Sticky Emotional Reaction…

SharonAdvice, Neil

Here’s the next article for Neil on holidays and relationships…

Despite your best intentions in clearing the slate…

And all your preparation for staying mindful with your family over the holidays…

Once you’re seated at the table, or socializing in the living room, you may still catch yourself regressing into the wounded child or adapted adolescent.

A sticky emotional reaction may come up that’s tough to release, and you catch yourself wanting to act out or act in…

If so, consider using it as a portal to deepen self-understanding.


As a triggered states arise, it’s like a wormhole opens inside of you, which you can jump through to travel back in time to discover the origins of a wound.

Because no matter what the immediate circumstance may be, it’s not really the source of your emotional reaction. It’s just a pattern echoing from the distant past.

You can go back to the source by using these three words: “Just like when…”

Look at the present scenario, and your emotional state, and say, “This is just like when…”

Which might sound like: “This is just like when X happened at work a few months ago… Which is just like when Y happened when I was 17… Which is just like when Z happened when I was 4.”


As you keep taking steps further, you may not only reach the formation of the wound, but also new memories of times when it surfaced, which brings greater awareness to how it has been showing up in your life.

So, if you can’t exit the reactive path, at least you’re still left with a valuable experience.

And at this point, you also have a perfect opportunity to use your reparenting script, to remind yourself and your inner child as to what the wounded reaction is really about—and how this is an entirely different moment.

As a closing, practical note for the Holiday Survival Series, remember that reactivity is more frequent when we’re overbooked and under-slept. Our emotional brake pads wear thin, and we have fewer mental resources to manage stress.

So be sure to take private time to rest, recoup, and create space for the busier moments.

Wishing you a peaceful, connected Holiday season…

For the latest article from Neil visit here: