The Signs And Effects of Emotional Abuse

Not all forms of abuse can be easily recognized. One of the most subtle is known as emotional or mental abuse. As a way to manipulate, control, and wound, emotional abuse can have a highly damaging effect on mental health and overall well-being. 

By learning more about the various forms of emotional abuse, you will be better able to recognize its signs and protect yourself and your loved ones. If, however, you believe you are already in an unhealthy relationship, reaching out to a professional or going to a codependency retreat may provide you with the resources and support you need to break the cycle of abuse. 

In this article, we will examine the signs and effects of emotional abuse, as well as provide insightful information on dealing with abusive behaviors. 

What Are The Types of Emotional Abuse?

What Are The Psychological Effects Of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can take numerous forms. It serves as a way to control and manipulate through criticism, embarrassment, blame, or shame. An emotionally abusive relationship can, for example, involve consistent patterns of abusive behaviors that aim to undermine your self-esteem and overall mental health. 

This form of abuse can occur in all kinds of relationships, including those between romantic partners, partners and children, co-workers, and friends. Due to its often insidious nature, emotional abuse can be particularly subtle and difficult to recognize, both by the individual subjected to it and any third parties involved. 

If you’d like to raise your awareness of emotional abuse, you can look out for any of the following signs: 

  • Verbal abuse can mean constant criticism, yelling, swearing, and biting insults.
  • Rejecting the ideas, opinions, and thoughts of others.
  • Gaslighting, that is, making you doubt your thoughts, feelings, and sanity through manipulation. 
  • Putting you down, publicly embarrassing you, or calling you names. 
  • Trying to cause fear by intimidating or threatening you. 
  • Isolating you from your family and friends or stopping you from doing the things you love. 
  • Controlling, withholding, or stealing your money, or trying to prevent you from studying or working. 
  • Trivializing your concerns, withholding affection, and giving you the silent treatment.
  • Being possessive, jealous, or controlling. 

Of course, these are just some of the forms emotional abuse can take. Everybody’s situation is unique, and you or someone you know may have an entirely different experience with this kind of abuse. 

What Are The Psychological Effects Of Emotional Abuse?

Ongoing emotional abuse can result in a wide range of effects, some of which can be nearly invisible. Overall, emotional abuse can cause feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, and self-doubt. These effects can linger and cause long-term harm to your sense of self, as well as result in a number of health problems, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and more. 

Unfortunately, this form of abuse can make it difficult for the individual to leave the relationship. Instead, they may remain trapped out of fear or belief that they aren’t good enough for anybody else. 

Short-Term Effects 

The emotional toll of this form of abuse can cause various short term effects, including: 

  • Confusion and fear
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness 
  • Shame and guilt 
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Nightmares
  • Moodiness
  • Racing heartbeat, and more 

Long-Term Effects 

With prolonged emotional abuse, you may also develop: 

  • Chronic pain 
  • Insomnia
  • Persistent guilt
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal 

How Do You Break The Cycle Of Emotional Abuse?

Recognizing emotional abuse is the first step towards dealing with it. If you are honest about your relationships and any abusive patterns that may be at play, you can start taking control of your life. Here are some tips: 

  1. Put yourself first:

    This means taking care of your own mental and physical needs first and foremost. Try to stop worrying about pleasing others and especially the individual inflicting the abuse.

  2. Create healthy boundaries:

    Try to set better boundaries between yourself and the person, making sure to follow through on them. Keep in mind that this can be difficult, yet highly effective. 

  3. Don’t blame yourself:

    Being in an abusive relationship can cause feelings of worthlessness and severe guilt. Remember that you aren’t the problem and aren’t to blame for the abuse. 

  4. Try not to engage:

    Engaging with an abusive individual is often futile. Don’t try to explain, rationalize, or make apologies. Instead, try to keep your distance and avoid engaging in arguments or even better, try to walk away from the situation altogether.

  5. Don’t try to fix them:

    It is not your responsibility to change the individual who has abusive tendencies. Try to remind yourself that you have no control over their actions and choices.

  6. Find a good support network:

    Your friends and family can be of immense help if you are dealing with an abusive relationship. Talk to someone you trust and be open to receiving support and advice. You can also speak to a professional coach about your experiences.

  7. Devise an exit plan:

    If you feel like your relationship isn’t likely to change, it may be best to simply leave. While making such a decision can be difficult, it is often the best way to avoid long-term harm to your mental and physical health. 

Each experience with emotional abuse is unique. Try to speak about your experiences with trusted friends, family members, therapist, or a PIVOT coach/ to determine the best course of action in your situation. Opening up to your loved ones can give you a whole new perspective and help you begin to make a decision for your own well-being. 

