What's Your Relational Stress Style

Over 20 years working with people in conflict  ....

I've seen two types of regret: People avoid conflict and doubt themselves later ... or they get frustrated and create distance with people, when that wasn't their intention. 

After hearing hundreds of these stories, I saw an unhelpful & silent dynamic was driving both the self-doubt & the unintended distance.

This subtle Matching Dynamic can push us into relational patterns that keep us from being authentic or calm in the moment, & prevent connection or fulfillment over time. 

This quiz can help you gauge your patterns or Relational Stress Style™. Read the items below, and count how many green versus blue statements resonate for you. 

👇 Read below and count up how many  GREEN statements and/or  BLUE statements resonate for you? 👇

1. Saying "No"?

When I sense conflict or feel pressure to agree with something, it's difficult for me to say "no." I will often doubt myself when I do.

In stressful interactions, I sometimes have a difficult time accepting that someone doesn't see my point of view.

2. Making Decisions?

I delay or doubt myself when making decisions that involve other people, because I'm afraid I"ll disappoint someone, or I"ll make the "wrong" decision.

I don't usually have a problem making decisions. I'm usually quite decisive. But I can get bogged down in debates with people, if they don't agree with what I believe is best.

3. Common feeling in stressful interactions?

Sometimes I feel sort of invisible in  certain relationships, or in certain moments.

It's hard for me to have patience in disagreements or arguments. When I have an opinion, it's a strong one.

4. Common regret after tough conversations?

I usually try to keep the peace, but this can leave me tolerating decisions or situations that irritate me later. I wish I felt more confident to speak up or share my opinion sometimes.

In the moment, I have no problem speaking my mind. But sometimes I get too worked up and say the wrong thing, or say things in a way that sounds more harsh than I intended.

What's your Relational Stress Style?

Option 1

More GREEN statements: 
Puddle

The pattern of "puddling" can happen when you feel obliged to "match" what other people want or expect. It may not be a conscious thought you've had. But that is the premise behind "pleasing mode" or hoping "not to disappoint" anyone.

Option 2

More BLUE statements:
Freeze

 "Freezing" can happen when you unconsciously feel driven to get other people to "match" what you believe is best. It's not wrong to have opinions. But we can "freeze into rigidity" about our opinion, when we get stuck in "persuading mode" and persist in unproductive conflict.

Option 3

Both GREEN & BLUE:
Puddle & Freeze

You may fall into both "puddling" or "freezing" depending on the context or type of relationship. For example, you may puddle at work, striving to say "yes" without limit.. But you might freeze into rigidity about personal decisions, or ways of doing things at home, after a long work day.

Learn to Untangle Yourself
from Relational Stress

Audio Exercise: Affirmations for Balance Within (downloadable)
Audio Exercise: Reminders for Balance with Others (downloadable)
PDF Tip Sheet: "20 Tips to Stop Relational Stress" (printable)
PDF Infographic: "Puddling and Freezing - What's Really Going On" (printable)