Is “Smuggling” Damaging Your Relationship? Read this to learn how to tell (you may not even know it!), and then CHANGE it! ~by Dating Expert David DeAngelo
Your partner comes to you with a small criticism or complaint. Maybe you left the cap off the toothpaste. Weren’t quick enough to introduce her at a social gathering. Left the garbage under the sink.
All legitimate. You get it, and you promise to do better.
But then it comes…
She doesn’t look satisfied. In fact, she looks even MORE upset. And she says those three spine chilling words:
“Oh, by the way…”
Then she hits you with something else that’s bothering her – usually a larger, much deeper issue…
“Oh, by the way… this is exactly how my old douchebag boyfriend used to treat me…”
“Oh, by the way… remember when you snowboarded all day on my birthday and didn’t even bother to call?”
“Oh, by the way… you treat me just like my DAD did, thanks for making me feel like an invisible little girl… “
I hate that one.
It can feel like a surprise attack. You may have no clue why it’s happening.
That’s why today, I wanted to clue you in about the ultimate ticking relationship timebomb that my wife and I like to call “smuggling” – and let you know how to defuse it before it causes critical relationship damage.
You probably have a sense of this already… how, whenever your partner gets suddenly,. disproportionately upset about something small, it’s really about something else.
And you’re right. In most of these “Oh, by the way…” cases, deeper hurts have reached a pressure point, and now they need to find a way out.
That’s when “smuggling” kicks in… those hurtful, long-festering resentments riding out into the open on the backs of other issues.
Maybe the deeper issue has nothing to do with you. Maybe it was caused by a totally different person. Maybe it happened at a totally different time. Doesn’t matter – it still wants to be smuggled into the open and expressed.
We’ve all been there, right?
But here’s the real shocker of the day:
The REAL Reason For “Smuggling” Is *NOT* What You Think
You may think “smuggling” is about airing old grudges, amplifying pet peeves, and just plain getting stuff off your chest. And, like I said, sometimes it is.
But – especially early in a relationship – it’s usually about something much deeper.
It’s often a strategy (subconscious or otherwise) to claim territory and gain CONTROL over our partner.
It happens because dominance is established early in most relationships. Like a chess game, we try to position our pieces as quickly as possible to establish who will more strongly influence decision-making.
So, whether we’re aware of it or not, “smuggling” becomes a powerful weapon. And weapons do damage.
That in mind, here’s how to do less “smuggling”… and oh, by the way… open up your relationship to amazing new opportunities to flourish:
“Tune In” To Your Emotions.
Whenever you feel triggered into strong emotions with your partner, take a moment to “tune in” to what you’re really feeling and why. Pay close attention to these emotions. Then use that awareness to be emotionally honest.
Literally play the “Name That Emotion”game…
Instead of stowing feelings away for later smuggling, say the name of that emotion out loud, directly to your partner, right in the moment.
Tell her, “I’m feeling (emotion), and I wanted to share it with you.”
Practice this and get good at it, and you’ll find yourself getting to the core of issues very quickly and openly. Time and energy is suddenly freed-up to do the things that move a relationship forward instead, unencumbered by smuggled garbage from the past.
It’s an awesome feeling.
That in mind, realize that both sides need to get rid of their “weapons” to safeguard and nurture intimacy for the long term.
Of course, that’s often easier said than done. It takes a long time and a lot of work to feel fully emotionally safe with another person.
The key to doing it is PRACTICE.
So, the next time you feel triggered to attack your partner with a buried hurt, set aside that weapon. Consciously decide to address it another time, in a mature, sensitive way, in a less-charged situation.
Basically, get a grip on your ACTIONS when dealing with emotions… it’s the whole ballgame when it comes to fortifying a relationship instead of damaging it.
Think Of Yourself As A Work In Progress
If we think we’re perfect (or even “meh, good enough”) we’re simply not going to be as open to hearing anything about how we can improve.
Adding fuel to the fire… as we move deeper into a relationship, do we ever really feel that our partner is perfectly awesome just the way they are, that we wouldn’t change a thing about them?
This is why it’s so crucial to remain open to changing and reshaping ourselves. Instead of entering a relationship thinking we’re a finished masterpiece, be open to allowing your partner to help sculpt and shape you.
If you can do just that much, you’re FAR less likely to become defensive and stow away resentments guaranteed to be donkey-smuggled out at a later date.
And she will, too.
But here’s where I have to admit something:
Looking back at my own history with women, I often blew it when it came to understanding this stuff… and I regret all the time that I wasted “smuggling” and otherwise mishandling relationship challenges.
If you’d like the expert help that I wish I’d had identifying these issues and getting them handled, I’m here for you… check out my program Man Transformation. In this program, I will teach you, step by step, how to really “come into” being a man that attracts and keeps a quality woman. Man Transformation is in intensive training, giving you the tools and techniques to manage yourself, your relationships and your success using the qualities you already possess, but have not defined or refined.
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