Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Conditioned response

The inability to accept that people aren't perfect, mixed with a poor and even angry reaction when someone tells you they have messed up (in the effort to be honest)...perpetuates the telling party, to not tell again.  EVER!

Example:  Child comes to parent and is honest that they have messed up.  Broken the rules, broke something, or made a mistake and is now "coming clean"... If that child is be-rated, scolded, or met with anything other than a listening ear, then that child will most likely not ever try that route ever again.  We touch the stove and learn that it's hot, we learn to not touch it again... Child tells the truth and is met with anger and temper?...then that child becomes conditioned to not want to share and "come clean"...

Children (all of us) mess up, and this does not mean that there should be no consequences for their actions.  Yet facing an abusive (emotionally or physically) parent, when they want to be truthful should not be one of those consequences.

I once saw a set of steps that one would follow to correct their mistakes:
1.  Recognize and admit that wrong has been done
2.  Ask for forgiveness from those that were wronged
3.  Make restitution for that which was done... Correct and make right that which was wronged
4.  Never repeat the mistake and leave it behind

Interesting that those 4 steps do not include "expect to be be-rated by someone along the way and/or face the wrath of your parent(s)."

Parents (every day) teach their children to hide and not tell the truth, because they will not listen with a level head.  We should love our children enough to listen without reaction.  Consequences can be decided and explained WITHOUT belittling comments or anger!
Children that learn to avoid being truthful and hide their actions, eventually will do that with a lover and eventually their spouse.  The way kids learn to communicate in their childhood and adolescent years WILL shape the rest of their lives!

Does this happen in relationships too?  YES!... Truth is told, reactions are given and measured,.. and we condition each other to either share openly, or hide and avoid the whole truth.

What's the key?  Be in control of yourself enough to not react.  Keep a level head (no matter what) and remain in control of your own emotions.  Take time to digest if you need to, so that your response is done with dignity and control.  Easier said than done sometimes, yet SO SO important that we learn the skill of "responding with control" instead of "reacting without control." 

Love enough to listen!


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