Who Will Get Away Unpunished If You Get Unstuck?

By Alice Boyes, PhD. | Uncategorized

Relationships

Let’s say: You see your partner as controlling. Let’s also say: this has large elements of truth.

There are 2 psychological barriers to getting unstuck here

1. If you get unstuck (stop being controlled), your partner would get away unpunished for being controlling (They could say “ha! well I couldn’t have been THAT controlling because look here you are doing what you want”).

2. If you move forward from being controlled (I don’t necessarily mean leave the relationship), you might also feel a bit foolish for getting unstuck now, without the other person changing, since that implicitly means that you could’ve gotten unstuck earlier but didn’t. To get unstuck, you’re going to need to move forward WITH this sense of foolishness for not doing it earlier. In other words, you’re going to need to tolerate that making a change in your behaviour that is for the better leads to difficult thoughts and feelings coming up for you.

Self esteem

Let’s say: you’re prone to self-loathing. You see yourself as, for example, “too selfish to have fulfilling relationships”

There are 2 psychological barriers to getting unstuck here

1. Being wrong about something you have told yourself for a long time and have been very invested in.

2. You would get away unpunished for being selfish. People expect causes to have consequences – you’re a “cause looking for a consequence”.

Who Will Get Away Unpunished If You Get Unstuck? is concept adapted from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

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