What are Your "Patterns of Behavior"? 

Posted By on Jan 10, 2014 |

Several years ago I became aware that about every six months I would go through some kind of crisis. I would get mad at my husband or get upset with someone or something in my life. It didn’t seem to be any one thing, I would just get upset and create a crisis.
When I became conscious of my behavior I started asking questions of myself when I became upset. There didn’t seem to be any triggers, I just would get upset. I felt like my world was falling apart, yet really nothing had changed except my perception of my reality. I was creating chaos in my life for no good reason, accept for getting an adrenalin rush. In a few days I would feel better, but the impact that it had for my husband was lasting. It created insecurity for him because some of the time the upset was directed at him and I would blame him for the way I was feeling. I am sure he was confused about my irrational behaviors.
Since I have become aware of my patterns, I am able to control them much better. Sometimes I feel it creeping up on me, but sometimes I do not. It has been a long time since I have had an upset and I feel more in control of my life. I realize more and more how my thoughts and beliefs about things can dictate my behaviors toward life.
When I apply Philippians 4: 6-9 to my thoughts, that helps me stay on track. I can only have peace when my mind is fixed on what is right, pure, lovely, and good. Peace will be the by-product of keeping my thoughts focused on the right things. When I am anxious, I am not trusting.
I have found that the problem is usually not “The Problem”. The problem is how I am interpreting the problem and how I react to it. My beliefs about the event and how I perceive it determine my reaction. The way I react is a reflection of what is going on inside of me.
The equation that I use to help me respond to situations and not react is E+R=O. E stands for event, R stands for my response and O stands for the outcome. I cannot always control the events, situations or people in my life, but I can control how I respond to them. If I want a good outcome I have to stop and ask myself, what is the best way to respond to this situation to get the outcome that I want. If I want to have a closer relationship with someone, then I need to respond in a way that will foster safety and acceptance for the other person. If I react with defensiveness then they will do the same and the outcome is distance not intimacy and understanding.
Creating safe relationships is not easy and it takes conscious work and practice to make it better. It is a life long journey of learning. If we are in relationship with someone who is very insecure, then we do not have control of how they will see life and if they view us as the enemy it can be very hard.
If you would like more information on building good relationships, I recommend “Safe People” by Townsend and Cloud. The book gives guidelines on how to find safe people so we do not get into relationships that are destructive. “Boundaries” is another good book for building healthy relationships.