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 Post subject: My Word....
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:03 am 
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Not sure if this fits best with the 4 Agreements, but I've noticed lately (or actually, my H has made me aware....) that my 'word', although perhaps impeccable, has been snarky a LOT lately. I have had 'attitude' and 'tone' problems in the past, but somehow moved away from them, I think because they were coupled with vague comments and not saying what I meant.

Now, I DO say what I mean/feel/etc, BUT H tells me that I've been saying a lot lately with a "bitch" attitude, a blaming, demeaning tone. I'm not even realizing I'm doing it. But then looking back, I guess maybe my tone isn't the most even and considerate.

Any tips on how to change it?? It's very hard to change something you're not aware of... and I'm definitely not really aware of my attitude/tone. But it's causing major problems in our relationship, and rightly so. He doesn't deserve to be snapped at or 'barked at' as he says.

I've been depressed, distant, and upset lately a LOT, and I'm tired of it. And maybe the change (this time) should start with an attitude adjustment. It's 2 am and I'm still up, because I barked barked barked and it ended up in a big big big fight. Yay for me and my effing problems. I'm frustrated at ME right now. I need to work on the 5 steps as well, but I don't think they'll help any with my tone/attitude.

Thanks for listening.

 Post subject: Re: My Word....
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:22 am 
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Hi zora -

It is hard to change something we're not aware of doing. Can you identify reasons that you're feeling depressed and upset these days? Maybe your snappishness is related to that, and it's just coming out at your husband because he's a convenient target even though he may not be the cause. Are there things you can do to make that better? A check-in with your healthcare provider? A lifestyle change, such as more sleep, more exercise, better diet?

It can help me a lot to work through the Five Steps, even in retrospect. By that I mean, if I do something I don't like (like bitch at someone), I sit down and look at the incident and try the Five Steps after the fact. I try to determine if fatigue, hunger, loneliness, anxiety, etc. are making me bitchy, and then see if I can do something immediate to solve that problem. Then I try to come up with three possible ways to handle the situation that are different from what I actually did, and try to evaluate which of them would have been the best for me at that time, if I had been able to think of them while I was in the middle of it. This exercise doesn't undo what happened, but it helps you see how you might have handled it better. If you run through these scenarios often enough, you might be able to discern patterns in your actions that get you in trouble over and over again, and if you can practice -- in your head -- the alternate actions or words that would have worked better, it can often start to sink in to the extent that when you find yourself about to repeat the "bad" act, you can actually stop yourself and use one of the more effective solutions instead.

You might also be able to enlist the help of your husband with this. Work out a signal with him, a word or a gesture that he might use to get you to stop what you're doing or saying. Then when he hears you start to snark at him, for instance, he can say "time out" or "whoa" or "we'll continue this discussion when you're in a better frame of mind" or whatever, and you know you're starting down the bitchiness path and you need to stop. Then you can take a deep breath and collect yourself, and if you're able, you can try to rephrase your comment, or you can say "I'm sorry, I'm feeling ... (really tired, anxious, sad, whatever) and I need a minute (or ten, or an hour) to pull myself together." If you can work on this problem of yours together, and he feels he can be part of the solution, and he knows that you're trying to fix it, it might lessen the strain on your relationship.

"Impeccability of word" IS about tone as much as content, and it's good that you've recognized that this is an issue between you and your husband. A problem that is recognized is very often a problem that can be solved. I hope this helps a little.

I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.
I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining. -- Jane Wagner

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