IMPULSE CONTROL & SELF-REGULATION

You cannot release tension by creating more of it…

Rationally, we know we cannot expect to live harmoniously with our partner at all times, but seldom do we emotionally accept that fact. Frustrations, unmet expectations, let downs, incivility, broached personal boundaries, poor behavior, brushes with insecurity issues, confrontations with un-resolved emotional developmental tasks can often trigger deep emotional reactions that fuel and give rise to unchecked jealousy and anger. These impulses drive our temptations to act utilizing rash behaviors and short-term decision-making that satisfy our basic instincts of self-preservation and immediate self-interest in releasing pent-up tension by lashing out. In the moment there is nothing more compelling and satisfying than completely releasing your engulfed rage and anger… …and then it is over… the moment and the relationship. You simply cannot have a healthy relationship where trust and respect do not exist, and in that moment of lost control and lack of self-regulation both were highly diminished if not destroyed. Just anger should be displayed in incredibly rare occasions and where it is truly warranted, if ever. Ultimately an angry defensive outburst moves you further, rather than closer together.

Negativity spiral of hostile reciprocation

It doesn’t have to be a flash of uncheck rage or anger that kills your relationship. The ease at which negativity, hostility and resentment builds into conflict, strife and reciprocated negativity is frightening, as it spins into an almost unrecoverable spiral of destructive behaviors, as partners interact in an absorbing state of animosity and hostility that fuels itself causing more harm to trust, respect and mutual admiration along the way… This negative spiral is one of the very real reasons that breaking up is the norm, not the exception in intimate relationships. We simply unwittingly fan the flames of demise without squelching them early when conflict is most manageable.

Pro-relationship action

An important function of promoting and enhancing your relationship is your ability to respond constructively rather than destructively to negative impulse temptations. To prevent damage to your relationship and to your reputation regard anger, frustration, the surge for dominance or aggressive competitive action to be ‘right’ or ‘win’ as a caution sign to alert your to problematic emotional situation. The angrier you feel, the less effective you will be able to solve any problem, as it decreases your ability to think, take in new information, take fresh perspective or to come up with new solutions. This is especially true in any form of group activity where consensus building or collaboration building is essential in pursuit of any shared or common goal.

Stop!

Taking a moment to take in a deep breath and letting the surge of adrenaline and emotions to pass through you, to clear your mind for an instant to think before you speak and to think twice before you act, may be all you need to release the tension and relax the body and mind from the fight or flight mode you’re currently on. It is this interruption that allows you to build awareness and establish self-control, to regulate yourself and to act through your beliefs appropriately. Taking a moment to stop and re-affirm your core values will ease the effects of hasty anger by reminding us why those values are important to us. By recognizing that anger is an emotional caution sign, it will help us focus on our long-term objectives, rather than short-term gratification and avoid our natural hazardous responses.

Look!

In the moment of pausing look into not only the situation, but what you really want. Take perspective. How you want to be regarded. Where you want the relationship to take you. How do you value the relationship. Who do you want to be. What are your values and are you acting through those. Focus on your behavior (the only thing you can control) and not of your partner’s is essential. Empowering yourself instead of attempting to control others or the situation is a key component of overcoming anger tendencies. Control what you can- you.

Listen!

Listen to your partner. Not just in what she is saying, not just in what she is doing, but listen for what may be driving those words and actions. Utilize your powers of perception to try to understand what are her needs, wants and feelings of expectations that are unresolved or unmet? What is she emotionally aching for that she cannot reach? Before we speak, before we act, be very careful not to invalidate your partner, as once we have the opportunity for any productive discussion or problem-solving is all but gone.

Listen deeper!

Listen deeper still. Listen to deep within yourself and ask yourself why you’re responding negatively rather than positively to a potentially destructive partner’s behavior? It most likely will underscore unresolved emotional or developmental tasks for yourself well beyond the initiating event. Mentally bookmark this emotional reaction response and investigate it by performing a psychological self-analysis by looking at emotional patterns of behavior, as well as perform a relationship autopsy of those relationships that surround those feelings. Frequently strong emotional responses are unconscious and subliminal signals that unresolved dependency needs and developmental tasks are unresolved and will hinder the health and wellbeing of not only your relationship, but for you as well.

Ego-depletion

Self-control is not the whole story in regulating impulse control. Stress, general frustration, exhaustion, poor nutrition, lack of sleep and competing simultaneous demands will affect will-power and self-control reserves of anyone. It is important to recognize that your self-regulatory strength may be limited. As it is depletable. As it is renewable. Even someone who is committed to his or her relationship may fail at self-regulating due to self-regulating strength depletion despite their motivation.

