Firstly, have a look at the Energy Body Stress Chart below.
This is about EMOTIONAL STRESS - people talk of work stress and family stress and relationships stress, but STRESS is always an emotional problem.
Emotions are created by our energy bodies to let us know how we're doing on that level, and when our energy bodies get upset, we experience not just so called negative emotions, we become essentially more and more crazy, difficult to deal with, stroppy, aggressive, stupid, annoying and a pain in the arse to be around:
Now the first thing you need to do is to ask yourself the following questions.
The person you're having that stressy relationship with, on a really good day, when they are firing on all cylinders, what kind of person are they?
Become aware of that, of who they are on a good day. That is who they "really are" - it's how they're supposed to be all the time - if it wasn't for stress which disturbs their energy system.
Now, consider yourself on a good day. What kind of person are you? Likewise, that's who you really are when your energy system is working well.
So, that's a start.
What you need to do now is to look at the stress chart again, and become aware of where you and your loved ones are when your relationship gets very stressful.
What happens is that one person loses energy and goes down into being annoying and unreasonable.
This causes the other person in the relationship - you're connected by invisible energetic bonds! - likewise to immediately become stressed.
If not one or the other of you calls a halt and holds steady, you can enter into a stress loop that will end up with both of you behaving like complete lunatics.
I want you to know remember a few incidents when this has happened.
I want you to remember especially how it got started, how it got worse and how it escalated.
That's the stress feedback loop in relationships.
It is as simple as that, but it can be really dangerous to your health, and it can lead to physical altercations and injury, even death, if someone, somewhere doesn't put a stop to that stress escalation.
So next, I need you to understand that stressed people do and say things that mean nothing at all - only that they are really, really stressed.
Everybody starts spouting all sorts of nonsense when they are stressed, and the more stressed they are, the worse it becomes.
So here's a stress chart version of what stress does to your feelings towards a loved one.
- 10 - You are dead to me
- 9 - I wish I had never met you!
- 8 - I hate you and I will never ever forgive you!
- 7 - I hate you!
- 6 - You drive me crazy!
- 5 - You are so annoying!
- 4 - For God's sake, get a grip!
- 3 - (Eye roll)
- 2 - (Tuts and shakes head)
- 1 - (Sigh)
0 - I can take you or leave you
+1 - (Sigh)
+2 - You're okish.
+3 - You're ok.
+4 - You're nice.
+ 5 - You are very nice.
+ 6 - I really like you!
+ 7 - You're amazing!
+ 8 - I love you!
+ 9 - I love you so much!
+10 - I will love you forever.
This answers the question of, "Does this person really love me?"
At +10, they really do. They all do!
That's because people can't love at all until and unless they are in the high positives; until then, it's all a mess really.
Take this away:
When a true -10 has happened in a relationship, the relationship is dead and won't recover. That's when people leave people.
In any relationship, be this between lovers, partners, friends, or parents and children, brothers and sisters and such, the aim and purpose is to help each other have good energy, to be the best that you can be.
Or at least, it should be ...
For many of us, growing up with and living with very stressed people, being stressed ourselves and having stressful relationships with other people who are also highly stressed, that has never been our experience. We have virtually no role models for how to do this!
But it isn't hard at all.
Follow these steps.
1. Learn when and why you and your relationship partner/s are getting stressed. It's completely predictable and you can recognise the patterns once you start paying attention.
2. Learn what makes you and your relationship partner/s happy. What makes a person happy is what reduces stress. Some common things are loving touch, positive feedback, a cup of coffee, a smile, and directing their attention towards something they love, be this baseball, cars, jewellery or furry kittens.
3. Intervene early and before stress has gone so far, there is no chance of control left. Don't let stress spiral out of control. This is where No. 1 and 2 come in handy - if you know people's stress patterns and what de-stresses them (what makes them happy) you can take avoidance action early and avoid 99% of stress induced fights and madness.
4. Never give up and never surrender. This means that it doesn't matter if there was a stress outburst and madness ensuing, shit happens. Just start again the next day with the will to do better.
You have a lot more power than you think over other people's behaviours. Often, it is completely in your hands to change the stress levels in a person, simply by not fighting with them and finding some way to make them happy/happier, rather than fuelling the stress fire by getting stroppy and stressed yourself.
Learn to know the stress chart, and learn to assess people's stress levels fast and accurately.
Then respond appropriately.
Very stressed people have no attention span, no common sense, no intelligence, no empathy. Speak slowly, don't argue with them and find some way of making them happy/happier until they are at least stable enough to "come back to their senses."
That's them, just the same as it is you.
The first step though is to start really paying attention, and learning how and when stress starts, what makes it worse, and how this whole stress thing actually works.
It's fascinating, extremely educational and will give you the chance to make the course corrections you need to have a much more stress free relationship than you ever thought possible.
Author, Positive EFT