Triggered. Do you have a button that you simply cannot have pushed? Mine is very clear to me – whenever I feel like I am being treated unfairly or taken advantage off – BANG – I fly into a reactive state. It’s ugly. I get mad. The type of mad that makes me curse and name call. The type of mad that makes me instantly disconnect.
My partner wasn’t even aware this was happening this morning. He had no idea what wrath was waiting for him when he woke up. You see – as parents to a young child, our life and our schedules are a dance we are still learning the steps to. We rely on each other constantly. Last night before bed, I had stated I wanted to take advantage of Steve’s morning off work and head to the gym early myself. I’m usually limited to what I can do at home with our son, so the change in scenery is something that I look forward to.
This morning I was awake from 5:15am with our son, and in my mind – going to the gym early would be around 7:30am. Productivity is something I cannot shake. From the moment I wake up I’m pulled into action. I don’t like feeling like I’m wasting valuable time in my day, particularly in the morning when I feel most capable! I commit to morning movement before I start working or doing any jobs around the house. So I was left waiting for Steve to wake up so that I could leave for the gym.
Imagine the impatience that built within me as Steve slept past 7:30am and didn’t surface until just after 8:30am. I had been awake for hours. My impatience had reached its peak as he came down stairs and found me pounding my frustrations out on the treadmill – step after passive aggressive step because I had given up on going to the gym and decided to make do with the equipment I had at home (hello Groundhog Day).
Long story short – I let him know that I felt let down and unfairly treated and he responded with ‘isn’t this still the morning? Can’t you go now?’ Of course I could. What we have here is classic communication failure. I was completely vague in stating my expectations and then held him accountable to my vision of the day. I was mad at him, but I knew he hadn’t actually done anything wrong. In an instant I took accountability for my feelings (which is a no brainer – you have to) & my actions and ran across the room to throw my arms around him and apologise for my reactivity (and the choice words I had called him in my mind )
The moral of my story and the lesson in my morning is that when we want something, it is ok to ask for someone’s help and support – but we need to be crystal clear in what or expectations are. Being vague won’t produce precision. Steve is nothing but supportive – but he isn’t a mind reader. So I need to remember to be more explicit in the ways I ask for his help. Anger, resentment and frustration would only get in the way of having a good day. Step into those feelings when they arise but only to look at where they have come from and how you can choose a different outcome next time you are in a similar situation. When something isn’t going your way – look for ways to change it. Don’t just throw in the towel. Find a way rather than finding an excuse.
When we are working towards or health and fitness goals and juggling work, family, other commitments- we need the help and support of those closest to us. If you aren’t getting the support you need, don’t assume it’s because they don’t care.
Take a look at the way in which you are communicating your needs. >>Request don’t demand. >>Be specific and clarify expectations. >>Be flexible and have a back up plan (because shit happens). >>Don’t forget what’s really important (my relationship is more important than my workout. It’s not worth being nasty to the love of my life over some squats!!)
Click to listen to the Moxon Weighs In Podcast Episode where we explore this argument (from both sides of the story!!) & dive deep into the way in which Imago Relationship Therapy could have prevented this blow up!