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Relation Therapy

Relation Therapy

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Published by Relatherapy
A self-help guide to relational therapy - new version.
A self-help guide to relational therapy - new version.

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Published by: Relatherapy on Jun 01, 2010
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05/12/2014

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HomeGuide for TherapistsDisordersCase of JimGroupsCATContact
GUIDE TO RELATIONAL THERAP
 
A few things that may help you better your relationships 
 
Some people will tell you that irrational (or emotional) behavior is bad, andthat you must always be rational. But people are not robots, and the irrationalis a necessary part of us. The problem is not irrational behavior, but
mixing up 
 
rational with irrational,
as in acting the way you feel instead of expressing yourfeelings through your body language (even if it is as "irrational" as a tantrum),or expressing your thoughts indirectly through your behavior, as if they werefeelings (e. g. fabricated smiles or controlled gestures, avoidant or passive-
 
aggressive behavior), instead of acting boldly according to what you think.This kind of "mixing up" can create conflicts and problems both withinourselves and in our relationships.
 
Many conflicts and relationship problems arise from the fact that weact to please or harm others, and we feel pleased or harmed by other's
 
actions. If we act to inform or change others at a rational level, andassess rationally instead of emotionally the actions of others, then we
 
can avoid much of our minor or serious relational problems andbreakups. It's more natural to be upset by the fact that the other does
 
not value me positively, as I feel that from his body language, than tobe saddened that he did something wrong to me. For the latter Ishould have no feelings, but rather think and do something about it!
Let's start with the beginning: there are four main things that people do: they
think 
,
act 
,
feel 
, and
express 
through their body language (as in emotionalexpressions).Well-adjusted people
act what they think 
, and
express what they feel 
. Also, ina relationship, they think about others' acts, and feel about what othersexpress.
 
Unadjusted people act what they feel, instead of what they think, or express
 
what they think, instead of what they feel. In a relationship, they think aboutwhat others express, or feel about others' acts.
 
So, to become well-adjusted instead of unadjusted, we don't have to changethe way we think, act, feel, or express, but change the relations among these
 
within ourselves, in our relationships, or both.
 
We will show you a few examples that might match or approximate yourexperiences, so you can learn to apply them to similar situations youencounter in your life. Make sure your partner does the same.
 
Act what you think, do not content to express it: speak your mind, don't let me guess it 
RELATHERAPY 
Relational Therapy
 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"I decided that's better for me to leave my boyfriend, and I tried to show him that" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"I decided that's better for me to leave my boyfriend, and I told him that" 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
I found out that I don't love my boyfriend anymore, and I tried to show him that" 
 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"Today I decided that it's better for me to break up with my girlfriend, and I'll behave so that she will leave me" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"Today I decided that it's better for me to break up with my girlfriend, and I will tell her that" 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"I found out that I don't love my girlfriend anymore, and I'll behave so that she will leave me" 
 
So, if you know that the other
expresses what he/she thinks, instead of acting 
 
it out,
and if he/she is acting like trying to show you that he/she is not lovingyou anymore, or like trying to make you leave him/her, understand that he/she
 
decided that's better for him/her to break up with you,
but he/she is
not 
 
necessarily not loving you 
anymore. What to do further is up to you.
 
Express what you feel, do not act it out: "love don't cost a thing", and "love is a feeling, I don't wanna hear it" 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"I love my girlfriend and I always buy her what she wants" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"I love my girlfriend and I'm always gentle with her" 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"
I want her to be comfortable and I always buy her what she wants" 
 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"We love each other; that's why we are moving in together" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"We love each other; that's why we can't spend much time being apart" 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"We are getting along very well and think we can share a household; that's why we are moving in together" 
 
So, if you know that the other
acts out what he/she feels, instead of expressing it 
, and if he/she wants to move in with you, understand that he/she
 
has feelings for you 
, but has
not necessarily thought of all the things involved 
 
in living together.
 
Think about others' acts, don't feel about them: get what I have in mind,do not mind 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"My girlfriend wants to make up with me, and I'm thrilled about it, 'cause this means that she loves me" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"My girlfriend wants to make up with me, and I agree, because that's better for both of us" 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"I feel that my girlfriend loves me, and I'm thrilled about it" 
 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"My partner wants to buy me a house, and therefore I assume he/she loves me" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"My partner wants to buy me a house, and therefore I assume he/she wants to make me understand he/she is serious about us" 
 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"My partner always treats me kind, and therefore I assume he/she loves me" 
 
So, if you know that the other
feels about your acts, instead of thinking about them 
, don't tell her you
want to make up with her 
unless you
really love her 
.Otherwise, she will not understand that it is a mere rational decision, and willbuild upon a love that isn't there.
 
Feel what others express, do not think about it: I need you to feel what I feel, I don't want to fill you in 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"She thinks that I'm smart, I can see it in her eyes" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"She likes me, I can feel it in her eyes" 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"She thinks that I'm smart, she asked my help in solving a difficult problem 
”  
 
Instead of the unadjusted:
 
"He is giving me a bitter look, and I'm wondering what is wrong?" 
 
Try the well-adjusted:
 
"He is giving me a bitter look, and I feel that he is sad or angry" 
 
The first response would generally be appropriate in:
 
"He's not acting like he used to, and I'm wondering what is wrong? 
”  
 
So, if you know that the other
thinks about what you express, instead of feeling about it 
, try
not to show him/her your emotions 
, unless you thus wantto
make a point about your thoughts 
. For example, if you want to raise hisself-esteem, you can flirt with him, but don't expect that this will make himunderstand that you like him as a man.
 
Give up fabricated smiles and controlled gestures. Express your fears or sadness, don't try to act against them. Act against dangerous or bad situations instead, and irrational fear or depression will go away 
 
Physical symptoms like shaking, crying, nausea, pain etc. (what is often called
 
"sickness") can be no more than pathological emotional expressions. Unlikenormal emotional expressions, symptoms appear not as a reaction to aperceived emotional state, but to a situation. People with such symptoms donot realize that these symptoms are in fact the result of their state of fear or
 
depression, and rather think that they are provoked by events they perceive inthe outside world, like dangers or bad situations. For example, when someone
 
says "I cry for little or no reason", or "there is nothing to cry about", a rational
 
cause is assumed that makes people cry, instead of their own emotions.People with symptoms also display avoidant or passive-aggressivebehavior; they do not openly express their feelings, nor do they openly speak
 
up their thoughts, nor act what they think. They
act 
out their
fears 
bydeliberately avoiding or sabotaging unpleasant people or situations, and
 express 
their
thoughts 
about someone or something through obstructionist,involuntary resistance/stubbornness (avoidant behavior and passiveresistance). Fabricated smiles and controlled gestures are falling in the samecategory of expressing what you think (you should express), instead of whatyou feel.
 
Also, whereas people without symptoms act against bad or dangeroussituations, and not against their sadness or fears, people with symptoms tryto act against their feelings, and naturally, they fail in doing that, becausefeelings are not subject to the control of reason.
 
So, if you are like:
I'm depressed (afraid), and I try to do something about it.
 

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