Have you noticed that whatever you are dealing with, more of it shows up in your life? It can even start to feel like the universe is playing a joke on you. Have you had that experience? Of course, it’s awesome when this applies to good stuff in our lives. Not so much when the repeating item is frustrating, painful or generally negative.
This can show up in the form of themes in shows, songs and publications, or just things you notice. This can show up as issues with different people. This can show up as repeating patterns in your relationship. I’m sure you’ve noticed one of the underlying themes in my writing is about focusing on what we contribute to a situation and on the positive in others, in giving our partner the benefit of the doubt…
And, I’ve written about, and refer to this multiple times a day in my work with clients, that we have a tendency to focus on the negative and “How our partner sucks.” So, I was thrilled when two different resources showed up in my inbox this week about our brain’s tendency for “negativity bias”… But then I had to check-in with myself and ask if this was to be used as a professional resource, or was this applicable to Me as well…
It is part of the human condition to be egocentric, we filter everything as to how it applies to us… Part of the work is to do my own work… Staying open to the possibility that I might be ready for additional work in this area I embraced this as a personal challenge. And, lo and behold, some things that had crept up as recent annoyances in my life all of a sudden no longer felt as such… A minor adjustment in focus and assigned meaning provided a huge relief to my overall emotional state. Wow!
What does this mean for you? It means, let’s go back to what I usually offer. Stop focusing on “How your partner sucks”, and focus instead on how you are showing up, how you are taking care of yourself, how you are resourced and present, on how you are contributing to the conflict, tension or dissatisfaction. Focus on what you can do different and how you choose to look at your partner, and others!
You have control and power to change your side, you don’t have control and power to change other’s. Don’t even try, it’s a waste of resources. This is where partners go wrong. They spin their wheels becoming more frustrated and hurt.
Stop focusing on what is not working, what you don’t like, how something could be different, why are things not better and the like. Stop your negativity bias! Focus instead on your and other’s strengths, what you do like, what touched your heart, how the other invested, on their intention and motivation (don’t assign negative motives either!).
Stop the negativity bias and feel load off your shoulders, trust me!
Share your takeaway, insights, and results by leaving a comment below! I’d love to hear how you are using this content.
~ Some Related Issues
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.