Episode 129 Punishment And Retaliation (1)

Punishment and Retaliation – Losing Relationship Strategy #4

Episode 129 – Punishment and Retaliation – Losing Strategy #4

The fourth losing relationship strategy is Punishment and retaliation. This can show up in covert and overt ways, but at its core, we turn ourselves into a victim of the other person and we are then feeling justified in withholding approval and affection, or even punishing in a physically harmful way. 

We are designed for human connection, and we are designed to want our independence and agency. The problem is we don’t know how to get both of those things at the same time. We either give up our independence or we cut ourselves off from others. 

To begin working on correcting this losing strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

1.       When was the last time I withheld affection or approval from someone I love? 

2.       How did I feel after I did that? 

3.       What was I trying to get? 

4.       Did I get what I wanted?

If you want to begin learning some winning relationship strategies, register for my upcoming class:

Healthy Relationships from the Inside Out

March 21, 11:00am MDT


If you don’t want to wait for the class, schedule a Strategy Call with me. This is a one-time introductory coaching call, not a sales call. We’ll spend about an hour discussing your issue and you’ll leave with at least one, probably two or three strategies to begin using in your relationship

CLICK HERE to set up your call

Full Transcript

Tina Gosney  00:00

Do you know what expectations really are? Another term we could use is premeditated disappointments.

Tina Gosney  00:10

Welcome to the coaching your family relationships podcast, where we work on building a stronger you so that you can survive and thrive. No matter what is happening in your family. I’m your host certified family relationship coach, Tina Gosney. Let’s get started.

Tina Gosney  00:31

This is part four in a series that I’m doing on losing relationship strategies. Now, I don’t want to just leave you with a bunch of losing strategies in this series. So I’ve created a class that I’m teaching, called Healthy Relationships from the inside out. And in this class, we’re going to go more into depth about how we’re using these losing strategies in our relationships, and how they really do affect our ability to be close and connected with another person. I’m going to teach you how to move past those losing strategies. And another word for them is transactional strategies, we’re going to start thinking relationally, which is connecting, not transactionally, which is distancing.

Tina Gosney  01:17

So thinking relationally begins with how you are dealing with what is going on inside of yourself, it can have little or nothing to do with the other person, it is how we are creating our experience of what is happening in front of us. That’s why I call this class healthy relationships from the inside out. You don’t have control over what someone else does, or what they say. But you are a powerful, very, very powerful creator of your own life, and of your own actions. Who you are being in a relationship is very important. And I’m here to help you develop the skills that will help you be a person who is confident in your own skin. And also confident in your relationships with other people. Because relationships have the potential to be our greatest teachers, especially when they’re not going well. We can’t learn from them unless we are aware of what we’re doing. And I want you to have the advantage of learning from what you’re doing.

Tina Gosney  02:24

I heard the other day, someone who said that they had a lot of failures. And they were trying to learn from each one of those. And as they did that their failures then became like some stairs that they claimed that they called the like their ladder of their success. So but that success was built on all of their failures. And all of us can do the same thing. We’ve all done our own variation of these losing strategies, and those can be failures. And but when we begin to wake up to ourselves, wake up to our own intentions, and the way that we are reacting to with to what is going on within ourselves, then we can start building that stair step right, we can start building that stair step of failure to success, we start changing our losing strategies, we start using winning strategies instead.

Tina Gosney  03:20

And that’s what I’ll be teaching in this class. Healthy Relationships from the inside out. There will be a replay available if you can’t attend live, I would really love for you to attend live because you get more out of it when you do. And I’ll be doing a q&a at the end. So you can come and ask questions directly ask questions. There’s a link in the show notes go there get signed up. If you have any questions, you can always email me before the class but I am really looking forward to seeing you there.

Tina Gosney  03:49

It’s really common when I start working with a new client, that they come to coaching, truly believing that someone else causes their emotions. And then either through one appointment or several appointments, we go through a process of discovery. And we find it becomes very apparent that we create our own emotions. But when we attribute that emotion and blame it on someone else, then we take actions that try to cause that same emotion in the other person. That might have been a little confusing the way I said that.

Tina Gosney  04:29

So let me give you an example. To clarify. Just imagine that you are feeling very disrespected by someone. Well, that’s a really difficult feeling to experience and our feelings will drive our actions or feelings caused us to act in certain ways. The actions that I’ve seen that will usually follow an emotion of feeling disrespected or things like interrupting the other person not letting them finish what they want to say. Not even listening to what They’re they’re saying, maybe or maybe ignoring them on purpose. Maybe saying something that is sarcastic, rude or dismissive, ruminating on thoughts about how that person’s not nice to you, how you don’t deserve to be treated the way that they’re treating you. And then going and telling other people, how that person is not nice, and how they are being unfair. And they’re just a jerk. So what we end up creating from the feeling of being disrespected, is being very disrespectful to the other person.

