Repeating Cycles in Relationships and How to Break Them
Most people learn in different ways. Unconscious learning is known as classical conditioning. When a behaviour is combined with a reinforcer, it is more likely to be repeated. The term "operant conditioning" refers to the process of learning through a series of rewards and punishments. Verbal learning entails using signs, pictures, phrases, or symbols to communicate. Observational learning occurs when people observe and imitate others. Trial and error, insight, and punishment are all ways to learn. You learn and then use what you've learned in your daily life. However, even when you tell yourself that you won't, you frequently repeat cycles.
Conditioning and reinforcement:
All of the learning methods, including conditioning and reinforcement, are based on repetition. The joy of the reward and the anguish of the punishment are also factors. Although, when learning is motivated by a fear of being judged and the reinforcer is the avoidance of pain, shame, or punishment, it is difficult to learn.
As you learn more and more about the world, others, and yourself as you try things out, wait for the results, and then build insight into why you did or didn't do something. Some people are quick to catch up on these principles, while others have reservations. The lessons you learned before often impact how quickly you learn or fail to learn from your actions.
When you try to make up for a past experience, the cycle repeats itself. Perhaps you'd like a different ending or to feel more in control of the situation. A desire for closure, knowledge of the other person's behaviour, or a greater understanding of oneself could be present.
Breaking the cycle:
Whatever the reason, they all play a part in the cycle's recurrence. Here are some strategies for working through them so that the cycles benefit and support you rather than harm you.
- Make a list of your behaviour patterns
You can do this by videotaping your adventure, journaling about it, or sharing it with others (i.e, podcasts, blogging, social media).
- Find out what makes you tick These are things that get on your nerves and cause you to have an extremely emotional or mental reaction beyond what is normal. Ask yourself,’ What is this reaction I'm feeling to this event?’ and ‘Is it truly only about one event, or about all the others that look like it?’
- Understand your responses to these triggers
Here's a list of questions you should ask yourself in a nonjudgmental and shame-free manner. Remember that you're attempting to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your patterns of conduct. This isn't about instilling guilt or creating shame.
- What do you do if X occurs?
- Why did you react the way you did?
- Is this a rational reaction?
- Would others react in the same manner if they were in a similar situation?
- Would you wish to respond in a more supportive, adaptive manner?
- Does holding on to this pattern of behavior and engaging in this cycle serve you?
- Make a hypothesis
Make a list of the reasons for your behaviour patterns, triggers, and responses. When did all of this begin? When was the last time you thought about this? What is the earliest recollection you have that connects you to this emotional, mental, or behavioural response? On those occasions, how did people treat you? What are your internal messages regarding this person, circumstance, or event? This approach can also be aided by a mental health expert.
Remember that healing takes a lot of self-work. To unlearn the factors that are holding you back, you need to put in the work to find those triggers and patterns of behaviour. Recognize that you can learn to unlearn them if you can learn to engage in destructive routines. It is never too late for you to make a change and become a better individual, this is merely the first step.