Understanding the goals of any behavior that creates conflict will help us to understand the motivation of the ‘acting out of these goals’. All behaviors that create conflict are trying to fill a need with one of the following four goals or strategies to fill that need:
- Power struggle
- Learned helplessness
Each goal reflects a lack of emotional awareness. At any certain age or set of circumstances we can easily understand how this can get started. We can understand how a child needs attention, or may have a need for more power or has learned to take revenge or even to play the helpless card. But our goal is to look at this negative behavior and how it undermines our peace and the peace of the family and find ways to make changes in our behavior. Making those changes in our behavior will help us to decrease our stress, empower us as individuals and control our anger.
Helping our children as they grow up to (1) identify their emotional needs, (2) name them and (3) ask for what they need will help them to grow up in a more balanced way. If we do not help them overcome these strategies for getting their needs filled, they will certainly grow up rather dysfunctional with continuous attention seeking, competitive and abusive power struggles, holding on to grudges and looking for revenge at all cost, or passive aggression with oneself or hostility towards others.
Creating peace in our homes is about being aware of our thoughts and actions and understanding the consequences of those actions. The Balanced Life Skills Way is helping the community to see that peace is possible.