Find Support And Guidance At A Compassionate Codependent Relationship Retreat

How Do You Break The Cycle Of Emotional Abuse

At PIVOT, we are fully dedicated to helping individuals and couples heal from their emotional wounds and build healthy foundations for their relationships. Whether you are dealing with a toxic relationship or need help regulating your emotions, our tailor-made relationship coaching sessions can provide you with the tools and resources you need. 

What’s more, we also have a range of insightful retreats and workshops designed to help facilitate meaningful and positive behavioral change. Because change is possible. 

Get in touch with us today and learn how to become a healthy, balanced adult. Call now. 

Emotional Dysregulation: Causes, Effects & Solutions

Do you find that you struggle with managing your emotions? Are your reactions deemed too explosive, intense, or inappropriate? 

If this is the case, you may find yourself relating to individuals with emotional dysregulation. This means that you may have an impaired ability to control and manage your emotional responses, whether it’s anger, frustration, sadness, or irritability. 

Emotional dysregulation is often noticed in childhood, and it can be resolved in adolescence, when a person learns adequate self-regulation strategies and skills

However, dysregulation can often continue into adulthood. When this happens, people can experience a variety of struggles, including issues with romantic relationships, professional and educational performance, and more. 

There are a variety of options for individuals and couples struggling with relationship management due to emotional dysregulation, including a variety of workshop activities, coaching sessions, and self-help strategies. Keep on reading to find out what emotional dysregulation is and how you can deal with it. 

What Causes Emotional Dysregulation?

Can Anxiety Cause Emotional Dysregulation

How does emotional dysregulation happen? Why do some people manage to stay calm and collected while others struggle not to choke up or rage at the first sign of a problem? 

Well, there are several possible causes of emotional dysregulation in adults. The one cause that stands out is traumatic childhood experiences. This may mean neglect or abuse from a parent or caregiver. 

Additionally, you may also develop emotional dysregulation because your parent or caregiver also struggled with it. If you aren’t taught to regulate your emotions in your childhood, it is likely that you will experience issues with them in adulthood, since kids aren’t born with natural emotional regulation skills. 

Can Anxiety Cause Emotional Dysregulation?

Emotional dysregulation can also be a sign as well as a risk factor for some mental health disorders, including anxiety. 

If you have emotional dysregulation, you may be prone to anxious behaviors that might interfere with your social and professional interactions. For instance, may have an intense fear of abandonment in your romantic relationships, experiencing anxiety whenever you and your partner are apart. This can distance you from your partner and further exacerbate your anxiety

What Does Emotion Dysregulation Look Like?

If you have emotional dysregulation as an adult, you might experience a range of issues with controlling your impulses and reactions. Some examples may include the following:

  1. Disturbed sleeping.

    You may sleep too much or too little, or you might have an inconsistent sleeping schedule due to your emotional dysregulation. 

  2. Trouble letting go.

    You may hold grudges or have difficulties letting go of negative experiences. 

  3. Taking things too seriously.

    Do you tend to blow arguments out of proportion? This can have a detrimental effect on your romantic relationships.

  4. Issues with conflicts.

    If you have emotional dysregulation, you may struggle resolving conflicts or speaking your mind.

  5. Anger issues.

    Do you find yourself struggling with keeping your anger in check? This is also a common symptom of emotional dysregulation.

  6. Mood instability.

    You may experience shifting, unstable moods that can affect your romantic relationships and friendships.

If you need more concrete examples, here’s what emotional dysregulation can look like:  

  • You resort to emotional eating or cry all night if your partner doesn’t go out with you or goes out with their friends. 
  • You feel isolated at a family dinner, while everyone else seems to be having fun. You go to the bathroom to cry or return home and overeat. 
  • You struggle identifying your emotions when you become upset. Your anger or sadness can overwhelm or confuse you. 

Can You Fix Emotional Dysregulation?

Dealing with emotional dysregulation can be a difficult and lengthy process. Still, you can move from unstable and intense emotions to clear, calm thinking. Here’s what you can do: 

  • Focus on the one single idea that is important to you and work towards bringing it to life. Make sure that the idea is in line with your core values. 
  • Learn how to identify your emotions and differentiate maladaptive patterns from those that serve you. 
  • Recognize the triggers for your alarm reactions and impulsive behaviors. Keep in mind that these triggers can be incredibly subtle. 
  • Try to notice the difference between your alarm-driven thinking patterns and the way you make sense of things when you’re calm. 
  • Think about your goals and try to see which are driven by your unregulated emotions and which come from clear and thoughtful consideration. 
  • Identify which life choices serve you in the long run. Learn how to break old relationship patterns and cherish healthy boundaries. 
  • Learn conflict resolution strategies and build your tolerance for managing difficult or uncomfortable feelings. 
  • Start being proactive. Take action toward your goals and remind yourself that you can get there with a bit of time and effort. 
  • Speak with a professional relationship coach to get insightful advice and guidance on regulating emotions and facilitating behavioral change.

