I’ve a counselee who always goes ballistic whenever she visits her Mom. Aside from feeling uneasy and reactive, she has a habit of quickly arguing and being defensive when conversing with her. This pattern has hurt her and her Mom for years now.
What may help? These self talk words can be wisdom: “Stop. Look. Listen.” It means you focus and pay conscious attention to situations that make you feel the way you did around any one.
Instead of allowing your self to go on autopilot—becoming defensive or reactive—you learn to choose to step back. Then you process not only what you’re feeling but why.
Am I reacting to something in the present or had the present moment dredged up something out of my past? Am I seeing the situation clearly? Am I listening to the intention behind the words, not just the words themselves?
Stop. Look. Listen.