♥LOVE TIP – Friday September 14, 2012
I didn’t hear from anyone following the recent post where I asked people to name one new thing they would do as a practice to bring more ♥LOVE into their life everyday for the next month……..
So ♥Lovelies, the Story I Make Up [my SIMU] is either you: –
– didn’t read the post
– didn’t like that post
– aren’t interested in the exercises that I suggest
– didn’t like that exercise
– think that what you have to share isn’t relevant or important, or doesn’t matter………
– are all very private
– are all very busy
– are all so deliriously happy and feeling so ♥LOVE-ing and ♥LOVE-able bringing more ♥LOVE into your life is not relevant
– are still thinking about it
So what am I doing here? I am guessing or imagining. And if ‘the other’ doesn’t tell you how it is for them you will have to keep doing that.
At one level it is fun guessing and taking note of the Stories I Make Up – my SIMU!….. And at another level it is troubling and there are hazards with doing that as we are not able to be sure what the reason is when we are not getting input or feedback from “the other”.
The SIMU or the Story I Make Up is another ☆TOOL in our Relationship and Communication ♥TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST.
Other words to describe my SIMU are:
- my interpretations
- my assumptions
- my opinions…..
- what I presume….
SIMUs show up when we are trying to make sense of things.
There are two main areas that having SIMUs gets us into bother in relationships:
1. When people don’t say anything, or give any input or feedback as to what is happening for them, or have withdrawn and shut down when there is an exchange between you and them, you will make up your own interpretation as to what is going on. What happens is you can only guess, interpret or ‘make up’ what you think is going on. People find it very hard to tolerate ‘a vacuum’. Humans have an instinct ‘to make meaning’ of their environment of what is going on around them. People relax when things make sense!
2. When you are frustrated with the behaviour of ‘the other’ and you are criticizing them you will describe them using your interpretation of the events or circumstances. Your SIMUs could be about ‘the other’ or about yourself.
People often think what they are experiencing, or their reality, or their opinion, as ‘the truth’ when often times it is simply that – their reality or their opinion or their interpretation. This happens 99% of the time when there is conflict happening and two people have different opinions as to what is going on and are clashing about it. There isn’t a right or a wrong way – just different perspectives.
The biggest problem with this is that ‘the story’ or interpretation people “make up” is through the lens/filter they perceive the world/reality through. And it is based in their history! Often times this won’t be the way ‘the other’ sees/ experiences it – in fact I would say this is always the case when there is conflict and disagreements and this is especially strongest in people’s primary relationships.
The other problem is that people experience/see things more often through a negative lens. People generally don’t choose the positive reality as their first option and generally don’t give ‘the other’ “the benefit of the doubt”.
We need to become aware of our own bias, our view or perception of the world which is largely unconscious.
In Dr. Patricia Love and Dr. Steven Stosny’s book How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It: Love Beyond Words [or the paperback version in Australia –Why Women Talk and Men Walk – as an aside I do highly recommend this book if you want to understand what is going on at an unconscious level in relationships and you want to change your life!!] they say (p.128):
“Your view of the world is shaped by your experience and is therefore highly biased toward your point of view … The more an association is made, the more it increases the probability that you will make the same association in the future. We have thousands of different associations and memories based on our past experiences.”
They use the simple example of what comes up for people when thinking of the word DOG – you may think of your dog, a particular breed of dog, a scary encounter with a snarling, menacing dog, that they are man’s best friend…..and so on and on…….. So there’s no such thing as a DOG or any other object being “neutral” – it is perceived as your prior experience of it – which is especially inflexible if that experience was negative and traumatic!
A very good example for me of this that always comes to mind, is watching the late Steve Irwin referring to his crocodiles and snakes in such a sweet and endearing way. For most people they equal fear, danger and running in the other direction and he treats them like his best friends as did his children from a very young age…….It’s an excellent example of what is repeated in the environment for children becomes their reality…..and it is mostly transmitted by ‘osmosis’, by just being around whoever is influencing them…
You experience everything through your own lens and all you see is your own point of view….You experience what is wired inside you:
You see what you have always seen,
You hear what you have always heard,
And you experience what you have always experienced.
The world is what you expect it to be!
It is important not to underestimate how strong these associations are.
And unfortunately, the points of view/filters that get you the behaviours you don’t want are largely unconscious to you and automatic.
