>Oh, you big baby!!!

In our relationships, we’re often bogged down with “emotional baggage”, backward reasoning and twisted logic that distract us from the truth… that we just wanna be loved.

What would happen if you dropped all of your big, grown-up words and were honest about what you need? Well, you just might resemble the baby in the clip below; she vies for Mom’s attention with increasing volume, as Mom stares blankly back. Sooooooo… imagine the baby is your partner, trying to get your attention when you’re distracted or annoyed or generally turned off. Notice how your partner (um, I mean the baby) gets more and more insistent as you (uh, the Mom) fail to respond.

You can see how, with enough repetition, the baby (or your partner) would eventually bypass cooing and just start by screaming to get Mom’s (i.e., your) attention. Like “nagging” in the post from a few weeks ago, it’s just one example of the many defenses we put up, according to whether or not we think our needs will get met.

At the end of the clip, the researcher talks about parent-child attachment, but I’d like to redefine his thoughts in terms of adult relationships-

“The Good” – When you’re feeling safe and loved, and communicate with your partner using good eye contact and inviting tone of voice.

“The Bad” – When you’ve had a rough day, or feel hurt, you shut down and treat your partner like the Mom in the video – either because you can’t handle any more input, or for fear of your partner’s rejection. Eventually, you’re able to resolve it together so you can get back to “the good”.

“The Ugly” – Things in your relationship have progressed to the point of resentment or contempt. Most conversations include a nasty tone, sarcasm, criticism, etc. A simple conversation about “what’s wrong” is not enough to resolve the problem. There is no easy way back to “The Good” with your partner. You feel hopeless or helpless (this is where folks usually come to therapy, btw-).

Check it out- see what you can learn from a baby! (2 minute video)



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