July 11, 2017
July 11, 2017

Negative Behavior

I learn from observing the attitudes and exchanges with my clients. I was amazed to observe that both spouses were upset when I suggested that the female stop parenting her husband. Instead she could announce the consequences of his actions and no more than that.

The husband actually wanted his wife to worry about what his actions would do to her, to the children, and to him. It occurred to me that he actually acted out because her concern convinced him that he was loved. However, it also gave him an excuse to act out in rebellion that she was pestering him continually about his actions.

The wife felt that she needed to monitor whatever he did in order to keep him in line. She did not see her behavior as parenting. Parenting is a part of TransActual Analysis. The dynamics of defining what another should or ought to do activates the Child in the other person so that they automatically want to rebel and often do the exact opposite of the correct objective.

I checked with the husband and he finally realized that he resented her treating him as a Child. Therefore he carried out the role of rebellion. In other words, her caring misfired and actually motivated him (not entirely, but in part) to have an excuse to misbehave.

Yet, the wife felt disloyal if she did not comment continually on his conduct. She felt it was a cold mean reaction to ignore his poor performance. She did not want to just speak to him of the consequences and allow him to shoulder the complete responsibility for them.

I asked both her and him if her warnings ever prevented him from his actions. They both stated it did not.

I asked her if it made her, the family or him happy if she continually nagged. Her response was again "No". In fact she was quite miserable worrying about him.

She continued to obsess even if she did not complain out loud. I asked her if it made her happy to nag. She said she was miserable. I suggested that she not only allow him to make up his own mind as to what he should do, but that she would feel more peaceful if she would accept that he is in control of his own actions. That regardless of how much she worried, it did not change anything, so why worry?

Deal with life as it happens, do not anticipate the worst or the worst will happen.

Recently I was dancing a routine (I do it for fun and exercise) and suddenly I was afraid. My performance was the worst it had ever been do to my projection that I was unable to do the routine. As soon as I recognized that I had predicted the poor outcome; I changed my attitude that of course I could do it correctly. Then I did it beautifully. I did need to improve, but it was not with the burden of negativity. This example applies to everything in life. Deal with what is present that is actually happening not a projected negativity.