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Stop Saying and Doing Things You May Regret
By Susie and Otto Collins

We've all been there. As we look back at our past relationships, there is undoubtedly at least one memory that makes us cringe.

In the midst of a disagreement we jumped to a conclusion and ended up saying or doing something we later regret.

While guilt won't change past words spoken in anger and hurt, learning skills to do things differently the next time a challenging situation comes up can make all the difference.

You may even enjoy increased intimacy and connection with your love by learning to pause.

 If you watch television at all, it is hard to miss all of those reality and game shows.  Contestants compete to be the  "best" dancer, bachelorette, survivor or comic.

The winner gets the cash, celebrity status, even the handsome groom. 

In just about every one of these shows, when the winner's name is about the announced, intense music plays and then there is a pause. 

It cannot be denied that the pause is a major part of the program and it is when a lot of the action takes place.

In the space of the pause anything can happen-- at this point in the game, there is no winner so everyone could still be the chosen one.

Though in a slightly different way, the pause is also an important part of a connected love relationship. 

No matter what the situation--  maybe your partner is working late and your suspicion radar goes off-- it is too easy for your mind (and heart) to begin to race and head you down a path you may not otherwise want to go. 

In cases like this, a pause can help you through.

Just as in the reality game show, in the space of the pause anything is possible. In a difficult situation, if you can meet your mate with a mindful response rather than a knee-jerk reaction, chances are it will resolve more lovingly.

Learning to recognize when you are triggered, paying attention to what you are feeling, and pausing-- taking a moment-- will better equip you to deal with whatever is going on.

The overall results will likely be a deeper closer connection.

Here are 3 tips to try...

1.  Tune in and make note of your feelings.

It is all too easy to go into a kind of autopilot reacting from fears and hurt when we are triggered.  Sometimes these fears and hurt are more relevant to a past situation than to this present moment.

Regularly tune in to how you are feeling. Start out tuning in to feelings when you are calm and content. Keep on practicing even when you are irritated or angry.

Focusing on your breath as it moves in and out of your body is one way to do this. Acknowledge the feelings that are present with your breath. Avoid linking a storyline to the feelings.

For example, instead of dwelling on the storyline of "I can't believe she forgot our anniversary!" and "I must mean nothing to her!" pay attention to the feelings behind that storyline which might include fear, disappointment, or anger.

2.  Take a pause

As you get into the habit of regularly tuning in to your breath, tuning in to your feelings while letting go of the storyline, learning to take a pause will be easy! 

Begin in a context that makes you feel annoyed and not one that gets you really fired up. It could be you are standing in line and someone cuts in front of you.

In a case like this, take a pause; notice your breath and the feelings that are there for you instead of turning to your friend and complaining about what just happened.

As you practice taking a pause, it can become more habitual. Soon in the middle of an argument or situation that pushes all of your "buttons," you will be able to pause.

3.  Be sure to reconnect after pausing

Let's be clear here. We don't think this process should end at the pause. That might mean stuffing down your feelings which won't help anyone.

After you breathe, acknowledge your feelings and pause, be sure to say or do what you need to.

It is more likely that-- after you pause-- how you share your feelings or choose your actions will turn you in a direction of reconnection with your love rather than towards more disconnection. 

This process is NOT about avoiding disagreements or conflict by holding your tongue; it is about taking care of your needs AND opening up to more connection.

The pause you take could allow you to see that suspicious feelings about your partner have more to do with a past relationship than with this particular situation and relationship.

Recognizing unresolved feelings and hurts and then talking with your love about them is important. This allows him or her to know where you are emotionally and what you are working with.

When you choose to take a pause, you give yourself the gift of clearer perspective.  In that space you are better able to let go of a story that may or may not be accurate.

You may also more easily know what you need to feel better-- this could be an action, speaking up, or just sitting with the emotions that are bubbling within. 

In the space of the pause, anything is possible! You can use the clarity to move towards deeper intimacy with the one you love.

Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "7 Intimacy Secrets" DVD  invite you to visit to learn how you can create deeper intimacy and a stronger connection in your relationship.

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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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