Tina Gosney  05:37

 So that’s why I say we are trying to cause the way that we’re feeling, we’re trying to cause that same feeling. And somebody else, it’s super common for us to do this. And lots of times, and I would say most of the time, we don’t even know that we’re doing that. We feel a difficult emotion. And then we want the other person to feel the same way that we feel. So we go about creating that very situation. We are very powerful creators, we create that we create every experience that we’re having in our lives. There are things that we don’t create, like the weather, like what other people say, or what they do, the events happening in another country or another state. We don’t create things like that. But what we do create is our experience of those things. And that determines the course of our life, how we create our experience of the things that are in our lives.

Tina Gosney  06:36

Every experience in your life was first created mentally with a thought. Because things that exist, are created mentally before they are created physically. When we don’t realize this very simple but profound truth. We let our egos take over. And we come become victims of our own lives, sometimes of ourself, and sometimes of people in our lives, we become someone who is being acted upon, instead of acting, we don’t become an agent in our life. This losing strategy that I’m going over today is Punishment and Retaliation. This is the fourth strategy in the losing strategy series.

Tina Gosney  07:19

 The concept of these losing strategies was created by Terry Real, he’s one of the mentors that I’ve had in my life that I have learned a lot from. And like I said, this is Punishment and Retaliation. And in effect, it’s saying if I don’t get what I want from you, I’m going to make you pay for it, I’m going to punish you in some way.

Tina Gosney  07:41

Our human egos are very much in play. When we use this losing strategy, we can make somebody pay in kind of a passive, passive, aggressive, covert way. Like if I don’t get what I want from you, I’m going to withhold affection and approval.

Tina Gosney  07:58

For example, if you criticize what I’m wearing, right before we meet friends for dinner, I’m going to tell a story during dinner that paints you in an unflattering light. Or you didn’t tell me you love me this morning before you left for work. So when we see each other tonight, I’m going to withhold affection from you. Or even something like if you don’t help me put the kids to bed tonight, I’m gonna go to bed without speaking to you. There’s also that’s very passive aggressive, right, that’s very covert. It’s just like letting somebody know without letting them without saying it. It’s like sneaking in being mean, under the guise of being a victim.

Tina Gosney  08:39

There’s also a very overt punishment, that is a lot more apparent. So you turn me down when I want to be intimate with you. So I’m going to turn to porn instead. You didn’t help me pack the car when we were getting ready to leave town. So I’m gonna yell at you and tell you all the things that you’re doing wrong as we take our road trip. I mean, those are really obvious ways of Punishment and Retaliation, right. And that is where abusive behavior comes into play. There’s actually a desire to harm and cause pain and suffering. At its core, this losing strategy of Punishment and Retaliation, has a desire to hurt someone. And that hurt comes from putting ourselves in a victim position. It’s like we’re saying you harmed me first. So I have a right to what I’m doing. You did this. So I get to do that. It’s very self centered and selfish.

Tina Gosney  09:33

When I look at these behaviors with my clients, and we put everything down on paper, we put it all out for us to look at right where we can see it immediately. It doesn’t align with who my client wants to be. It’s very eye opening. It’s a behavior. Of course it’s a behavior that we want to change right now once we see it.

Tina Gosney  09:55

In relationships, we all have two basic human needs. We are designed biologically, we are designed for connection to be in connection with other people. And biologically, we are also designed to want our independence and our agency. We don’t know how to do both of those at the same time. So when we play out this losing strategy, of punishing or retaliating, we don’t get either of those, we don’t get connection. And we don’t get independence and agency. We think that we do, but we’re actually turning ourselves into a victim. We’re being acted upon, we’re driving the other person away. But at the same time, we’re giving them our agency and turning ourselves into the victim. I’m not talking about people who are true victim domestic violence, or abuse. That’s a different topic that I don’t address on this podcast. But this losing strategy does include things like that.

Tina Gosney  10:53

I want you to imagine that you’re going to your 20th high school reunion, you’ve put on a few pounds, and last 20 years, like most people, you’re trying to lose that weight before the reunion. And you’ve lost some but not as much as you would have liked. And you have a new outfit, you get dressed, you look in the mirror, like Hey, I didn’t lose all the weight. But I’m still looking pretty good. Feeling pretty good about yourself. You get to the reunion, having a great time talking with some old friends, reminiscing, telling stories. And then incomes an old friend that you haven’t seen in 20 years since high school. And she looks really good. She’s thin, she’s beautiful, her clothes are awesome.

Tina Gosney  11:35

And then all of a sudden, you’re feeling really bad in your own clothes. And you’re feeling really bad in your own skin. What happens next? Well, when you’re using this losing strategy, Punishment and Retaliation, you’ll start doing things like you tell yourself and other people, oh, she’s too thin. I don’t like her dress that’s ugly. Maybe you talk with her, you might try to find fault in what she’s saying, or discount what she’s doing in her life right now. And if somebody else says something nice to her, you’ll try to contradict what they are saying. All of this is coming, because you’re not feeling good about yourself. And now you’re trying to get this other woman to feel the same way about herself, that you feel about yourself.

Tina Gosney  12:24

Another thing that happens when we do this is that the Punishment and Retaliation isn’t just turned outward, toward the towards that woman, it’s actually turned inward towards herself. You start being really unkind and your thoughts about yourself. Because before you saw her, you were feeling pretty good about yourself. If you continue to feel good about yourself, you wouldn’t have needed to try to punish her. But you start being very unkind and your thoughts about yourself and your thoughts about you become very punishing. So we can become a victim of ourselves. And we are all the time, we have a really strict inner critic inside of our own heads.

