In DBT class this week we started Interpersonal Effectiveness skills. The primary goal of this module is to get our needs met while maintaining relationships and our self-respect.
To start addressing how to change relationships, we must be aware of our specific dynamics that are ineffective. These are established in our values and beliefs, which when set up effectively, will serve us through out our lives.
However, some of these beliefs have become myths. In their rigidity, they create the difficulty in our lives. We have to think about what we want to change.
What have been some of the best relationships or experiences you've had?
Who are people or relationships in your life (fictional, too!) who exhibit the qualities that you would like?
What are some the worst experiences you've had in a relationship?
What are patterns that seem to keep coming up for you?
Where do you want to be with relationships?
These are some of the questions you can start to explore. Some of the answers you get will feel right on a gut level. Some of them will cause a fear response - tearing up, a knot in your throat, a falling of your stomach, tension of the muscles, or perhaps avoidance. Those are the ones that probably need to be addressed. Those are usually the myths that were set by invalidation or dismissal at some point in your life. For example, a myth might be, "I can never ask for anything for myself because it's selfish." This might have been told to you as a child or perhaps by a partner. A challenge to that myth would be, "I can ask for somethings for myself and it's a form of self-care."
Even if you don't see the options, they are there. You can challenge your myths to create the relationships you want for a fulfilling life. Let me know if you have any other questions on challenging your myths; it will change the script of life as your know it!