It Was The Goddam Bell… How our Classical Conditioning Is Getting In The Way of Loving Relationships

classical conditioning ii
When in an argument, are we reacting or responding? Reacting would be that immediate spontaneous reaction that comes out of us without much (or any) thought because that is what we are used to. It’s what we programmed ourselves to do to protect ourselves from “harm”. For example, someone you love pisses you off. Most reactions tend to be the silent treatment or some kind of retaliation (pushing their buttons, blaming them, etc.). We might get our way temporarily, but it doesn’t solve the fundamental problems, and we’ll see them continuously pop up again until we learn how to react differently.

I’m not saying we are dogs salivating to a bell, but I do think it’s interesting to consider that perhaps our reactions to outer stimuli may just be as simple as that. The goddam bell triggers us to react unlovingly, and maybe that’s not necessary…

Maybe… faster, longer-lasting resolution comes with actually giving thought into how we respond to the stuff based on actual consideration of what kind of long-term outcome you really want…

Not an easy task, for sure. But definitely worth the effort.

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