Blind Spots

I had a professor in grad school who loathed when students would use the term “blind spot.” He was a strong advocate for social justice and never wanted someone to feel marginalized. I still don’t know if I feel the term blind spot is pejorative, and struggle to think of another way to phrase it. Area you don’t see yourself? If you disagree, though, feel free to dissent in the comments below!

Our blind spots are funny things, and self-awareness is a life long pursuit. I’ll never be done, I’ll never fully see myself. I will catch the smokey tail of some place I’m not quite seeing myself, and then slowly try to flesh it out and understand it better.

One of my weak areas right now is moving too quickly through Step 2. Yes, Step 2. Yes, you will hear me talk about Step 2 for the rest of my life. I’m going to get a t-shirt that says, “We’re still in Step 2.”

I don’t consciously want to move fast here. I don’t go into session thinking – yeah, I want to drive really hard towards that primary emotion and forgo all the other steps. And yet, there’s something in me that gets a heavy foot on the gas pedal.

Something I know about myself is that I have a strong belief/coping mechanism inherent to how I function in my personal relationship:

To say something critical/hurtful/harsh to my partner will result in him leaving me

Where this can emerge in session is when I have a client who I think is more open to accepting influence from me, and who is saying really harsh things to their partner that kick off the cycle. I start to subconsciously drive towards “getting them to see” that they are doing something hurtful that can result in loss. 

If I feel like a partner is not accepting at all that their words hurt their partner, I can double down and really stay with them here. My subconscious brain is saying, “if they don’t get this, they will lose this person.” 

Not surprisingly, this results in us getting the EFT truck stuck in the mud, with me revving the gas pedal and us moving nowhere. 

What I wish I could do better is to stay a little more pulled out, and keep tracking through the steps of the dance. My own primal brain edges in a little here – while cognitively I want to stay more lightly in the cycle, deep down I’m afraid we don’t have much time to change this, and they could lose the relationship. What helps you stay in tracking the cycle, versus "getting them to see" where they are pushing their partner away?