Even if you feel like there’s no escaping your emotions, know that it is possible to clear your thoughts and ground yourself. With appropriate support and a bit of motivation, you can start replacing your maladaptive relationship patterns with new ones, designed to serve you and bring you closer to emotional balance. Using the right strategies can help you build a better foundation for healthy relationships as well as improve your overall well-being. 

Looking For A Romantic Relationship Building Skills Workshop? Call PIVOT Now

What Does Emotion Dysregulation Look Like

PIVOT is here to help you balance your emotions and develop strategies for clearer thinking. We bring you well-crafted coaching designed for individuals and couples, as well as a variety of relationship building skills workshops. Whether you are struggling with opening up to your partner or suffer from intense guilt in your relationship, our dedicated staff will be able to help you with expertise and kindness. 

We have the compassion, knowledge, and experience to provide you with resources and skills that will bring you closer to better relationships with your romantic partners, friends, and family. Reach out to a PIVOT advocate now and take the first step towards a happier, more meaningful life

Relationship Anxiety: What Is It & How Can I Deal With It?

Every relationship has its own unique ups and downs, trials and tribulations, mountains to climb and rivers to cross. Issues arise, problems get resolved, emotions deepen, grow, change, and evolve. Even partners in a close relationship go through different experiences and lead different lives, both together and apart.

However, what happens if one or both partners start experiencing anxiety in their relationship? How can you enjoy your relationship and the good times it brings if you’re constantly feeling uneasy and under pressure? And, most importantly – how can you hope to overcome it and start enjoying your relationship?

Love avoidance intensive workshops can help immensely. It can set you on the path to resolving all the uneasiness and anxiety you might be facing, and help both you and your relationship. You can also explore the potential reasons behind your relationship anxiety and methods for overcoming it before turning to professional advocates for help. 

Why Am I Uneasy About My Relationship?

How Do You Know If You Have Relationship Anxiety

The feeling of uneasiness in a relationship is common. There comes a time in many relationships when one or both partners seem to struggle. These are the times when anxiety starts seeping in, making you feel restless and dissatisfied in your relationship. At these moments, you can even start losing sight of all the good aspects of your relationship and instead focus all your attention on the heavy negative emotions you are experiencing. 

And this hits hard, extremely hard. Especially if you have, or had, few reasons to feel anxious about your relationship before. Smooth and pleasant sailing only to be greeted with a sudden perfect storm of anxiety towards your relationship and your partner? Why?

The reasons for this burst of relationship uneasiness can sometimes be sudden and unexpected. They can also be the result of long-standing growing unhappiness and emotional neglect that have culminated, making you feel this way. These are only some of the reasons behind relationship anxiety:

  • Fearing your own emotional vulnerability
  • A time in your life that is bringing about significant change (starting a family, retirement, etc.)
  • Being exposed to negative and unhealthy family relationships when growing up
  • Past wounds from lack of childhood affection from parents
  • Aging
  • Excessive build-up of stress
  • Insufficient and improper communication with your partner
  • Negative experience from previous relationships that ended in extreme emotional turmoil
  • Fear of being negatively evaluated or not accepted by your partner
  • Fear of your partner leaving you

What Is Relationship Anxiety?

In plain words, relationship anxiety is a prolonged feeling of constant worrying and excessive emotional negativity on your part. Relationship anxiety is not something that happens solely in bad and unhealthy relationships. It can happen even in the happiest of times. Which does not make it easier. Not at all.

Imagine having a loving and caring partner. You have understanding, emotional and physical intimacy, and everything seems to be going smoothly. Until it isn’t. You begin overthinking and worrying about different aspects of your relationship. Will these good times last? Is this really the person for me? Are they hiding a secret I don’t know?

This can further spiral out of control. Anxiety is difficult to deal with and overcome even in healthy and happy relationships. It is particularly challenging to recognize in relationships that are going through a rough patch. It’s hard, it’s physically and emotionally exhausting, and it prevents you from enjoying a good relationship, while making a bad one worse. This is relationship anxiety. 

How Do You Know If You Have Relationship Anxiety?

Relationship anxiety is, at the same time, easy and difficult to detect. Why? Because it requires a good degree of becoming introspective and recognizing how you are feeling. You also need to  be completely open and honest about yourself, and be able to take a step back, evaluate your own actions and feelings, and draw conclusions. 

