Tit For Tat!

Does your relationship slip occasionally or frequently into the tit for tat spat? Don’t you just loathe it!

You say something, which granted may not be languaged that well, and your honey beautifully deflects the perceived criticism that’s about to land like a fly, by pointing out that, in their opinion, you do the same or in fact worse!

That puts our back up (triggers you, in my language), the irritant energy between you raises a few notches, you are compelled to retort and off you both go like a couple of unconscious tennis players; only the ball is a hot potato which neither of you is prepared to catch!

Tit for tat is in the dictionary. One definition is “Giving back exactly what one receives, blow for blow.” It made me laugh that it’s even reached the dictionary. A testament to some of our “normal” societal languaging these days! And blow for blow suggests an intended verbal punch!

T for T is unconscious languaging without question. If you are seeking a conscious relational space then give it up today!

It takes two people to make a conversation good or not. I always say to clients that every word out of your mouth can please or harm, so choose pleasing language. It doesn’t mean you have to mind your p’s and q’s and not say what you really want to. It just means treating others as you would have them treat you. What you give out you get back. The age old sayings are remarkably truthful.

We don’t like to hear negative statements, naturally, who would? Deflection is just a survival strategy because we are unwilling to look at the grain of truth in what’s coming.

But like it or not, we all learn about ourselves in relationship otherwise how do we know who we are? If you refuse to participate in the self learning on a regular basis you start to make yourself an outsider to the pack eventually.

I’m reading the very fascinating latest book by Lynne McTaggart called the Bond. Lynne describes, along with a plethora of confirming scientific research, that we are community orientated beings with an in built psychology to co-operate and be altruistic. Seems odd then that our civilisation has experienced so much war against the other in the past.

Healthy Languaging

I believe it’s ALL in how we language our lives. What we say and how and how we move our body accordingly to communicate with others is the critical path to a conscious relationship.

Look closer at tit for tat spats and it all starts with who goes first. It only starts when something perceived negative by the receiver is being said, so as the sender, think about your words and even more key, your body language, in the moment.

Saying “You’re not very good at doing the chores. Why do I have to keeping asking you to do your fair share? I’m not a slave!” while wagging your finger and using inflated body language will only set a negative scene. Would you like to be spoken to like this and how would you react? Why then would you expect your partner to act right? So simple really.

The receiver in this instance would be given fertile ground to make it 15 all in the T for T tennis match!

It’s beneficial to start your conversations with a positive upbeat comment “Honey I love it when I come home and you’ve done the house work. It means we can have more quality time on the sofa together. Could you help me out a bit more often please? Or maybe let’s do it together. It’ll take less time!”

What can you do?

We could all do with a skill brush up in how we language our relationships, but even if you use what you believe to be good languaging and your honey is an insistent “tit for tatter” then what do you do? Changing one half of the relational languaging will change the totality.

  1. Try not to get angry.

  2. Receive their back comment and accept any grains of truth you could own. That way you accept your learning. Thank them for bringing it to your attention! Lead by example.

  3. If they shout or say nasty things then use silence until they stop. Allowing space here will work wonders if you allow the noise to fall into empty silence. Giving back chat only deepens the T for T spat.

  4. Don’t try and make your honey accept your judgement or criticism. It’s their business how they receive you and not your business to tell them what they should and shouldn’t look at. You can only change you..blah blah and all that! Telling them “Oh here we go! Why do you always do that?” heads right back into unconscious territory.

  5. You can tell them what T for T feels like to you. Use one word feeling comments. “ I feel hurt, frustrated, challenged, judged, overwhelmed” Whatever you feel is your business and will invite your partner to see what it’s doing to you.

  6. Ask “Can you help me change the way we communicate honey? I don’t feel we are getting very far like this.” It invites your beloved to work as a team rather than the “you need to change” suggestion which men baulk at!

  7. Use humour. If T for T starts, bring it to the notice of your honey and laugh at yourself doing it. My beloved and I use this method because we realise the futility of communicating in that way!

If you are compelled to enter the T for T arena then my only question is “Is it helpful for your relationship to communicate in that way?” Your decision. But the more you deploy the deflective approach, the more you separate yourself from your essential nature, learning and ultimately love.

If you try all ways to stop the deflection and attack game and your communication is deteriorating your relationship then maybe it’s time for a relationship service! Give me a call and we can look at the specifics of how you communicate now and how I can help you re-language your way to consciousness together.

May Grace be with you as you find more consciousness in your relationships.




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Yoga teacher at Gina Hardy Yoga
I am a Yoga guide, relationship coach and therapist. My motto for life is 'Live, Learn, Love, Pay it Foward' Pay your wisdom forward, tread lightly on this earth and leave footprints of love. Thank you, you are always loved no matter what. Gx

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