Self-monitoring

It is highly beneficial if we can self-monitor not only ourselves, but the circumstances and environment in which we are party to for signs that we may be taxed, fatigued or worn down and act to counter it. In many instances we can foresee and anticipate that in an up and coming situation we may reach a similar point, and instead of just ‘sucking it up and driving on’ we can actually pre-plan rejuvenating and energy replenishing actions strategically. Whether this is getting extra sleep and rest, eating properly, treating yourself well, taking a moment to pause and reflect, exercising, sharing a good meal with friends or having sex lavishly (even if it’s just with yourself) can all have a remarkable effect on your ability to express gratitude in life and confer an enormous happiness advantage in general.

 

Advertisements

Consensus Skills Development in a Relationship

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is more obstinate than a consensus

In any relationship and partnership decisions have to be made. Mundane ones are seldom questioned and have marginal consequences and thus will not be the center of our discussion here. Our focus will be on the manner in which decisions are made where the outcomes will be questioned and the consequences of those decisions will be felt not only in the context of problem solving, but the ripples felt through the relationship because of them and the process taken to get there.

Decisions are journeys

Too often the experiences going through decisions and processes of getting there far outweigh the actual decisions themselves. Question that presumption? How did you feel when your parents said “because I said so!” to any protest to an authoritarian and dominate decision they made? How effective were they in getting your buy-in, cooperation and commitment to those decisions? How did that shape your relationship with them; strengthen it or weaken it? Has your apple fallen far or close to the family tree in that regard? Family tree should branch out, not only genetically, but also with variation, adaptation and selection of skill sets and abilities of its members. What’s yours look like; a straight line? If it does, you’re responsible for changing that. Learning the finer arts of diplomacy, as well as developing team work through collaboration, can be essential skills to have in any relationship.

A agreement by another other name

Consensus building is simply collaborative problem solving. Collaboration is where you work together to explore and determine the nature of a problem and possible solutions, but developing a consensus is the process of creating an agreement and the act of making a decision collaboratively.

Participant identification and recruitment

The first step to developing any consensus is identifying the appropriate participants. The key step here is to identify who should be involved in the process and to recruit them into it. You better have a firm grasp of when your partner expects to be taken into account with a decision or not. If you don’t know or not sure, do the smart thing and ask. Better yet, have a discussion with your partner to help determine those boundary areas and issues when it comes to decision-making authority, both yours and hers.

Determine the stakeholders

Developing a consensus is about finding the stakeholders, not developing a data bank of wisdom dispensers. Aunt Edna may be wickedly wise, but just because she could be involved (and likely would LOVE to be) doesn’t mean she should be involved. Developing a consensus is about finding the critical stakeholders needed to develop a sound and accountable decision. There is a massive difference between seeking advice and developing a consensus. Just because you’re seeking someone’s advice doesn’t mean you’re seeking them as a stakeholder. If you don’t have that as a boundary, and are able to monitor and maintain that, you should. Think in-law problems and this is the gap in boundaries in which those problems are breached.

Design the process to be used

Not all problems need to be resolved in the same manner or to the same degree, but having a methodology and rationalization to decision-making sure helps. Every couple who have found themselves in the endless cycle of “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” has no methodology or rationalization for decision-making. Flipping a coin, taking turns, rock-paper-scissors are basic examples that can quickly and effectively cut to the chase in many areas, but often we need more elaborate and caring methods to determine and develop an agreed upon decision to truly more important issues.

Reframing and brainstorming

Reframing and brainstorming are alternative approaches to problem solving. Often disputants get situated in a position which leaves little room to negotiate let alone to come to agreement upon. Reframing the issues in terms of interests, which tend to be negotiable will prevent this natural stalemate. Another approach is brainstorming alternative approaches to the problem. The key point here is to develop new, and mutually advantageous approaches rather than going over the same win-lose approaches that have been tried before with no success. The emphasis in both of these approaches is to develop a better level of understanding and trust necessary to develop any agreement upon, active listening skills and emotional needs communication will typically figure prominently here.

Identification and evaluation of alternative solutions

In developing a consensus it is important to evaluate carefully the alternative solutions, not only for the cost-benefit analysis of that proposed solution, but to the nature of the your relationship with the proposer, as often they are highly invested in their proposition and fail to separate the value of the proposal from their perceived value in themselves. Care, handling and consideration of the stakeholders are as important, as the decision itself. A decision that cost you the trust and respect of a stakeholder isn’t a good one, even if the solution is the best one. If you have to, go back and regain that trust and respect before making any decision. How different would your life be if your parents had done the same thing with you?

Decision making

Most decisions are difficult to make not because the cost-benefits cannot be determined, analyzed or weighed, but that the barriers to implementation have been overlooked. We simply spend no time in understanding and removing impediments to taking action. Spending time to determine what these may be, how they may be removed or lessened can be instrumental in getting the decision implemented, which was the sole purpose of developing a consensus to begin with; determining a course of action and implementing it.

