How to deal with the Change-Back Attack

Posted on September 9, 2010


In my last post, I discussed the unfortunate thing that happens to many people when they make a big change in their romantic lives: The Change-Back Attack. In case you missed it, here’s what a Change-Back attack is. Below are some ways you can deal with it:

1. Identify the Change-Back Attack.

Even if you don’t realize what it is until after it’s occurred, identifying this kind of attack by its name will help bring you some clarity.

2. Repeat a new mantra to yourself: This is a Change-Back Attack. This attack is not about me or the changes I’ve made.

I’ve found that just having one or two sentences to say internally when I’m being challenged gives me strength to do step #3. This is the mantra that works for me. If you don’t like it, you can always create your own.

3. Engage in reflective listening and DO NOT DEFEND your change.

Reflective listening is when you repeat back to the other person what you heard them say. For example, “What I hear you saying is that you think I’m spending too much time with Greg and neglecting our friendship in the meantime.”  Notice that you do not agree or disagree with the statement; you only show the other party that she/he has been heard.

If you start defending your change (ie: “What do mean I’m neglecting you; we just went out last weekend! I only see Greg on Wednesdays!”), you are actually giving up some power to the other party. Defending yourself in situations like these isn’t wise. You know you’ve made the best change for you; you don’t have to prove that to anyone else by defending it.

Now, none of this is not easy to do when someone is attacking you and it’s even harder to do when you’re trying to remember that new mantra you created so that you can repeat it to yourself. Consider step #3 an advanced Change-Back Attack manuever and try it if you can remember it. But no matter if you’re successful with step #3 or not, step #4 is required.

4. Celebrate by doing something really nice for yourself.

Not everyone gets a Change-Back attack. It is reserved for only those brave souls who’ve ventured out into the world and decided to be muster up enough courage to shift their own lives. If you’ve received a Change-Back attack, it means you’ve changed quite a bit. At least sufficiently enough so that others are noticing. Go out and celebrate. You’ve made some progress.