In your relationship, are you able to discern the difference between genuine anger and fear? When your partner is acting a little mean or seems angry, do you ever wonder if they are simply afraid?
On Saturday morning Justin started talking to me in a critical tone. He seemed angry at me and was acting a little mean. This surprised me, Justin is rarely mean (thank my lucky stars). I called it to his attention, “he sweetie, you seem angry at me right now and you are being mean. What do you think is actually going on?” ~ By the way, this is something I so appreciate about my man, when I offer feedback or a perspective, he pauses and lets the feedback in to see what is true. What was true is that I had been sick for over a week and Justin was actually afraid of getting my cold. He presenced this and said, “Oh, I am feeling afraid right now of getting sick.” This simple awareness shifted him out of the fight response and back into presence.
In relationship this is a key. Often times when you are perceiving that your partner is angry with you, they are actually just afraid. This is the secret of the fight response, it is not genuine anger, it is fear. We have found that one of the primary ways to shift out of “fight” is to pause, claim out loud that you are simply feeling afraid and allow yourself to feel your fear. When we are not aware of what we are feeling or we are trying to escape our feelings, we are in reaction and thus more likely to do one of the “fear responses.”
We all react to fear in different ways. When we experience fear, some of us Freeze up (can’t move or make a choice), others Flee (leave the room physically, emotionally or both), sometimes we Faint (get spacey, dumb, or suddenly tired), or we Fight (suddenly get angry, ready to attack verbally or physically). So which of these fear responses is most familiar to you? Freeze, Flee, Faint or Fight?
Our Invitation: Next time you are feeling angry, pause and ask yourself if you are actually angry or if you are simply feeling afraid. Notice how just taking a moment to breathe and ask yourself this question brings you into greater presence with yourself and your feelings. Notice how any fear may began to subside when you come into presence. We are on the journey with you, so feel free to share your thoughts or questions on www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship or at www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you and big love to you all!
- Juna & Justin