Tina Gosney  13:06

In this example, that woman didn’t do anything except what you thought was looked better than you thought you looked. It was your own thoughts about yourself that you thought were too difficult to handle. So you become a victim of your own thoughts. But the punishment was directed towards someone else. I would also say the punishment was directed towards you, because you probably ruined your own experience of that reunion. And then you’re punishing yourself internally as well. You know, our fight or flight kicks in so easily kicks in several times a day, way more than we realize. We have our nervous system response, we can’t control our nervous system. And it kicks in and we become very reactionary, our fight or flight, sometimes a fawn or freeze. If you’re familiar with those. Also, those terms fawn or freeze, those responses kick in automatically. We can’t control this, but we can learn how to manage it with the right skill set.

Tina Gosney  14:11

And that’s one thing that we’ll be talking about. In the healthier relationships class. We will also recreate whatever we saw our parents do. Our parents modeled the relationship model for us as we were growing up. So as children, we learned how to be in relationships with other people, depending on what we saw going on in our own home. Lots of times, that’s the way we think everybody relates to each other. And if we don’t know that there’s another option. We literally don’t know what we don’t know.

Tina Gosney  14:47

But when we’re children, we think everyone’s house is like our house and everyone does things the way my family does them. And when we grow up and we get out of our house for the first time, like maybe going away to college We start seeing that other people do things differently. First, we notice things like, Bill, they do the laundry differently than me, or they do meals different than I do, or they do chores different than I do. But what is not as easily recognized is how other people do relationships differently, like how they do relationships in their home, versus how our family did relationships, that’s much harder to see and distinguish.

Tina Gosney  15:29

So unless we are very intentional about doing something different than we had modeled for us, we will repeat the same relationships that we had modeled for us as children. Maybe that was a great example for you. Maybe it wasn’t. But if you’re not intentional, you will repeat whatever you saw as a child. And you won’t even know that you’re doing this, we are all so blind to ourselves. It’s like, we’re living inside of a jar of our own life, and the instructions on how to live that life are on the outside of the jar. But we’re inside and we can’t see the label, we can’t see the instructions. So other people can see it, and they see us much better than we see ourselves. Have you ever noticed that it’s so easy to look at someone else, and know exactly what they need to do to fix their problems. But when it comes to your own life, you feel really stuck. Like I just don’t know what to do. And I’ve heard that so many times.

Tina Gosney  16:29

When we get stuck in this losing relationship strategy, that Punishment and Retaliation, we get super justified in our position. And that’s our ego. Our ego wants to hold on to being right, to being in control to getting what we deserve. And so it tells us that we’re justified in our losing relationship strategies, especially when we are in that fight or flight, we cannot see things clearly. And our ego and our body are just taking over. But the Ego is the Enemy of intimacy and connection in our relationships with ourselves and with others, because we can’t see things clearly. As long as we let that ego be in charge, we will not really get what we want. Remember, which is to feel like we are independent agents in our own life, and be in connection with other people. So instead of looking inward to deal with ourselves, we look outward. And we put expectations on another person that they may or may not fulfill. And if we are truly being honest, we would probably say that most of the time, our expectations are not met.

Tina Gosney  17:42

So expectations are just premeditated disappointments.

Tina Gosney  17:47

In this healthy relationship class, I’m going to go deeper into ways to manage your own thoughts and your own emotions, and your own nervous system. You’re going to leave this class with a plan to start working on this.

Tina Gosney  17:58

And while you’re waiting for that class later this month, I want you to ask yourself these questions. There’s something for you to get started.

Tina Gosney  18:07

Ask yourself, when was the last time I withheld affection or approval from someone I love? How did I feel after that? What was I trying to get by punishing the other person? And did I get what I really wanted? Those are some really introspective, deep questions that require some thought.

Tina Gosney  18:31

So get out your journal and write them down and start doing some exploration. Remember, we’re trying to create awareness for yourself of what you’re doing. I’m really looking forward to seeing you at this healthy relationships class, I’m going to be talking about all of our patterns of punishing and retaliating going from transactional to relational. And there’s a link in the show notes. So go get signed up today.

Tina Gosney  18:57

Here’s a reminder that content consumption does not make changes. To really make the changes that you want in your life. You need to come to the healthy relationships from the inside out class. There’s a link in the show notes. I’ll see you there.

Tina Gosney  19:12

If you like what you’re hearing on the podcast, and you want to take the next step, set up a strategy call with me. I offer a discounted coaching call for first time clients. This is perfect for you if you’re wanting to try out this coaching thing and find out what it’s all about. Or if you’re someone who has this one relationship issue where you feel stuck, you just need some help with it. The price for these calls will be going up in April of 2024. And for the first quarter of 2024. I’ll be offering 24 of these calls at the current price of $25. These calls will go fast and when I’ve done 24 of them, the price goes up. Schedule your call today before they’re gone.