“Treading Water”

While the term comes from the sport, it is widely used by many to describe a position/ point in life. Swimmers tread water “while in a vertical position to keep their head above the surface of the water, while not providing sufficient directional thrust to overcome inertia and propel the swimmer in any specific direction”. If one is treading water in life, then it simply means that the individual is in a unsatisfactory situation/ position, (1) because they are most likely doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results, (2) because they don’t know what to do to improve their situation so they do nothing, (3) because they don’t know what they want out of life, so they follow what everybody else is doing, but not fully so it gets them not where. You get the idea. 

Are you keeping your “head above water by remaining upright and pumping the legs” in your life?

Are you working really hard at your 9-5 Monday to Friday, and not making much progress in your career?

Are you giving your all at the gym and not seeing desired results?

Things to consider, to help get you out of your comfort zone:

(1) When was the last time you had a conversation with a stranger?

(2)When was the last time you travelled somewhere different?

(3)What are you an expert of?

(4)When was the last time you had an enlightening conversation?

(5)Do you set time to re-charge?

(6)Do you believe in yourself?

(7)What are you passionate about but not doing?

(8)Did you start the year as you mean to carry on?

 

“She’s standing so still, but a statue she’s not”

Sometimes in life it feels that you’re taking action but it’s taking you nowhere, simply because you haven’t changed in other areas of our life, to welcome something new you have to make space for it. If you want a new, better job, you may need to change your routine, you may need to spruce up a little. If the change is good, and will reap positive rewards, then why not? You don’t have to wait until you have a,b,c & d to make space for something new in your life, live it to welcome it. 

Take sometime to list everything that could be holding you back. Think of why you aren’t doing what you would like to do, is it your finances, your family, your friends, or are you simply scared of failing?

Being aware of what you need to change, is one step forward into the right direction. 

To change, is to grow, to grow, is to live. 

List out what you would like to experiment, learn, try, and plan for one of those things. It can be something like eating in a different restaurant this week or visiting a new city next month. Put it on paper, and make it happen. 

Are you Projecting?

“Sometimes people pretend you’re a badf person sp they don’t feel guilty about the things they did to you.” 

Urban dictionary says that projecting is “to transfer or attribute one’s own emotion or desire to (another person), especially unconsciously.”

 

Lately I have been thinking of extreme reactions, when small arguments / disagreements / misunderstandings get out of hand because (1) a person can’t forgive (2) a person does not accept mistakes, and instead of finding a solution together, the individuals keep on disagreeing, with one constantly reminding the other of the same mistake and the second individual constantly feeling the need to defend themselves and explain what they meant, thought, felt and how truly sorry they are.

If one of you is the type of individual who feels that their partner is always to blame, always wrong, always something negative, and the evidence is kept as a list of all the wrong things they said, did, thought, breathed, touched. Then maybe it may be time for you to pay attention to how you are reacting and the reasons for your reactions.

 

To simplify:

 

If whenever something does not go your way, you tell your partner to stay away from you, get out of your life, or to never bother you again, you withdraw your affection……

 

If whenever your partner does something that makes you feel a little unloved, you feel that you want to stay away, you don’t want to see them, hear them, feel them next to you, the thought of kissing and making up makes you feel that they have control over your or that it can make them feel that what they did was ok, you then choose stay detached…..

 

If whenever your partner or friend does something that tickles you the wrong way, you hold on to it with your whole being, and add it to your list, then bring it up like a shield every time you want to prove how horrible, mean, miserable or unfair your partner is, find it hard to forgive, move on, or work together on solutions to problems which are mutually beneficial…..

 

If these reactions can stem from anything as small as your partner asking you to pick a different restaurant for dinner, or you resent your partner for asking you to wear a different dress / tie, and you answered yes to any of the above, because you feel that it is very hard for you to forgive when you have been hurt, as it makes you feel unloved, understood unappreciated, cared for. Then maybe you may want to look deeper, and ask yourself if the pain is already there, as maybe you are projecting it to the wrong situations and persons, especially if when you push the anger aside, you run back to them, and feel love towards them again.

 

I know this may be hard to accept or understand at first, but sometimes when we react in an extreme way to meaningless situations, situations that should not control your emotions as a whole, it may mean that something else, something bigger is bothering you, and deeply hurting you, and your current partner may have nothing to do with it.

