Last week, I wrote about what a yip is and how it plays out in our love lives. Today, I'm going to elaborate on how one can begin to work through their dating yips. To recap, a yip is: an involuntary muscle movement or spasm that affects the ability to carry out a smooth hand/wrist movement. When applied to dating, the yip represents a psychological, often sub- or unconscious barrier that comes up involuntarily. One of the terms I use for this is projectile dysfunction, which is when someone starts spewing potentially destructive words that usually come up as the result of one of their sub- or unconscious buttons being pushed. A tale-tell sign of this is when someone's reaction is disproportionately more intense or dramatic than the event that actually occurred. For example, you forget orange juice at the store, and your partner gets upset that you never pay attention to what they need. On its own, forgetting juice is insignificant. When it triggers an underlying fear response, it triggers emotions far deeper than the situation at hand.
Since these are sub- or unconscious responses, they're something we have to infer from our feelings and actions. When we make a conscious decision, we can decide what we'd like our action or response to be. The conscious mind is like working from the inside out, while observing our behavior gives us insight into our sub- and unconscious. Our emotions (ie. our limbic system) are like a medium that attempts to negotiate between and reconcile our conscious and unconscious. Through creating alignment between the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious, we can tackle the dating yips, and learn how to work through the resistance that comes up as we embark on any personal or life changes.
Let's take a look at how we can create alignment between our beliefs and behavior, especially when it comes to dating.
One area of frustration several of my female clients have expressed is this: "I want to be pursued, but I initiate because he's taking too long." This is a prime example of a dating yip. The conscious thought "I want to be pursued" is being counteracted by the belief: "This is taking too long," which prompts an action (to initiate) that cancels out the conscious desire to be pursued. This creates a conflict between the unconscious (loves to stay the same) and the conscious (excited by something new), which is one of the reasons committing to change can be so hard. This conflict can make "staying the pursuer" seem like the better option simply because it's what you already to do. In order to resolve the conflict, shift out of old habit, and into new action, an intentional shift is needed. This is where transformational coaching comes into play.
Let's break this down. How can we re-frame this assessment ("I want to be pursued, but I initiate because he's taking too long.") to create the desired end result (to be pursued)?
1. Identify the misalignment. Is desire/thought/emotion is out of alignment with behavior and action? Yes. Therefore, does it qualify as a dating yip? Check.
2. Decide what you truly want. What do I want more: What I want (desired state) or what I'm doing (present state)? Would I rather pursue, or be pursued?
3. Figure out what needs to change. If you want something different than what you're currently (or have been) experiencing, doing the same thing will most likely continue to yield the same results. Want to experience something different? Be willing to try something different. It doesn't have to be a major change, simply another option than what you've tried before. For shifting from the pursuer to the pursued, where is there room for change? Experiment with changing your approach: "I allow what I want to come to me. I have plenty of time. Men pursue me." Treat it as an experiment and observe what differences you notice.
4. Address the justification. For this example, "It's taking too long" is the justification. Yes, I know you'd rather already be in the relationship of your dreams, but if you're not already, let's talk about what we can do to get you there. If you were ready, you'd have it. So, let's get you ready. What can/am I doing to be the person and live the life I envision? What specific actions can I do right now to step into alignment with what I want?
5. Create alignment. Thoughts become things. With each thought you have, ask yourself, "Do I want this to be true?" If yes, that's cool. If no, what do you want to be true instead? "He doesn't like me" doesn't matter when you're a badass regardless of whether a guy likes you or not. "If he doesn't like me, that's ok." It's ok to be bummed. Now, go focus on your relationships with the people that like you. Be the version of yourself that awesome people want to be around. Confident people are attracted to confidence. We all have our insecurities, but we can choose whether or not we define ourselves by them. Don't let old fears keep you from what you want. Choose your thoughts wisely. Figure out how to mean it when you say: I love myself enough to be nice to myself. If it's too hard to love yourself right now, start with being nice.
Yips are created when there is conflict between the unconscious (automatic processes we're not aware of), subconscious (limbic/mid-brain, emotions), and conscious (frontal lobe, decision-making) mind. Through creating continuity between these levels of the mind, you're able to create lasting emotional and behavioral change. It's an imperative process for those who are truly seeking to change.
We're motivated to change because we want to expand and grow. Sometimes, unwanted pain is our motivator, sometimes, it's a reward we envision...in my opinion, whatever motivates you doesn't matter as long as it moves you forward. Stay tuned, Part III will all be about using our dating yips to move us forward.
Onward and upward -
Love + light,
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