Telltale signs of relationship anxiety are easy to read, understand, and detect in others. Yet, it may be extremely difficult to see in yourself. Here are some of the most common signs that you might be anxious:

  • Thinking about whether or not you matter to your partner
  • Constantly doubting the feelings your partner has for you 
  • Worrying about your partner breaking up and leaving you
  • Fostering doubts about the long-term compatibility of your relationship
  • Sabotaging your relationship by
    • Picking fights without an apparent reason
    • Refusing to discuss obvious issues
    • Putting relationship boundaries to the test
  • Reading too much into your partner’s actions and words
  • Focusing on the bad and not paying attention to the good

How Do I Fix Relationship Anxiety?

Fixing and overcoming relationship anxiety is a complex and lengthy process. You need to be prepared to take it in stages, take it slow, and take it head on. It can be difficult, it can be emotionally draining. However, know that the end is worth the struggles. 

Qualified coaches are there to help you if you hit a rough spot, or you find yourself lingering without a solution to your anxiety. However, first try to pay attention to several things that can really help with alleviating your anxiety and getting you back on the path to healthy relationships:

  • Be mindful, recognize when negative thoughts start piling up, and allow them to pass without holding on to them.
  • Try to practice good and healthy communication with your partner. Use “I” statements, express your feelings, and be a good listener. 
  • Try not to immediately act on your negative thoughts and feelings. Process them, think them through, and act only when you’re certain they are more than an impulse. 

PIVOT Has Created Love Avoidance Intensive Coaching That Can Help Resolve Anxiety In Your Relationship

What Is Relationship Anxiety

Constantly feeling anxious and uneasy in your relationship is the complete opposite of the loving, caring, and freeing sensation you want and hope to have. That’s what makes relationship anxiety extremely difficult to deal with and successfully overcome. Everything becomes even more complicated when you take into account all the potential reasons behind it.

Sometimes, anxiety in your relationship can stem from constantly avoiding even the healthy forms of conflict, or from past traumas and problems with bonding in a relationship. On other occasions, the reasons behind your anxiety can be even more severe, such as withstanding ongoing emotional abuse from your partner. If you find yourself struggling to pinpoint the cause behind your constant feelings of unhappiness and anxiety, and if you need a way to overcome those negative and burdening emotions, turn to PIVOT. We organize individual workshops for resolving emotional issues in relationships, as well as group coaching sessions to help you overcome anxiety. We are here to give you the help and the support you need.

Opening Up Emotionally: Why Do I Struggle & How Can I Overcome My Fears?

Opening up is very difficult for many people. Letting your guard down, allowing yourself to become vulnerable for even a second can seem like too much to handle. Why deal with the potential consequences of a negative emotional aftermath and pain? It seems a lot easier to simply remain distant and detached for some.

What about positive emotions, the lifting gorgeous feeling of sharing your deepest, innermost emotions with another person and receiving an equally open response? Is it better to walk through life protecting yourself from experiencing the bad if that also means preventing yourself from experiencing the good?

It’s not easy, we all know it. Everybody hurts, and the fear of getting hurt is real and tough to deal with. However, missing out on the beautiful moments in life can also hurt and leave behind a scent of bitter regret. That is why it’s worth trying to resolve the intimacy problems in a relationship. Let’s see how you can start. 

Why Do I Struggle To Open Up?

What Does It Mean To Open Up Emotionally

For some people, being open with their emotions is easy. They have the ability to freely share their deepest feelings with their close ones, without fearing emotional backlash. For others, the fear of opening up is simply too great. The potential emotional benefits of doing so vastly pale in comparison to the prospect of their feelings being used against them. They fear the pain. 

And that’s understandable. None of us want to hurt. None of us want to feel used, mistreated, and emotionally abused. We don’t want our emotions thrown back at us, warped beyond recognition. Some of us take the plunge, while others remain wary of showing their true colors to even those closest to them. 

There are many reasons for struggling to open up and fearing being emotionally manipulated after doing so. None of these reasons are easy to overcome and all of them can leave deep emotional scars in all of us.

  • Fear of becoming vulnerable in front of somebody else
  • There are insecurities about sharing your feelings with others and becoming emotionally available
  • Past experience of your own openness being greeted with manipulation and judgement
  • Detached relationships in your own family
  • Harboring fear of uncovering previous emotional traumas after opening up about your feelings
  • You have unfounded negative feelings about your own personality you don’t want others to see

What Does It Mean To Open Up Emotionally?

The simplest way to explain emotional openness is this – you allow people to get to know and experience the true you with all your beautiful aspects and imperfections. It means breaking down the barriers that surround you. This way, you will give others a chance to see everything you are and make yourself available for new experiences. 

And that’s exactly why becoming emotionally open can be so tough. And scary. Horrifying even. When you open up, you do so for the good and for the potentially bad. That can be rough, and no one wants to go be faced with negative emotions. However, without taking the risk, it’s difficult to experience all the beautiful things life has to offer. This is where boundaries and the choosing who you open up to matter greatly. In PIVOT, we use Relational Circle Boundaries to make it possible to begin to open up. 