 

When you project with your whole being, you lose sight of what’s truly bothering you, so you project all of your hurt and anger to one person, and no matter what they say or do, you explode, but when you calm down and love them again, you fail to see and understand why they are no longer as receptive, why they feel hurt, why they are not welcoming you back.

 

Until you accept that you need to look deeper, this behaviour forms a cycle, your partner says something that annoys you, you explode, leave the house, stop talking to them, or before you move away, you demean and disrespect them, you bring up every old argument from disagreements that happened weeks prior, months or even years prior to the last disagreement, then you push the anger aside and come back as if nothing happened, then your partner reacts because you are coming across as if you don’t care about how you made them feel, then you bring back every single argument again. You will ignore explanations, apologies, tears, at this point the only thing that matters to you, is that you were the one who has been hurt, and your partner is due to blame, so you feel the need to remind them of how wrong they are.

 

It’s possible that you are not doing it consciously, as new conflict triggers negative feelings, it awakes old worries, old heartaches, old unresolved wounds from your childhood and past relationships. You blame it all on your current partner, because they are right there with you, so they must be the reason why you are  unhappy, you are hurt, and you feel unappreciated.

 

To truly connect with someone on a deeper level you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and open up, you need to allow yourself to analyse your own actions and accept when you may be going too far. You may be projecting if you are:

 

  • Are you using old misunderstandings as evidence that today you are right, even if they are completely unrelated?
  • You feel that your partner is always to blame and they aren’t grateful for anything you do, especially if they comment on one thing instead of appreciating everything as one, as an example you made a salad, your partner says thank you but the prawns could have been fried a little bit more…. You take that as they don’t appreciate the fact that you made a salad and immediately feel like you no longer want to make them salads.
  • Have you ever had a disagreement when your partner said or did something you felt them
  • No matter what your partner says or does you feel deeply hurt, so much that you want to run and stay as far as possible from them, you even go as far as prohibiting them from getting closer.
  • Do you always find yourself losing track of what you were arguing because you have now listed out all things your partner said and did wrong since you met?

Before you cast a blind eye to fundamental issues which may be hindering the success of your relationship, focus on how you feel, write it down, then ask your partner how you made them feel, write it down, ask yourself where you could have approached the situation differently.

 

Projecting is like recycling old arguments, old ailments, old heartaches, you repeat the negative behaviour over and over again, and your list of why your partner is always wrong grows, then you start believing that your partner is all things wrong, and that’s how you portray them to everybody else you love, you mentioned every mistake as if it happened yesterday, and with time or sometimes from the very first day you mention it, you may exaggerate the situation and paint your partner in a bad light.

 

Projection can turn abusive, and while I am not an expert in relationship or mental health, my advise is to always remove yourself from situations that affect your health and your happiness, and if necessary seek professional help.

 

Unless you accept that you are projecting, you will continue to argue with your partner over every little thing, and arguments will escalate unnecessarily, you will never forgive, and both of you will end up exhaust  each other physically, emotionally and mentally.

 

I once came across a sentence that gave me a light bulb moment “Interactions between partners are rarely one sided”, no matter how much one can blame a partner, it takes two to continue an argument, and if you are the one who continues to add fuel to the fire, then maybe just maybe you are the side in need of more help.

 

Once again, while I am not a relationship expert, I do believe that if there’s only so many times you can try and fix something before you break yourself, so if you are not projecting, and your partner is truly hurting you, and you have exhausted all your options including counselling, then maybe it’s time for you to let go, and start focusing on your health.

 

Projecting is a defensive mechanism, is a way to shift the blame, to stop us from having to cope/ understand / accept our own feelings and emotions, and to stop us from being the one to blame.

 

Try this, instead of blaming your partner, tell them you are sorry, and write down everything you feel, what they did, how you reacted, what they said, even if they haven’t apologised, remember that you are only responsible to how you react. Read what you write, then write 2 ways in which you could have handled the situation better, writing will help you clear your mind, and see that maybe you may have overreacted, and being able to see where you went wrong will clear the clouds for you and help you discover how you are affecting the dynamic in your relationship. Try to go for 21 days without blaming your partner, and solely focusing on how situations make you feel.

 

If anyone has dealt with projection, or are guilty of, let me know below what you learnt and how you deal with it today.