immediately, or after 24 hours, someone’s gotta make the first move… *sound of crickets for a day and a night* Then H texted. But I’d already written a heartfelt email, I …

In the dance of intimacy, who wants head-banging to death metal?

I love to dance. I’m a 5Rhythms woman, and blogged about it ages ago (incl a clip in France) HERE. I did 10 years of ballet classes, which I loved, although the best bit was pretending to be a cloud, twirling free around the long sunlit room. I goddamn LOVE Disco, and anything funky sets my feet a’tappin’ and my knees a’bouncin’. Last week at the Attachment course I’m doing, our teacher said: “Emotion is the music in the dance of adult intimacy”. My studious ears pricked up. Ooh, are we gonna dance? We all relish the heart-fluttering sweet ballad of new romance don’t we? Every love song making sense. Or the passionate, sweaty, sexy tango. But who wants to turn up for that surprise ear-bleeding death metal concert by Dispute, Stress and Shove? Not me thanks! That’s what conflict can be though. One minute you’re chatting over a cup of tea, or pushing your trolley down the aisle (I once dumped a boyfriend at the checkout. On my birthday. *sigh. I was young… But …