Tracking Your Negative Cycle In Your Relationship
Stage 1 in EFT: Tracking Your Cycle (T.E.M.P)
- When my partner ________________________ I got upset.
This could be a tone, body language, specific word, yelling etc. It is the moment when you felt upset or disconnected from your partner.
- When my partner (insert trigger), I felt ________________________
There are two different levels of emotions, primary and secondary/reactive emotions. A primary emotion is fear, sadness, shame etc. Secondary or reactive emotions are anger, frustration, annoyance etc. It is important to identify both. This can be challenging and take time. Maybe the next bullet point will help with this. See below for help with identifying primary emotions.*** Also see the image at the end of this document.
Meaning or Cognitive Appraisal
- When my partner (insert trigger) I started telling myself ________________________
- When my partner (insert trigger) it gave me the massage that ________________________
- When my partner (insert trigger) it made me think that my partner sees me as ________________________
- When my partner (insert trigger) it made me view/see myself as ________________________
The meaning or cognitive appraisal (how our minds make sense of and appraise a situation) can be lengthy. For people who are not acutely aware of their emotions, this section can be key in identifying and processing the primary and secondary/reactive emotions.
***To help identify primary emotions take a response from this section and ask yourself “when I start thinking (insert bullet point(s) from above) it makes me feel ________________________” or “when I start thinking (insert bullet point(s) from above) it does ________________________ to me. For example, “when my partner gave me attitude (trigger) it made me think that they see me as a nobody (meaning or cognitive appraisal) and when I tell myself that my partner sees me as a nobody it makes me feel hurt and sad and alone (primary emotions).” The hurt, sadness, and aloneness are the primary emotions.
Protective Action Tendency or Behavior
- When my partner does (insert trigger), I start telling myself (insert meaning/cognitive appraisal), and you would see me do ________________________
The protective action tendency is the behavior. It is what I would physically see you do. It could be you yell back, try to fix it, get defensive, shut down, or walk away. This question is trying to understand when all this stuff happens how do you cope or handle it? What is your move?