“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” – Vince Lombardi
Take the example of a man giving a woman flowers. If you witnessed a man giving a woman flowers but could not hear what they were saying, what would you think was going on? Would you believe that the man was apologizing for some previous wrong doing? Is he proposing marriage? A simple gesture of love? Could he just be the delivery man? What would determine the different ways that you interpret that scene? Events in your own life will shape your interpretation of this scene. For example, if your husband proposed in a similar manner, then you would more likely view it that way. On the other hand, if the only time you had been given flowers was when a cheating spouse was apologizing, your interpretation of this scene might be quite different. Why is that? Put yourself in the woman’s shoes. If you have learned that flowers equal an apology for infidelity and wrongdoings, then a surprise bouquet of roses could bring about feelings of shock, sadness, anger, or fear. These intense feeling drive behaviors like yelling, crying, accusations, and arguing. On the other hand, if you have learned through experience that flowers represent love, your feelings would be completely different. Feelings of love, belonging, and acceptance from receiving flowers would drive behaviors like smiles, hugs, and kisses!
A habit is an action or pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody, although he or she may be unaware of it. Feelings, just like habits, are learned behaviors. We learn, through repetition, how to feel in a certain situation. Just as we learned our colors when we were children, we learn how to feel. Those feelings dictate how we behave. Feelings are habits that we have learned through repetition. It is an automatic response to a familiar situation or event.
Post the behaviors that you have learned through the years and your efforts to change them.