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Last week we talked about default survival responses and I invited you to see if you could identify yours – if you haven’t listened to that episode yet I recommend starting there because today’s conversation is a natural extension of that chat where I’ll expand on reasons why it might be helpful to identify your partner’s default way of responding when their sense of self or safety feels at all threatened and how even if they never consciously acknowledge their default survival response how your awareness of it might help you better navigate that relationship.

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3 Takeaways from this episode:

  1. Understanding your partner (or other)’s default survival responses can help you to not take things so personally, build a stronger relationship, and/or set needed boundaries for navigating that relationship. Take a moment to identify what you think their default survival response patterns are.

  2. I want to reiterate - if your partner or anyone in your life is verbally or physically abusive, or negligibly shut down or avoidant – we can simultaneously have compassion for the fact that they’ve likely experience hard life circumstance to have created such well worn or intense survival responses while also not excusing the result of those behaviors. Do not use awareness of a response pattern to be an excuse to ignore abuse or even mistreatment. Are there any relationship in your life right now that you need to step away from or set some serious boundaries in? If so, what are they? If you need support in navigating that, where might you find that support?

  3. All the awareness in the world will still never make them or you a perfect partner, parent, or friend so the other part of this is the ability to return and repair which we will talk more about next week.

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