The Importance of Personal Awareness In our Relationships

A woman appears to be at peace. This demonstrates concepts discussed in counseling in Atlanta, GA.

Many times, when I am counseling people, I often hear the statements like the following. “He makes me so mad.” “If she would just stop talking so much, I could have peace.” “He makes me yell because he never says anything. He acts like I’m not there.”

This is something I’ve heard a time or two in counseling.

The statements above usually occur in arguments and are part of what I call our reactive cycle. While these statements have a perception of truth to them, they are not the whole story. The part of the story that is missing is our own personal awareness.  In our reactive cycles, our partner usually says or does something that triggers an emotional wound within us.  These emotional wounds are areas in which we have been hurt. These wounds could have occurred in our families, on the playground, at work, or in other areas of our lives. The important thing to understand is that we have been hurt, and we react whenever something or somebody presses on our emotional wounds.

Whenever our wound is pressed, we usually react automatically.

A couple appears unhappy. It appears they could benefit from marriage counseling in Atlanta, GA.

And that reaction usually happens against our partners. Taking for example the person that yells when they are neglected. The wound probably comes initially from some form of isolation or neglect in a person’s life. Maybe a former partner neglected you. Maybe your parents neglected you. Maybe a group of friends teased and isolated you on the playground.

The wound was created. 

When we enter our relationship, we have the chance for growth, but with that growth comes the opportunity to heal our attachment and emotional wounds. You have experienced neglect, and you react by yelling. That reaction of yelling may trigger a wound in your partner and they withdraw, which creates more frustration due to neglect in you. Your partner is often withdrawing or going silent because they do not feel safe. The yelling triggered an emotional wound within them. So, you yell and pursue, and your partner goes silent and withdraws, and it continues onward. You are in the reactive cycle.

Why does personal awareness matter?

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Personal awareness allows us to recognize when our anxiety occurs, and find healthy ways to address it. So, in the situation above, the person becomes aware that when they are neglected that they pursue and yell in order to get attention. When you notice that you are yelling, you can ask for a timeout in the discussion, back away, and do something that will allow you to settle down and calm your emotions. Once that is done, you can come back to a discussion where it is safer emotionally. A safe place allows us to discuss what is going on in our hearts and souls – heart talks, and discuss the business aspects of marriage – work talks.

Counseling can help you reach this.

It is important for us to know our personal wounds and how we react when those wounds are triggered. Personal awareness is the beginning of this process. Once we understand, we can work on situations that would trigger our anxiety, or anger, or sadness, and build strategies in our lives to act in those situations instead of reacting. When we act, we begin to work on resolving the challenges we face in our lives and in our relationships.

Begin Individual Counseling in Atlanta, GA

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Individual counseling in Atlanta, GA allows you space and resources to navigate the issues you’re experiencing in your relationship. And, interpersonally. We are able to provide you quality services through online therapy or in person at our Atlanta counseling practice. When you’re ready to begin individual counseling in Atlanta, GA, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out an online appointment request. 
  2. Get to know our team of counselors. 
  3. Heal the emotional wounds that are affecting your relationship.

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