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The Gentle Art of Pulling — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Al,

    I think I am a Clinger disguised as an Avoider in order to avoid guilt of pushing people too much, because I was punished for talking to much in class in Kindergarten. Is there any way to erase/get around this memory of punishment so I can satiate my Clinger desires?

    • Well, good going, Young Lad.  I think you’ve stumbled on a) the idea that everyone is both Clinger and Avoider, and b) history can sure push us to respond in fascinating ways.  Couple of thoughts.  

      A Clinger is an Avoider who doesn’t have enough contact.  An Avoider is often feeling overwhelmed by their interpretations of what others are doing based on their history.   As a Clinger, learning about my partner, I learned to try to see what my partner was seeing at the moment.  Often she was seeing stuff from her history, memories, which I could not personally see at all.  Twas really dumb for me to suggest that there was nothing pushing her, just cuz I couldn’t see it.  

      History never goes away.  (Lizard Essay)  But we can learn to manage ourselves so that our Lizard tends to see the present as different than the history.  That is all  about learning to validate your lizard, honor it, and find what it (our Lizard) seeks from others in order to be safe, and to get our partner to cooperate in doing those things.  

      For instance, I was told over and over as a kid that I was a failure.  I believed that people who failed were to be rejected and abandoned.  My Lizard really fears rejection and abandonment, and interprets that a “death”.  What I need at the moment of “failure” was someone to remind me that they like me, consider me a “keeper” even when I fail.  My partner can learn to do that reminding.   “You know, Al.  You’re a keeper.”

      Check out Healing Frustrations.

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