Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Psychological Geometry

Working with Relationship Triangles is the latest in a long line of textbooks that speak to me on a personal level. Drawing me in and intricately explaining every minute detail of my life; as if the book was written specifically for or about me.

Based on the Family theory presented by Murray Bowen triangles in relationships form "whenever tension exists in a dyad." Then "emotional forces begin to operate in a way that brings about a stabilizing relationship triangle."

Stop. Close your eyes and picture the triangles that exist in your life. They are easy to see once you understand the theory.

I am involved in several triangles but the most recent and prominently displayed one would be the one that exists between me, Poison and The Pilot.

The book further explains, "triangles are a short-circuiting mechanism that serves the purposes of avoiding discomfort with intimacy and of avoiding discomfort with facing conflictual issues." My triangle makes perfect sense given this explanation. I'm moving slowly and cautiously in my relationship with The Pilot. The entrance of Poison into the triangle (which is a blog of another day but does involve a concert, a dinner and a fight in the middle of Fado) is to help ease my discomfort with possible future intimacy between The Pilot and I. On the flip side, The Pilot has entered my life to relieve me of the "discomfort with facing conflictual issues" that occur between Poison and I.

Do well to remember that all of this is occurring unconsciously. Interesting stuff, isn't it?

Further down on the page containing the previous quote was an entire paragraph that completely clarified my relationship with Poison:
"Fogarty's observations of patients in his office led him to think that certain individuals may have greater tendencies toward separation anxiety or incorporation anxiety. This produces behavior that he labeled 'emotional pursuit' or 'emotional distance.' The partners of emotional pursuers perceive them as threatening incorporation, which activates the distancers' anxiety and intensifies their distancing behavior. The partners of emotional distancers perceive them as threatening abandonment (separation), triggering the pursuers' anxiety and intensifying their pursuit. The more intense the anxiety on either part, the more likely are efforts to stabilize the the dyad by activation of a triangle."

I am an emotional pursuer and Poison is an emotional distancer. I was emotionally pursuing Poison because I was afraid (rightfully so) that he would abandon me. Which only further distanced him from me. No healthy relationship can develop under these circumstances.

However, things are developing in a healthy fashion between The Pilot and I. And that is what an emotional pursuer should be looking for; something healthy. I'm going to consciously battle my unconscious tendencies to avoid intimacy and triangulate relationships.

Good-Bye Poison and "conflictual issues." Hello Pilot, intimacy and healthy pursuing!

No comments: