Being human is a complex experience. We all have aspects of ourselves that we feel should be kept hidden in the dark, aspects that we feel shame around usually accompanied by a story around it that if we shared these parts or brought them to the light we would not be loved or accepted.
We are subconsciously drawn to what is familiar. Our early environment has a big impact on our relational blueprint which stays with us into adulthood. Like it or not, we will be drawn to what is familiar.
If only THEY would X (insert whatever we want them to do here) then I could be okay – does this sound familiar The formula for misery is wishing people, places and things were different than what they are. If I have learned anything in the last very intense 3 years it is that people are human and that as humans we are all subject to human frailty and therefore fallible.
We pay a heavy price for not taking 100% responsibility for our part in a dynamic – and the price is that we can’t change it. Pointing the finger at someone will lead them to point the finger back at you and then you are at a standstill. It is never all one person’s fault. Even if the other person is 90% responsible for their part, we are still 10% responsible for our part.
Intermittent reinforcement (aka hot and cold) is the STRONGEST type of reinforcement. There have been studies done with rats to demonstrate its addictive nature. Two different groups of rats in cages had a lever to press which produced food pellets. In the first group every time they pressed the lever a pellet came out – these rats were fine and just learned to press the lever when they were hungry. The second group of rats the pellets came out intermittently and the rats ended up pressing the lever on repeat until they died. Until they DIED guys! That’s how strong intermittent reinforcement is.