Not only do we have the most complex known object in the observable universe as our brain, but we have the ability to communicate with each other, using all our senses, and with open ended language skills.
Last time we acknowledged how powerful we are in our human relationships.
Not only do we have the most complex known object in the observable universe as our brain, but we have the ability to communicate with each other, using all our senses, and with open ended language skills. As a result, our ability to interact with each other should always continue to develop, as should our capacity to strengthen and enrich our relationships.
Unfortunately, this does not tend to happen.
We interact with each other through variations of only three themes, or three biological behavioural patterns. As a result, we come to make the same mistake over and over, depending on our predilection to choose the same course of behaviour. Our choice of behaviour depends on our genetics, our upbringing and our past experience of relationships.
In this way we are not much different than any other animal. All animals behave in one of three ways to anything that alarms or threaten them. They either run towards the threat and attack; run away from threat to flee it; or get so overwhelmed that they freeze or collapse.
If we are not aware of our animalistic behaviour, and unaware that we live in a universe where everything breaks down, we soon find ourselves in relationships that ends up in one of only three ways. We become mutual destruction till nothing is left, or we gradually diverge until the two parties are so far apart that we cannot hear what each other is saying and nothing is left, or we endlessly circle each other in a sterile orbit “till death do us part” (and nothing is left). The saddest part is that we often meet somebody new and we excitedly believe that this time it will go better, when of course it won’t because we have not changed, just changed partners.
The trick in making our relationships work is to change the direction and the nature of our fight/flight/collapse behaviour. We need to aim towards better outcomes, not perfect outcomes, just better outcomes than what we were able to achieve before.
Let’s look at how we can change or modify these three behavioural patterns:
Dr. Strauss was born in South Africa, emigrating to Canada with his family in 1995. He has a private practice in the Fraser Valley and sees patients with mental health issues in his community. He was Head of the Psychiatry Department at a regional hospital with a staff of nine psychiatrists until last year when he decided to focus on his practice and his work at our hotel. Dr. Strauss has always been interested in long-term human relationships and envisioned enhancing relationships.
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