Deal Breakers

“Shut it down. Deal breaker.”

For many of us there have been relationships in our lives that have ended abruptly.   In Tina Fey’s humorous words, “Shut it down.  Deal breaker,” she orders us to walk away from what she deems an untenable relationship. 

There certainly are situations which endanger us physically or emotionally such that it becomes a health and safety issue for us.  Walking (running) away is an imperative.

However, there are many other times in our lives that something gets triggered for us during an interaction with another and we quickly cut off with that person.  Often we are reacting instead of responding to the situation.  To be able to reflect, even after the fact, on our choice to part company with that person, can be an amazing personal growth opportunity.  We may still decide not to have that person in our lives, but we will understand the underlying issues.

"It hit a nerve.  It pushed my buttons."  These expressions reveal a truth for us.  In my experience, if there is a reaction that seems out of proportion to the stimuli, then something very deep in us was triggered.  I call it a childhood moment.  Some issue way back in childhood is lying there unexplored, maybe even asleep in our unconscious and unknown to our conscious minds.

Most of the time, within a few sessions, I am able to help the client identify the old moments that are underneath these huge reactions.  The triggers may always remain part of us, but with understanding we will be free to choose different behaviors.