Tools for a happier relationship
Marital or couple’s counseling can provide tools for a happier relationship. All relationships encounter challenges from time to time.
One of the tools that a psychotherapist might use to help couples is called “breaking the cycle of negativity.”
What is the cycle of negativity?
When upsets or problems emerge, negative reactions can lead to a downward spiral. Rather than stepping back and taking an objective view, couples find themselves in heated arguments. One person asserts the other is wrong. Then the other person becomes defensive and throws the blame back in their partner’s face. In effect, an unhealthy, antagonistic shift occurs.
The word “cycle” means the behavior is cyclical. It occurs over and over as an emotionally reactive way of dealing with upsets or problems.
Needless to say, the cycle of negativity is damaging and can destroy relationships.
How can you break the cycle of negativity?
One way of breaking the cycle is to step into the other person’s viewpoint and do so selflessly. However, this does not mean you’re abandoning your own point-of-view. Instead, you are gaining empathy to understand the other person’s perspective. You care about them and do this knowingly and mindfully.
Through understanding, you can shift what’s happening from the negativity of emotional or verbal abuse back to the loving energy you first based your relationship on.
What is another say of breaking the cycle?
You can reject the negative view of the other person. For example, stop the loop of criticizing and finding fault. Shift your perspective to positivity. Think of times when you appreciated them, when their actions toward you were loving or kind. If you can tell them about that memory and how much you appreciate them, it might lift you both out of the loop.
Work on changing yourself
You can’t change someone else, but you can change your own perspective by trying to understand them and refocusing on positivity. More often than not, doing this has a beneficial impact on your partner as well.
(Reference: Psychology Today)