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Think Dummy Think!

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islesguy posted 6/2/2014 09:23 AM

I get myself in more trouble because of not thinking things through before acting. This has been a long term pattern for me and it is so incredibly frustrating and does nothing except make my BS feel that I am an unsafe person. I am not talking about cheating, but just poor decision making in general. Is this something that is common to other waywards or is it just me. How did you deal with this?

somethingremorse posted 6/2/2014 10:19 AM

I have this issue too. All I can do is practice making it better.

I get depressed and withdraw. Over really stupid stuff mostly -- I keep my head in emergencies, but get lost in the day to day. Every time this happens, BW rightfully says "Here we go again."

To fix it, I have to recognize those things that set me off. I have to consciously think about what will happen if I act one way or the other. So the bottom line is that I try to pause and think through my reactions. Either before or during my response. For me, it is recognition, effort and practice.

Let me give one simple example. When I'd get depressed, my basic response to the world was "whatever, I don't care." Today, I try to not even use the word "whatever." I think of it like a curse word. Because I know that if I say "whatever" I could start to think "whatever" and then I could start to act "whatever."

Today, I know that I am slower to act or respond, because I really try to think about things first. I know that I am not totally successful. I screw up sometimes. But I can accept that because every situation is a chance to practice getting it right.

Everydayisday1 posted 6/2/2014 10:23 AM

Not thinking through before talking/acting is destructive, and I can relate 100%.

I find myself reacting to things like a crazy person. I get angry at the drop of a dime, and everything my vision shifts. I see myself - ME - and how everything affects ME!

How do we get that out of us? I wonder this... I deal with it by trying to be intentional. This bleeds into my relationship with my partner, but also into how I parent my kids. The need to react is strong. When the kids make a mess. When there is a sudden, jarring noise that disrupts my thinking... When my partner asks me questions that I just don't feel like answering. It seems there are so many things that set me off.

But being intentional is where we start, right? By stopping, thinking it through. By being aware of how we are set off - the triggers that cause us to lose focus and become entirely selfish. It is that selfishness that drove us to the affair, right? So, then, it stands to reason that we are selfish people - and not thinking is part of that.

What do you do to stop yourself? Do you know your triggers?

Why do you find it hard to talk about the affair? Deflecting from it is part of coping, I get that, but to reconcile - to have any shred of hope that you will - is it not worth simply stopping yourself? I ask myself that every day. Because they do not deserve for us to be distracted by our own thoughts and selfish wishes. Not now. Not after doing something so destructive like we have. . .

I hope that helps. I am new to this site, and hope I don't ever offend anyone... It is a hard road - and talking to others that understand helps, so thank you for allowing me that.

Aubrie posted 6/2/2014 13:41 PM

Yep. I would constantly barrel headlong into anything and everything. Then find myself in a mess that could have been avoided altogether if I'd just slowed down and thought things thru.

Learning to slow down and really think things thru was a process. But I've gotten the hang of it. I'm less impulsive. I'm more patient. Everything turns into a research project. To the point QS is like, "Holy cow....come on already!"

Being proactive is much more rewarding than being reactive.

Alyssamd24 posted 6/2/2014 15:45 PM

I am guilty of this and it is something I am working on. I tend to do things spontaneously and then think them through after (which is why i am embarrassed to say I have a playbook bunny tattooed on my back.

Whenever I am faced in a difficult situation I tend to react with my initial feelings first..this is generally when my filter stops working.

This is something I realize I need to get better about.

hardlessons posted 6/2/2014 20:38 PM

isleguy, I have and do suffer this issue, it is a pattern of thought and it requires you to train your brain to think a different way. One technique I used was actually writing down steps of how to think better and I would look at them, I tied that into a list to check in with myself emotionally and while it wasn't a cure all it helped put it in front of me, it trained me to think differently. It took 40 years to learn how to think horribly and it will take me years to undo it. Its a long road, we just have to give ourselves tools to act/be different.
Hope this helps.

Matilda23 posted 6/3/2014 00:09 AM

I am guilty of this and struggle with this issue. These past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster, a self pity party for myself. And when I get into these pity parties about how I'm never enough I don't think and react. Right now I'm learning on my self soothing techniques so I can just think and analyze the situation before I react.

LostTime posted 6/3/2014 01:48 AM

I too am guilty of this - my BS calls it railroading the conversations. I tend to focus in on part of what is said (usually the wrong part) from a selfish perspective and latching onto it.

Slowing down is hard. I need to find was to just stop, listen and process everything without always seeming to miss the greater point and then having the emotional response to my BS saying "forget it. You clearly don't get it".

I haven't been dealing with it properly because it always causes an escalation. I'm not communicating or listening the was she needs me to to hear what she is really saying. This ends up angering her and frustrating me because then she shuts down and I then over analyze and beat myself up.

islesguy posted 6/3/2014 06:22 AM

Thank you all for your responses. I know the answer is to slow down, focus, and really think about the outcome of something before the choice is made. But like hardlessons said, it has taken a life time to get this way and changing to being less spontaneous and more of a thinker before acting is a challenge.

DrJekyll posted 6/4/2014 14:12 PM

As far as Communicating, one thing that has really helped me in the discussion side. When my BS is talking to me my focus is now on reiterating back to her what I understand her to be feeling. This does not mean that I verbally reiterate every time. But with that being the focus I have to use active listening To really understand. If you were in high school and were going to have a quiz on a short film, would you pay close attention to the film? You would because you want the best grade. And if you did not pay attention, you would not be surprised when you fail the quiz. This is how you should treat any discussion with your BS. You should put that level of importance on what your BS is saying. Everyday is a quiz. We have broken their trust. Everyday they are thinking should I stay or go. In the emotional Roller coaster. They are looking for the evidence to support a choice.

As far as not thinking before acting, I have that impulsiveness too. I am working very hard on it. The first tool I use, is I assume my first reaction is wrong. No exceptions. Once I have done that, it breaks that impulsiveness. It give me that 30 second break to start actually wrapping my mind around the situation. Sometimes the first instinct was right. But once I stop and think about it. I can get a much better solution. An example of this for me. Impulse buying. The marketers want us to be impulsive so that we buy their garbage. One of my first steps was to only allow myself 1 impulse buy when I went into the grocery store. By allowing myself 1 impulse buy, I had to start thinking about what impulse buy I wanted more. Wait a second this is starting to sound like rationally thinking through something. It is the little victories

Hope that helps

islesguy posted 6/4/2014 14:15 PM

Thanks DrJekyll,

It is all about slowing down and thinking. Your examples were very helpful in pointing this out.

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