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Tit-for-Tat: Reprisal and Control

By Sue Siebens


Tit-for-tat, or retaliation, is “the act of hurting someone or doing something harmful to someone because they have done or said something harmful to you.”[1] We can also call it revenge. But revenge is a big topic on its own. In this blog, I want to address the little acts of revenge in our relationships—the “I’m doing “this” to teach you a lesson or send a message.




This can show up in a repeated argument that goes nowhere or replays irritating exchanges.[2] Psychologists believe it concerns our behaviors that avoid and deflect personal responsibility. This mentality allows us to conclude that it’s not our fault falsely—that the present situation is not our responsibility. If we are overly dependent on our partner’s approval, validation, and behavior, then our security, self-esteem, prestige, and happiness are intimately tied to them in an emotional dependency. It can lead to a tit-for-tat cycle of high reactivity.[3] Keeping the “battle” going is a way to control the ebb and flow of the interaction.



While this pattern of emotional attachment is likely rooted in the past, it is now accessible. The current pattern of reprisals is the reality at hand to work out.

No matter who is at “fault,” every relationship has at least two participants. We can and only need to address our side of the exchange. Resolving the emotional baggage on our side clears the conflict in surprising ways.


Emotional Resolution, EmRes, uses current situations and events to resolve the unprocessed emotional baggage of the past. Accessing the body’s natural ability to process emotions via interoception and sensing physical sensations related to emotions, EmRes session time focuses on current events that expressed emotional triggers. It is quickly and easily done under the direction of an EmRes Professional in sessions or by trained Self-EmRes individuals.

Why suffer through a thorny relationship when you can pluck out the thorns and change the dynamic? This EmRes process works for the intimate relationships of spouses, partners and family members. It also untangles the more public relationships at work and in our communities.



In fact, most people who use EmRes to resolve these tit-for-tat irritations find that their reprisal partner stops being irritating. Think of a match and its striking surface. Remove either the match or its lighting strip and there is no spark created to light a fire. When we have let go of our match—the unprocessed memory through EmRes, no fire—no triggered emotion can occur.

We are more present in our exchanges with others and can respond in peace and compassion.


Are you ready to let go of the flare-ups in your life?




References

2. Why Your Relationship May Be Stuck in a Frustrating Tit-for-Tat Pattern, by Dan Neuharth PhD MFT, https://psychcentral.com/blog/love-matters/2018/08/why-your-relationship-may-be-stuck-in-a-frustrating-tit-for-tat-pattern#1

3. The Tit-for-Tat Mentality, by Allen Berger PhD, https://optimalrecovery.info/the-tit-for-tat-mentality

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay



About Sue

Sue Siebens uses Emotional Resolution, EmRes, to work at a fundamental level, where the roots of the illness, fear, and pain can be accessed and resolved. Sue teaches and writes to raise awareness about this new technology so that as many people as possible can find relief and peace in their life. Sue is based in Dallas, Tx, USA.

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