From earliest childhood, your brain is formed and wired according to what is repeated in the environment around you. Whatever is repeated over and over and modelled to you becomes your perception of who you are and what you can expect from the world.
According to Pat and Steven, citing neuroscience research:
“Once an association is made, it not only increases the probability that you will make that same association but also decreases the probability you will see it any other way. P.131…
And … When you are wired to see negative, you will see negative!”
So, to begin changing this what you need to do is uncover your own templates/pictures /images/stories of what you think the world is like especially in the area of committed relationships and change the ones that aren’t supporting you getting the ♥LOVE and connection you want.
Question for you: What are your SIMUs/ beliefs that are sabotaging the ♥LOVE you are getting/not getting?
♡Tom and ♡Bella are a young married couple who are very much in ♥LOVE. They are committed to creating the most ♥LOVE-ing marriage they can…. AND they have this stumbling block – or if we use the imagery/metaphor from the recent post – there is ‘a hole’ or pattern they both fall into.
What happens is ♡Bella grew up in a house where she had a very critical, very judgmental attacking ♡Mum……which with consistent repetition wired her brain to believe that is the way the world is and the way she is. She is very attuned to what people say and what they think about her…..and because of her experience with her Mum she mostly interprets people as being critical of her and that they will notice that there is something wrong with her ….it is her SIMU – the story she makes up based on what she learned about herself and about the people who were significant to her as she was growing up.
Her Mum lacked faith in her abilities……she didn’t think that she would be able to do the things that she asked of her and when she did do things she usually criticized and attacked her for doing them in the wrong way.
And so when her husband says something her subconscious scans it very quickly looking for what’s wrong with what she’s done…..and because of the way her brain is wired very often she will interpret [her SIMU] what he says as critical statements about her when they could be quite neutral. Her SIMU’s are –
- I’m not good enough,
- I can’t do anything right,
- I’m unlovable…
Added to this she wasn’t able to speak up and share about how she experienced things as her Mum’s tongue was very sharp and her sarcastic comments cut her to the bone so this little girl learned to shut up and not argue with Mum. And that little girl would escape to her room as soon as she could because there was no way she could win around her Mum.
Other interpretations [her SIMU’s] are:
- If I share my opinion ‘the other’ [Mum] will be so angry they will completely over run me
- My opinion doesn’t matter and it isn’t safe to share it.
- It won’t achieve anything positive
- I can’t do anything to make ‘the other’ [Mum] believe me or make them [Mum] happy.
And what happens now as an adult when she gets triggered and upset is she will defend and protect herself in the ways she learned when she was a little girl – she withdraws physically and emotionally vanishes for quite a long period of time…….
This is an automatic response that is driven by, and kept in place by, her unconscious and physiology….it is wired into her neural pathways! This contributes to why it is so hard to change these moves just by having awareness of them….
Add to this, whenever there is conflict/withdrawal your partner or ‘the other’ will have their own range of reactions and will have their own selection of SIMU’s. And this is what happens with ♡Bella’s husband……
In conflict people are not relating person to person – they are relating story to story. It is also important to note that people often think that their SIMUs are their feelings and usually share them as their feelings – ‘I feel that ……..…’or ‘I feel like…….….’ This has the consequence of people believing it is reality or ‘the truth’ when really it is just their opinion/story. For example: I feel that you are selfish or I feel like you don’t care about me……These are thoughts and opinions/interpretations…..
So when ♡Bella thinks and feels what she thinks and feels and then because of her SIMUs she reacts by withdrawing and shutting down emotionally she and her partner are creating what we call the CYCLE OF REACTIVITY.
So in relationships it is important to:
- share your reality/opinion/version of what is going on with ‘the other’
- own it as simply your reality / your SIMU
- get curious when your reality clashes with ‘the other’ – as 95% of the time it will be about your history and not the content you are arguing over
- be very attentive and protective when ‘the other’ [or yourself] is coming from their SIMU as at that point they have ‘slipped’ into a ‘child part/reality and at that time what is most needed is understanding and compassion from you.
- Honour that the ‘stories’ make sense given the environment people grew up in, whilst knowing that together part of the gift of committed relationships is to make it safe enough to change those ‘stories’ to ones that are ♥LOVE-ing of the self and ‘the other’.
Take gentle care unraveling your stories and much sweet ♥LOVE-ing to you, Susie♥
“To be loved, be lovable.” ~ Ovine