Why Is It Important To Open Up To Others?

Opening up to others works both ways. You will get to share your positive and negative emotions with others, and you will also allow them to do the same with you. This helps deepen your personal relationships with both friends and your partner. 

However, what happens if you are scared to do so? What happens if you’re afraid of being vulnerable, of allowing yourself to become emotionally available to others only to hurt later on? Such thoughts are entirely normal and common. 

Some people simply find it too overwhelming to openly express their various feelings. Yet, at the same time, trying to save yourself from the potential negative consequences can also lead to negative consequences. 

Compare holding back your emotions to holding your breath. After a while, it becomes too difficult and painful. Instead, give it a shot, inhale the air, and see what happens. There are several benefits to opening up: 

  • Improving your connection to others
  • Understanding your own emotions better
  • Boosting your emotional resilience and stamina
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Improving your confidence
  • Experiencing a greater sense of freedom
  • Becoming open to new experiences

How Do You Open Up In A Relationship?

Your partner is one of the closest people to you. In a healthy relationship, they will be there for the good and the bad, the best and the worst. They will be there to pick you up when you’re down, and lift you up even further when you’re feeling good. 

Yet many of us stop ourselves from experiencing the benefits of an emotionally open relationship. We shut ourselves off even from our partners, fearing the vulnerability from doing so. 

Opening up takes courage and time, and once you get there you probably won’t want to go back. There are steps you can take to open up slowly and carefully:

  1. Get to know yourself and your own feelings.

    Identify what gets you down, and what makes you smile. Try to determine what situations and which people can hurt you.

  2. Listen to your partner and acknowledge their own feelings.

    Ask them how they react to your behavior and how they deal with your feelings. Get to know their own quirks and likes.

  3. Share your feelings with your partner.

    This is often the most difficult part as you begin to actually open up. Take it slow and share both the positive and the negative feelings.

  4. Be open about the pains and fears originating in your past.

    This can bring about a sense of relief and deeper emotional connection.

  5. Honesty is the best policy.

    Try to be as honest and open as possible when sharing your feelings and thoughts with your partner, and ask them to do the same in return. Honesty is a cornerstone of healthy relationships.

  6. Don’t be afraid of making emotional mistakes.

    Opening up is a journey, and there are going to be missteps. Don’t be hard on yourself, and have understanding for your partner’s mistakes too. Welcome them as a means to understand more about each other.

Join PIVOT Relationship Intimacy Coaching Exercises And Start Opening Up To Others

Why Is It Important To Open Up To Others

There’s nothing easy about being unable to open up to others. To some, it may seem simple and easy to show your feelings, express your emotions, and share your inner thoughts and struggles with others. However, the matter is often a lot more complicated and difficult that it can initially look, and becoming emotionally open can be a terrifying prospect. 

The reasons behind emotional unavailability and closedness are many and varied. They can originate from excessive past emotional abuse, or they can be linked to being betrayed once or several times in your relationship. Sometimes, there is no honesty in a relationship that would facilitate open exchanges of both positive and negative emotions. 

All this can become detrimental to you and your partner, as well as your relationship. That is why PIVOT has designed both group emotional coaching workshops for resolving emotional issues, as well as individual coaching retreats that can help with trying to open up and resolve underlying issues. Our experienced advocates are here to help you resolve the problems you have and start enjoying the freedom of emotions. 

The Signs & Effects of Guilt in Relationships

Most people feel guilty from time to time. You may feel guilt because you feel like you’ve done something wrong. Or you may even feel guilt for having a thought. Or, you may feel guilt when your thoughts and behaviors don’t match the expectations of your family or culture. The ways we experience and respond to guilt can vary greatly, as not everyone processes their emotions in the same way. 

However negative your associations with feelings of guilt may be, its purpose can actually be quite positive. Look at it this way: if an action causes you to feel negative emotions or has a negative consequence, you’ll probably feel guilty later on. This is your mind’s way of informing you that what you did was “wrong”, at least by your own standards. Essentially, guilt serves an important role in helping you make morally sound decisions. 

Unfortunately, guilt can turn excessive and cause a variety of obsessive or depressive tendencies that can damage your overall well-being and your relationships. If you experience excessive guilt on a regular basis, you may want to start by understanding the reasons why and devising ways to cope. 

Fortunately, there are numerous ways that you can minimize the effects of guilt, including sessions with a relationship coach, healthy relationship workshop activities, honest communication, and self-reflection. In the meantime, read on to learn more about guilt. 

What Causes Feelings Of Guilt?

Guilt can creep up on you for a whole range of reasons, some of which are perfectly rational. Others, not so much. 

