Although I hate admitting it, there are times family members have told me “You are your own worst enemy!” Each time I hear the phrase, I cringe.
At those moments, I come face to face with some self-defeating behavior I’ve been doing. The one that I most guilty of is over-complicating things. This often shows up in my home repairs. For some reason, I make choices that complicate rather than simplify solutions to a problem.
Self-defeating behaviors are bad habits. I often have to get so totally frustrated I change my ways. It’s only at that point that I am willing to look at other choices.
I’m sure that my habits frustrate my family as well. When they ask ‘why’ I do it, they receive a justification for the my complication of things. They hear my reason for doing what I’m doing rather than receiving an honest appraisal of the situation.
They have learned that anytime they ask “Why” when I am in a self-defeating mode, they’re just going to get excuses. Self defeating behaviors and “Why” questions are a toxic mix.
Asking someone in the middle of a self-defeating behavior “Why” only gets you their justification and excuses.
I know that they’re wanting me to reconsider what I’m doing along with finding other options, but asking “Why” is not the way of accomplishing that.
This is the reason your asking the cheater “Why?” gets similar results. Anytime you ask someone who is engaging in self-defeating behavior that question, they’ll only give you their justification along with getting defensive.
At best, you’ll get a justification. You may also get an honest “I don’t know”. The cheater may not have any answer for you, which only frustrates you.
They’re being honest many times when they tell you that they don’t know the answer to your question.
In the downloadable ‘Affair Recovery Workshop’ I address the danger of ‘why’ questions. I also share with you an alternative approach. That alternative raises awareness of options while avoiding the defensive reactions.
The alternative approach also brings motivations and other factors behind the affair to a conscious level. They start seeing things they missed before.
When my family uses this approach with me, I see new options in fixing things around the house along with my methods in repairing them.
Although asking “Why” is habitual, you can break your habit of doing so and have a better alternative.
Nothing in this Work is intended to replace common sense, legal, medical or other professional advice. If your situation warrants it, please seek competent professional counsel.