Finalization and approval

The last step before actually taking action and implementing any decision or solution is to finalize it and seek the approval of all participants and stakeholders. This is important not only in clarifying the proposed solution, but to give each stakeholder time to ponder any last harboring doubts or concerns before being committed to a decision. Often this determines whether or not there will be buy-in from each of the parties. Too often people will go through a process, but no provide buy-in required to make and keep a given decision, claiming a misunderstanding or miscommunication in the process. This last step is designed to limit and prevent those counter-productive behaviors.

If you don’t have your partner’s buy-in, you don’t have a consensus and you’re operating without a net of mutual agreement. Any decision being made will be yours and yours alone. As such you’ll face all the blame and accountability for any failure to deliver upon any expected solution, as well as, built-in hostility and animosity associated with going it alone. Risks like these should be few and far between in any healthy relationship, rather than the norm of masculine assertiveness and boldness in decision-making or misguided displays of leadership.

 

Leadership as a requirement

Leadership comes in small daily acts as well as bold strokes…

Build it and they will come.

It all begins and ends with you. You lead by example. If you can’t lead yourself, you can’t lead others. It’s as simple as that and as a consequence you will be found undesirable as a mate and relationship choice by women until you develop appropriate leadership skills. Furthermore you cannot possibly be a better leader than you are a person. Leadership starts with your character development and then progresses outward from there into your vision of yourself, your life and your relationships with others.

Pissing into the wind

Regardless of the fact that women have surpassed the equality mark, women are not inclined to transition into gender equity with regards to dating. They are loath to relinquish a system in which the males takes all or at least the majority of the risk of rejection, in initiating the courtship rituals of dating. Furthermore your failure to act upon your gender assigned role of leadership, will be judged as a fitness test to your worth and viability as a mate choice. Be it as it may, if you want that girl, you’re going to have to act and demonstrate leadership attributes… the upside is you have the power of choice. You and you alone decide with whom to initiate. That is your masculine role. Her feminine role is to judge your worthiness and merit when you do. We can rail into the wind for change, but it’s likely to do little if any good.

 The King is dead…

The concept of leadership has dramatically changed and the emphasis on hard power of authoritarian and dominance is outdated, yet social dominance plays such an important role in female attraction that manipulating this variable alone can produce dramatic improvements in a man’s life, which is why there is such a strong focus on dominance traits development and practice within the seduction community. Unfortunately these same traits do not transfer well into long-term relationship traits, due to their over-use and reliance that transcends into controlling, suffocating and stifling behavior, which is a hallmark of low emotional intelligence and a pre-cursor to many a doomed relationship. While a vibrant and useful attraction trait, social dominance should not be relied upon as a cornerstone to a healthy relationship, but as a trigger for sustained attraction within a relationship.

 Rise of soft power

Today’s knowledge economy requires and demands new leadership skills and expectations requiring vastly heightened sense of emotional intelligence, relationship skills, team building, collaborations skills, consensus building, mentoring and forging strong personal connections which is incredibly indifferent to men’s historical attributes and culturally defined role models. Many analysts are arguing that men are ill-suited for the realities of not only this new economy, but the emerging society as well, as they reflect similar skills sets. The focus today in leadership is not solely in hard powers but in enhanced relationship-driven soft powers that foster trust, respect and credibility, with a dash of hard power skills where appropriate and when needed. Often this too is done with a measure of tact and diplomacy to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, as it is widely recognized as a Pyrrhic victory otherwise; a gain from winning one negotiation can be much less than the increased hostility from other parts, resulting in an overall loss. Don’t be in a situation where you win the argument to only loose the relationship with the girl.

24/7 Communication

Arguably the most important trait for a leader is the ability to communicate effectively. They master not only the craft of language, but attitude and actions to send powerful messages as well. Communication goes well beyond words. Your behavior gives people information about your disposition, opinion or mood-regardless of the words you speak. Your inner character gets expressed outwards with corresponding consequences and ramifications. The manner in which a leader communicates reveals much about your character. It can disclose your authenticity, sincerity and virtually every other aspect of your character, not just in the moments of bold and decisive decision-making.

New Patriarchy

While feminist and culture may rail against patriarchy, ultimately it is what they expect and demand that a man takes the lead not only in initiating, but throughout a relationship. But unlike the authorial stance of old, women desire a guide and an equitable stake in the relationship without outright subordination. To successfully navigate this new complex social construct, men will have to learn a great deal more leadership skills than what typically have been previously the gender defined roles. While popular culture may rail against this, women are happier when their men are men and they are the woman in the relationship.