Rational Guilt 

Rational guilt arises when you feel like you’ve done something wrong, that is, you’ve violated your own values and are going against your moral compass. For example, you may feel guilt because you have: 

  • Hurt someone. 
  • Cheated. 
  • Lied. 
  • Otherwise broken your own moral code. 

This form of guilt helps you regulate your social behavior and keep you on the right track toward achieving your goals. Nevertheless, even rational guilt can eat away at you, especially if you struggle with changing your behaviors. 

Irrational Guilt 

Irrational guilt is a different animal. It tends to come from our “shoulds”, that is, the rules we impose on ourselves. For instance, you may feel irrational guilt for: 

  • Mistakenly assuming responsibility for other people’s feelings and behaviors. 
  • Feeling like you are a burden to your loved ones. 
  • Feeling like you haven’t done enough to make people happy. 
  • Feeling like you’re not doing anything meaningful in your life. 
What Are The Signs Of Guilt

Of course, these are just a couple of examples of irrational guilt. You may feel guilt for a wide variety of different reasons unique to you. However, no matter the cause, irrational guilt can impact your mood, reduce your productivity and concentration, damage your relationships and actions in numerous ways. 

The difficult thing about irrational guilt is that it can easily disguise itself as rational guilt. After all, who says that it’s irrational to feel guilty about not spending enough time with your family? Or to feel guilty because you’re not taking enough opportunities in your life because of your perceived laziness? The thing is, this sort of reasoning often comes from an underlying anxiety or thoughts that you imported without reflection. If left to linger, irrational guilt can nag at you, regardless of what you actually do. In a sense, it tends to become even more irrational over time. 

What Are The Signs Of Guilt?

Guilt can result in a variety of physical, social, and emotional symptoms that influence your daily actions. Some of these may include the following: 

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stomach and digestion problems 
  • Muscle tension
  • Heightened sensitivity to the effects of your actions
  • Feeling overwhelmed by decision making 
  • An extreme tendency to put others’ needs before your own 
  • Impaired self-esteem 
  • A persistent tendency to avoid uncomfortable emotions 

How Guilt Can Ruin A Relationship

Excessive guilt can have a detrimental effect on your romantic relationships. Ask yourself how many things in your life do you do out of guilt and obligation? Or out of fear that you may be losing your partner?  

You may go along with what your partner wants (or what you think they want) because you fear they may find someone better and leave you. Or you might fear being judged by your partner’s family and friends, so you try to impress them. As you can see, guilt and fear often go hand in hand. Together, they may cause feelings of uneasiness in your relationship, make it harder for you to open up, and cause feelings of resentment.

Evaluate the ways in which you respond to feelings of guilt – you may find that it controls your life far more than you thought, especially when it comes to intimate relationships. 

How Do You Deal With Guilt In A Relationship?

It can be quite hard to let go of persistent relationship patterns, especially when they are fueled by guilt. Still, you can learn to handle excessive guilt and overcome its effects. Here are some guidelines: 

  • Develop better self-regulation skills and take action if you feel that your guilt is justified. 
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation to put your guilt into perspective. 
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself and learn forgiveness. 
  • Learn from your guilt and your mistakes. 
  • Keep your perfectionism in check and remember that your perspective may be skewed by your high expectations. 
  • Speak with a relationship coach and discuss your guilt in depth to gain a new perspective. 

Visit A PIVOT Couple Workshop For Deepening Your Relationship

How Guilt Can Ruin A Relationship

Whether you are dealing with rational or irrational feelings of guilt, speaking with a knowledgeable and compassionate relationship coach can be of great help. At PIVOT, we are dedicated to helping you and others like you develop a healthy relationship with emotions and facilitate positive behavioral change. 

Whether you opt for our individual coaching sessions or attend any of our intensive relationship workshops and retreats, we can provide you with invaluable tools and resources to help you on your journey towards becoming a healthy adult. Contact PIVOT now to learn more. 

Repeating Old Relationship Patterns: Why We Do It & How To Break The Cycle

Do you find yourself repeating the same frustrating patterns in your relationships, over and over again? 

Have some of your romantic relationships been dysfunctional in a similar way? And have they been eerily similar to your childhood relationships? 

If this resonates, don’t worry. Humans are habit-driven beings who go with what’s familiar, and relationships are no exception. And patterns that we witness or learn in childhood are some of the most familiar and more impactful as a result. 

It doesn’t make sense to repeat the patterns that once hurt you, does it? Why would someone who experienced emotional abuse want to go through it again? 

Well, it’s complicated, of course. To help shed some light, we will discuss why we repeat patterns, how to break them, and how speaking with a relationship coach may help. Read on. 

Do People Repeat Patterns In Relationships?

