We get into an argument when we feel triggered about something and we have the need to protect ourselves. We protect ourselves in different ways: some of us withdraw and shut down, and some of us feel flooded with anxiety and desperation and go after our partner. Whatever we do, we send messages to our partner that are not really how we feel. Our partner might feel not important or dismissed by us or smothered and criticized. Our partner reacts to this “attack” and we start all over again.
We react in a protective way whenever we feel attacked. If we think about how we are being attacked, you might say “well he/she said this to me or did this to me”. They might have said or done hurtful things to you. Now, what do those hurtful things he/she said or did mean to you? What do they tell you about you in terms of what you mean to them? Most likely, they would mean something like “I am not important to you”, “You don’t care about me” or “I can never be good enough for you”. These are very painful to us and they might be touching something deeper inside of you. Think about any other time in your life, in significant relationships when you felt that way, that you were not important or good enough. Where do you go? Maybe there is something that is being touched inside of you when you feel that you are not important or not good enough. Many times, whenever we receive those messages over and over, part of us believes it and this belief is an important part of how we relate with others and what relationships you choose for you.