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Do you swing from feeling sad and depressed to angry and annoyed? Is your relationship suffering? Are you tired of this cycle and looking for a way out?
If you are feeling stuck in an unwanted pattern of behaviour, this Blog was written for you! The information provided here is life changing. It will help you to break old patterns, and create greater happiness, success and better relationships.
Anthony Robbins developed the Crazy Eight Strategy to help people recognise and change unwanted patterns of behaviour.
The pattern I’m referring to is when a person swings from feeling annoyed and angry, to feeling sad and depressed. An event triggers one emotion, which is then relieved by the opposing emotion. Before long people find themselves hooked into the Crazy Eight swinging between feeling mad and sad.
How Does This Happen?
The ways, in which people can get hooked into the Crazy Eight pattern, is limited only by their imagination. It depends upon their life experience, values, beliefs and priorities. A whole range of issues and situations cause emotional triggers, which can potentially impact our mood and behaviour.
Because I work a lot with couples, I am going to demonstrate the Crazy Eight with a case study, from my combined experience as a couples therapist and coach.
Andrea (41) and John (44) have been together for 20 years and married for seventeen. They have two children aged sixteen and fourteen. Andrea works part-time as an accountant and John works full-time as a real estate agent.
For the past three years Andrea and John have become increasingly dissatisfied with their intimate relationship.
Andrea complains John doesn’t appreciate her, and he puts his work above all else. John feels Andrea doesn’t understand that he has to work long hours to maintain their lifestyle. He is frustrated with Andrea’s constant complaints and mood swings, and doesn’t know how to manage her expectations or make her happy.
The challenges both have experienced in expressing their thoughts, feelings and needs has resulted in John spending more time away from home and Andrea spending more time swinging between feeling mad and sad.
They are concerned with the difficulty they are experiencing with their communication and fear that the distance between them will continue to grow.
What Is Really Going On?
For the past few years John’s business has really taken off. He’s receiving more referrals than ever before, and sales are going through the roof! He feels great when he is at work. He knows how to do his job well and he enjoys the feeling of success. His career provides him with a high level of certainty and significance and he feels well connected within his community.
Andrea is proud of her husband’s achievements and appreciates the financial rewards his work provides to their family. At the same time She misses him when he is working and is frustrated when he brings his work home. Their conversations are constantly interrupted with business calls, emails and messages.
When John takes a call at home Andrea’s automatic emotional response is to feel rejected and alone. In her heart she knows her husband loves her, yet at the same time she sadly feels the distance between them is growing. She wants to bridge the gap, but feels unable to take action, because this conversation always ends in hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
How People Get Hooked Into The Crazy Eight?
The challenge couples face, is in effectively communicating, how they feel, and what they want. When emotions are running high, and communication is difficult, these discussions often lead to one person feeling defensive and the other feeling misunderstood. As a result issues are not resolved and future discussions seem futile.
When couples feel unable to speak their truth, to be understood and have their needs met, they become vulnerable to developing unproductive patterns of behaviour.
Back To The Case Study
For example, now when John reads an email at home, Andrea immediately fills with emotion, she is unable to express herself effectively, and as a result of this barrier to communicate, will either express anger “I’m so sick of him checking his emails at home. He’s constantly on the phone. I don’t know why he even bothers to come home!” Or, sadness “I wish he could see how important our time together is. If I were important to him, he would prioritise his time with me”.
The way Andrea makes sense of the situation will influence her mood and behaviour. Because she feels blocked from communicating her concerns she will try to get her needs met with a display of emotion. Andrea doesn’t realise she has just stepped into the Crazy Eight.
Cycling From Mad To Sad
Because human beings are unable to maintain one state forever, eventually Andrea will get tired of feeling one emotion, for example anger, and her thoughts will shift, “I wish he could see how important our time is. If I were important to him he would prioritise his time with me”. With this thought her body will lose the energy anger provides and she will transition across to a depressed state. After a while she gets tired of feeling sad and depressed and she will shift her focus, she will become annoyed and angry, and so the unproductive pattern of behaviour continues.
Due to the communication difficulties, experienced by the couple, John is unaware of the intricacies of Andrea’s thought processes, and as a result of the confusion he is unable to help reduce his wife’s distress and meet her emotional needs. Instead he feels helpless, defensive and unappreciated.
He notices Andrea is becoming increasingly moody and he feels powerless to resolve the situation and make her happy. Eventually he gives up trying. He feels he can’t make her happy anyway so what is the point.
Andrea perceives his withdrawal as further evidence that he doesn’t care about her feelings and work is now his priority.
How Do I Stop The Cycle?
Relationship counselling and coaching offers you the support needed to stop the Crazy Eight pattern of behaviour and start living the life you deserve. Results are achieved in the shortest possible time by helping you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, to recognise your emotions, beliefs, trigger points, and the automatic thoughts, which are no longer serving you.
Along with effective communication skills training you will be able to authentically and openly express yourself, which leads to better understanding, compassion and intimacy.
Relationship counselling and coaching helps you to create a vision for the future and an action plan to achieve your relationship goals. Throughout the process successes are celebrated and barriers are addressed. With the right support you can break the old pattern, create a new destiny, and enjoy greater happiness, success and better relationships.