What Is An Example Of A Dysfunctional Relationship Pattern

Yes, they do. Although the repeated behaviors don’t have to be dysfunctional, most people learn many of their behaviors from their parents and caregivers. These behaviors are often habitual and automatic, which can make changing them particularly difficult, and sometimes virtually impossible. 

In addition to learning behaviors from your parents or caregivers, you can also pick up unhealthy patterns in your romantic relationships in adolescence and adulthood. Unfortunately, the impact of such behavioral patterns is often heightened if the relationship is abusive or otherwise emotionally challenging.  

What Is An Example Of A Dysfunctional Relationship Pattern? 

In a sense, there may be as many dysfunctional relationship patterns as there are people. Still, here are some examples that may ring true: 

  • Individuals with overbearing parents have deep fears of commitment.
  • Kids with emotionally distant parents are emotionally distant themselves however they can cling on to unavailable people.
  • People who were in a codependent relationship end up in another codependent relationship.
  • People with erratic or moody family members are drawn to similar people in their adult relationships. 
  • Anxious individuals with avoidant parents are drawn to avoidant partners, too 

The list goes on and on. You can probably imagine a variety of similar scenarios yourself. And it seems that most of them indicate the same thing – we repeat behaviors learned in childhood. 

Why Do People Repeat Relationship Patterns?

Numerous factors can cause us to repeat unhealthy or destructive patterns of behavior. Here are some examples: 

  • You repeat what is familiar to you regardless of merit. People tend to repeat familiar subconscious and conscious behaviors because they know what to expect from them. This is true for many other things in life, as well. It’s often easier to choose the familiar over the unknown. 
  • You repeat what you learned. The behavioral patterns, beliefs, and coping mechanisms you learned in childhood probably have a significant impact on your behavior in adulthood. Since they are so ingrained in your psyche, they can be incredibly hard to change. Beliefs, behavior, what’s “right” etc. 
  • You unconsciously repeat traumatic experiences. While it may seem counterintuitive, people who felt unloved, rejected, or hurt in childhood may recreate the traumatic experiences in adulthood. This may be an unconscious effort to master the experience and accept it. Unfortunately, this often means simply that you end up in similarly dysfunctional relationships without managing to change a thing. 
  • You sabotage yourself because you think you deserve it. Traumatized children often grow up thinking that they deserve punishment. They may be told that they are the reason why their family is so dysfunctional or they may be blamed in a less direct manner and internalize the shame. As a result, they may seek emotionally painful relationships in adulthood as punishment. 

How Do You Break Old Relationship Patterns?

If you have identified dysfunctional patterns in your romantic relationship, it may be time to take the first step towards breaking them. By exploring your past and its effects on your present, you can learn to let go of old patterns that no longer serve you. Try the following steps: 

1. Start By Being Honest With Yourself

Awareness, as a first step towards acceptance, is crucial if you want to change deeply ingrained behaviors. This means committing to honesty and exploring your own beliefs, values, and thoughts in depth. Journaling may be a good idea, too, as it can help you express your thoughts in a clear manner and gain a new perspective.

2. Explore Your Past

Since many of your dysfunctional relationship patterns probably come from childhood, exploring the past seems like a reasonable place to start. Think about your relationship with your family and how it may have influenced your personality and behavior now. Also, what was the relationship between your parents like? How did their relationship affect you and your siblings? Speaking with a professional about your dysfunctional family patterns can be helpful in creating a clearer picture of your childhood. 

3. Look At Your Relationship Objectively And Be Proactive

If you are in a romantic relationship and feel like you are repeating unhealthy patterns, you can begin to change them by first being realistic and proactive. This means trying to see your relationship in an objective light and taking action to modify the aspects of it that can be modified. If you keep thinking that you can’t get your relationship healthy and you have tried so many things, you may want to consider leaving it, if the dysfunctional behavior is taking a toll on your health.

4. Learn From Failed Relationships

When one relationship ends, it can leave behind a series of clues about the ways you could improve future relationships. You can reflect on what went wrong and try to learn from the mistakes. Remember, however, that both you and your partner may be to blame for the failure of the relationship. Regardless of who’s to blame, you can gain invaluable insight from unsuccessful relationships and learn how to improve them.

Speak With A Remote Relationship Coach Now 

Why Do People Repeat Relationship Patterns

Do you need help uncovering unhealthy relationship patterns? Or are you struggling to overcome feelings of guilt? Contact PIVOT today and let us help you understand the complexities of attachment and begin transforming your relationships. We offer a wide range of relationship workshops for couples and singles, all designed to help you heal and work on becoming a healthier, happier adult. Contact us now. 

Strategies For Improving Self-Regulation

Have you ever wondered how some people manage to resist their temptations so easily while others struggle? Or how someone can remain calm in an emotionally tense situation? 

