When someone expresses anger, frustration, or fear is expressed by someone close to you, how do you react?
Do you shut down? Do you feel anxious or fearful?
How it Works
Until age two the human brain is being prepared and primed for emotional connection.
Tiny humans spend most energy on searching and establishing stability and security.
Above all, the tiny human needs our help to do this, especially if they are going to learn, grow and explore their world.
When a caregiver unavailable, the little one is distressed and aren’t given what to behave or act.
If the parent is abusive or neglectful the child avoids contact, maybe even preferring a stranger over the caregiver. The child learns to not seek help.
From a caregiver with inconsistent behavior children act chaotic. You will notice extreme shifts from one emotional state to the next.
Fifty percent of babies experience insecure attachments. Without intervention these relational patterns will continue into adulthood.
What’s going on here
Dr. John Gottman, a relationship researcher out of Seattle, shows that people are failing in the area of meta-emotions. Meta-emotions are how one interprets and feels about their emotions.
An example is if someone feels sad, but doesn’t believe it’s ok to feel this sad.
What do I do now
Emotional Coaching takes relationships through a step-by-step processing including:
1) Calming yourself first – Deep breathe and connect with the feeling. The goal here is to calm and relax the emotions.
2) Connect and create safety – Connect emotionally. This is done with touch, tone or attitude. The goal is safety.
3) Empathize – Next, welcome the emotion, and reflect them back. “You look worried,” or if you don’t know the emotion say “I hear how upset you are.”
4) Double-check – Check to see if they feel understood. Ask, “Am I getting that right?”
5) Deepen the conversation – Let yourself feel what the other is feeling. Offer support, continue to validate their emotion, or ask to hear more.
Over time it has been shown people can change their attachment style thereby increasing the quality of their relationships.When you change the lens from which you see the world you create a new narrative, one that helps you understand your past and allows you to evolve and grow today.
When we work together stable and fulfilling relationships occur. If your unsure where to begin try one-on-one sessions with a trained clinician at Brain Health Northwest.