Last week I wrote about the number one reason relationships fail. (Read that post HERE). Today, I am writing about the second more common reason for relationship failure:
Anxiety is Normal!
First of all….anxiety is normal and we all have it! Anxiety can be mild as in the case of “butterflies” before an important event or severe as in the case of a full-blown panic attack. Anxiety can manifest in a simple case of nerves or escalate into emotional collapse or mental paralysis. Anxiety has many faces and degrees of severity and it arises out of a multitude of situations. Sometimes anxiety is situational and at other times, it arises out of unhealed emotional wounds or physical trauma, as is the case with PTSD. Anxiety also acts as an alert system notifying us that there is something within us that wants to be known – our truth (ie. Kundalini Awakening, Ascension symptoms) our desire for a life of meaning, the longing for fulfilling work, needs that are not being met, etc. Anxiety is normal. We all have it, and anxiety, in and of itself, is not bad. Instead, anxiety is there to help us understand something deeper that wants to be known.
The problem is that in our culture, we are not taught how to identify anxiety or what to do with it (except numb it through medication, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, etc.). Not knowing how to identify anxiety or what to do about it would not be so much of a problem if we only have ourselves to deal with. As human beings, however, we live in community. If we are not identifying and managing our anxiety properly, it tends to come out sideways, doing damage to ourselves and the people around us (Where do you think wars come from???).
The Blame Game
The most common way that unmanaged anxiety “comes out sideways” is in what I call The Blame Game. When we have unidentified and unmanaged anxiety, the go-to place of this anxiety is most often projection. We feel unease, but we haven’t taken the time (or don’t have the skills) to identify what we are feeling and why. So, instead of taking responsibility for our own inner terrain, we are certain that the people around us are responsible for our unease (our husband, kids, roommate, parents, co-workers, etc.). We blame them for our feelings, then we either lash out in anger or turn the unease inward and harbor resentment toward “the other” for making us feel this way.
Healing our Relationships
One step we can take toward healing our interpersonal relationships is to learn how to identify and manage our own anxiety. When we take care of our inner terrain, we no longer have the need to make “the other” the enemy. Taking care of our anxiety facilitates honesty in relationships which thereby cultivates intimacy. Managing our anxiety also gives us the tools through which we can cultivate healthy communication with others who have also learned to manage their anxiety – making overall better relationships….period!
Need support in identifying and managing your anxiety? Call Lauri Ann Lumby (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Or check out our upcoming e-course, Happily Ever After – from Co-dependency to the Fulfillment of Love which explores all the reasons relationships fail and provides tools through which healthier intimacy can be attained.