We might think that of someone else mightn’t we? That they’re trying to wind us up. We feel an emotional response to something they’ve said or done and we think it’s deliberate. Later we dismiss it as paranoia, or we simply blow the whole thing off, thinking we’re being self-centered and overly sensitive. But here’s the thing, what if they really were trying to wind you up; to get some kind of emotional reaction? What if your gut feeling; your immediate suspicions were correct? And here’s another thing, what if the person who’s trying to wind you up, isn’t fully aware of what they’re doing?
This begs the questions: Why would someone try to elicit a negative emotion from me? Why would they need to deliberately do this? How can they not be fully aware of what they’re doing?
One answer, that comes to me instantly, is that of attention. It could be that the person you’re with needs your attention. Perhaps your attention is focused elsewhere. Perhaps they’re particularly needy right now. And so, antagonistic behaviour, deliberately designed to get an emotional response from you, will quite obviously be gaining your attention. Once you react emotionally to their behaviour, they have you. They have your time and attention; two extremely valuable assets.
It’s worth considering whether the attention you’re being manipulated to give is positive or negative.
It’s very valuable to be aware that negative or positive imply no contradiction within the unconscious mind. As odd as it may seem, the kind of attention children predominantly receive from parents or carers, can be of a negative nature. Consider the parent whose idea of child-development is constant criticism. When this is the case, it often follows, that this sort of attention, is then unconsciously desired in adulthood.
If what stuck was negative attention, this will be the unconscious understanding, of what it is to be loved.
Many relationships have paternal/maternal tendencies. The biggest danger here is when the attention you’re giving your partner is mostly of a negative nature (anger and/or criticism are just two examples). The constant stress and tensions involved here can be detrimental to your health and that of the relationship.
So to conclude – with this brief and yet important realization – be mindful of what kind of attention you give the people you’re closest to. Never dismiss gut reactions, they’re often bang on. The attention certain people crave from you may often prove to be of a negative nature. Positive or negative imply no contradiction in the unconscious mind. If your mind is elsewhere and the person near you is needy, it matters not, what kind of attention you give, just as long as you give it. Be aware of the dangers. Constant negative attention damages you and your relationships.
Important questions to consider are:
What is at the root of my emotional reactions?
I obviously have emotional hotspots, what needs to happen for me to remain calm?
How can I improve the health of my relationships?