DO YOU FEEL STUCK?
FLEXIBILITY VERSUS RIGIDITY:
These words pertain to our thoughts and perceptions of others. With our thoughts, we become fixed (Rigid) in looking at one way of being or doing things. For example, if I believe I am not good at anything, I may not even try and develop a fear of failing. My rigid thoughts have turned to fear and now limit me to new experiences. Similarly, in our relationships we also become fixed at perceiving the other person in a given way. If I believe, my partner is always critical of me, I will hear only criticism and may criticize in return or emotionally shut down. This too can develop into a fear of being rejected.
Allowing for flexibility (adaptability) with our beliefs can help us to grow, be more open-minded and develop empathy for ourselves and in our relationships.
CONFLICT IS A DYNAMIC PROCESS that helps initiate change through growth. Relationships can never be free of conflicts as there are two individuals with different moods, preferences, and values. There is also baggage that an individual brings along with varying coping styles and adaptations to how situations are managed.
For example, a person may have learned in their earlier years to emotionally shut down in the face of a conflict as a means to avoid their own discomfort.
According to Gottman, there are 4 types of couples that have different approaches to problem-solving, 3 of them define healthy relationships: VOLATILE, VALIDATING, and CONFLICT-AVOIDING.
The 4th couple type is a good indicator of divorce/separation - HOSTILE.