“Deal With The Cause, Not The Symptom”

“Beneath every behavior there is a feeling. And beneath every feeling there is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.”

I don’t know who wrote this but it sure did make me stop and think about it. I’ve gone through some difficult situations which is why this made perfect sense to me. Our behavior IS the result of our underlying feelings about something.

For example, let’s take a couple with two very different views on their relationship. One person may get upset when the other isn’t sharing information with them or gets defensive when asked a particular question. The behavior is getting “upset,” the feeling  beneath that is “feeling left out and hurt,” and the need is “to be included.”

And then there’s the reaction of the person that doesn’t feel the need to share the information or answer the question. The behavior is “anger,” the feeling beneath that is “feeling controlled,” and the need is “to be trusted.”

What a brilliant concept and one that makes  perfect sense to me. None of us are perfect yet if we look at the big picture of not just the other person’s behavior’ but our own as well, so much pain, anger, and sadness could be avoided. It’s a chance for healing of the heart. It’s a chance to grow closer together through communication and understanding. And it’s a chance for positive change.

Behavior, feelings and needs. Meet the need rather than focus on the behavior. Deal with the cause, not the symptoms. And above all else, be kind to each other while you do.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~