Issues with discipline, healthy emotional expression, impulse control, and delaying gratification can all be linked to one skill: self-regulation. 

In the most basic sense, self-regulation means controlling your behavior, thoughts, and emotions to achieve long-term goals. It helps you manage strong and disruptive impulses and emotions. Self-regulation is also what allows you to act consistently with your deeply held values and pick yourself up after a disappointment. 

If you are struggling with regulating your emotions, maintaining healthy connections with others, and achieving your goals, speaking with a relationship coach may help. In the meantime, read on to learn more about self-regulation and how you can learn this vital skill. 

What Is Self-Regulation Behavior?

What Is An Example Of Self-Regulation

Self-regulation can be understood as your ability to manage your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts to boost your well-being, maintain loving relationships, and facilitate learning. It is how you deal with stressful situations in your life. How you achieve your goals and lay the foundation for long-term success. Self-regulation requires self-awareness, effective stress management, emotional intelligence, sustaining focus, and overcoming temptations. 

How you self regulate in your adulthood is directly related to your childhood experiences. As a toddler, you probably threw a tantrum or two. Ideally, kids learn to tolerate strong emotions and grow into adults who can control their impulses. 

Unfortunately, not all children receive the same level of affection and support. If you struggle with keeping your emotions in check now, it is likely that one or more of your needs were not met when you were growing up. And there’s no shame in that. By learning effective self-regulation strategies, you can develop the ability to face social, cognitive, and emotional threats with thoughtfulness and patience. 

What Is An Example Of Self-Regulation?

If you can effectively self regulate, you’ll be able to understand and adequately manage your behavior and emotional reactions. Here are some more specific examples: 

  • You are able to regulate reactions to strong or uncomfortable emotions such as excitement and frustration. 
  • You can calm down after a distressing or exciting situation. 
  • You are able to focus on a task as well as start new tasks.
  • You can control your impulses.
  • You can manage your emotions in a way that helps you connect with others.

What Are The Benefits Of Self-Regulation?

How does this improve your everyday life? Actually, in a number of ways. You can: 

All of these skills can boost your overall well being and help you achieve balance in your personal relationships. Self-regulation is a step toward healing your inner wound. It’s a step to becoming a confident, healthy adult who relies on thoughtful compassion to create lasting bonds with others and achieve their long-term goals. 

Can Self-Regulation Improve My Relationship? 

What if you can’t regulate your emotions effectively in a relationship with a partner? You may be likely to struggle with an array of potentially damaging behaviors. You might be prone to denial and avoidance. You may have a tendency to withdraw from conflict and distance yourself from your partner. Or you might isolate yourself to avoid stress or rejection. While these are all normal behaviors in some situations, they can damage your relationship over time and make it difficult to maintain intimacy and set healthy boundaries

Effective self-regulation can help you communicate with your partner honestly and openly. It can also help you build trust and intimacy, as well as learn how to effectively deal with conflict. If you can manage your emotions and impulses, you’ll find it easier to be vulnerable and maintain a relationship based on integrity, openness, and trust. 

How Do You Develop Self-Regulation?

There are several ways in which you can learn how to better self regulate. It is possible to overcome certain behavioral patterns and develop this important skill. Here are some common strategies that may work for you:

  1. Mindfulness

    By allowing you to observe your feelings, thoughts, and behavior without judgment, mindfulness practices can help you improve your self-regulation skills.

  2. Identifying triggers and stressors

    Try to determine which situations and stressors trigger difficult emotions. This can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms.

  3. Cognitive reframing

    The process of cognitive reframing entails challenging your negative thoughts and replacing them with positive alternatives.

  4. Deliberate thinking

    Try taking your time to think things through rationally before you react to a situation. This will help you stay calm and consider all the consequences of your actions.

  5. Emotional literacy

    This means being able to identify emotions, understand them and find healthy ways to resolve difficult feelings. Emotional literacy helps you better understand both yourself and others and regulate difficult feelings.

In addition to learning better self-regulation skills, you can also get support from a knowledgeable and compassionate professional. Speaking with a relationship coach can help you improve these skills and build and maintain healthy relationships.

Speak With A Compassionate Remote Relationship Coach Today

What Are The Benefits Of Self-Regulation

At PIVOT, we strive to help couples and individuals develop healthy mechanisms for managing emotions and facilitating positive behavioral change. Do your emotions get the best of you? Does struggle maintaining lasting bonds sometimes seem impossible? Joining our carefully designed and tailored workshops can be a great first step to meaningful change. 

We are here for you, ready to offer insightful guidance and support on your path to achieving emotional wellbeing. Our team is experienced in helping individuals like you embrace their worth and overcome relational wounds. Contact us now to learn more about our modules and take the first step towards healing.