November 9, 2007
November 9, 2007

Resentment Backfires

Some of my clients make this remark about their deteriorating situation, “S/he has changed, but s/he will go back to the way s/he was, so why should I pay any attention to it?”

My question is, “If it is what you have been asking for all along, why are you discarding it?” The clients responses are all the same, “Because it’s false. It’s not permanent.”

My response is: ”Now let me get this straight. There has been an improvement?”

“Well yes.”

“Let me give you an analogy.” I say. “If your child came home with the first A he has received after a series of F's, would you say: I won’t accept your A because you won’t maintain getting an A?”

That gets the clients to thinking. Then I offer another metaphor. “Suppose the football team has been losing every game. Do the cheerleaders go: Sis Sis Sis you burn outs. Go home Go home and rot.”

Or do they get up and cheer?: RAH RAH, SIS BOOM BAH, Go get them, RAH RAH, SIS BOOM BAH.”

Then I ask, “Which method do you think would bring you the results you want?“

Encourage and compliment progress frequently and you will be more likely to obtain the results you strive to obtain.

Do we expect that the team will win every game or the child will sustain solid A’s? I doubt that we would have these expectations. We can not be on top of things all the time, but with appreciation and reminders when one slips backwards, we can sustain at least an average grade in school, in team work and in life.

Often couples try to do this on their own without the skills to maintain the communication necessary to keep harmonious relationships. An occasional trip to a counselor before there is a major breakdown will keep a loving marriage peaceful. The clients that I see usually wait until they are ready for a divorce court. Then, it takes more visits which computes to more money to save the almost lost cause. Because of the delay, it often takes several visits just to normalize the situation, before the initial problem which caused the resentment, can be rectified. The counselor can offer a different perspective, lighten up the tension and offer solutions transferring the off the track danger zone to on the track pleasure zone, The amount of visits are considerably less when preventive action is taken. Then it only depends on how quickly the couple can absorb the communication skills that will change not only their quality of life, but also change their childrens’ lives. In fact, many a breadwinner has told me that the skills learned in my office have increased his/her salary in the thousands.

Why have resentment back lash into a disruptive force when happiness, harmony and a possible financial windfall are within your reach?