A Very Powerful Idea for Dealing with Emotional Filipino Women: Lashing out is a “Cry for Help”

As I keep saying in my posts, one of the main challenges of being married to a Filipina is that many Filipinos tend to get emotional.

I’ve already published an article where I explain what, in my opinion, lies behind the emotional volatility of Filipinos (https://buildingfilipinowesternbridges.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/effective-communication-with-my-filipino-wife-her-lashing-out-is-never-or-hardly-ever-an-attack-on-you/)

Today I want to share with you a core distinction that has immensely helped me to deal with emotionally charged situations and this distinction is that

“in every human interaction a response is either “a loving response or a cry for help”.

I’ve heard this concept in some communication seminars. I think it comes from a book entitled “A Course in Miracles”.

Your spouse is lashing out, she is attacking you verbally, she is calling you names. Our natural tendency is to respond in kind.

We all fall into this trap but we might also have noticed that when we vent back the conversation is going nowhere and we are not accomplishing anything.

An emotionally charged situation however can be a great opportunity to show genuine love if we constantly remind ourselves that BEHIND THAT LASHING OUT, BEHIND THOSE SHARP WORDS, BEHIND THOSE CUTTING REMARKS THERE IS ALWAYS, YES, ALWAYS A CRY FOR HELP.

I know this idea is a little tough to grasp, I know it is perhaps a bit unnatural to see things that way and I am still struggling to apply it myself, especially when, in addition to dealing with my Filipino wife I am also dealing with my wife’s whole extended family, but when a highly emotional person unloads on us it is much more effective to stop, pause and ask ourselves: “where is the cry for help here and what is the most appropriate loving response to this particular cry for help”?

This approach may take years or even a life-time to master, but I think there is no way around it if you want to deal effectively with an emotional woman, and all the more so because Filipino in-laws, more often than not, take sides with her and also react emotionally and the atmosphere may get really intense, so investing time and energy in mastering the art of identifying the cry for help behind what looks like an attack on you will definitely increase the quality of your relationship.

In my experience this distinction has immensely helped me to enhance my ability to show empathy and understanding.

As I keep saying in this blog, becoming familiar with the Filipino culture and its countless manifestations (and idiosyncrasies) is very useful and in this blog I’ve mentioned a lot of cultural aspects that a Westerner needs to be aware of to succeed in a relationship with a Filipina. However I am a believer in the idea that a successful intimate relationship with anyone on the planet, no matter where this person comes from, has more to do with psychology and mindset than it has to do with exploring our spouse’s culture in all it’s avenues.

Operating from the idea that every interaction is either a loving response or a cry for help is a very powerful needle mover and game changer in a challenging relationship like the one with a Filipina.

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