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A Word about Wolves

A Word about Wolves

We all know the drill. In order to makes changes in our lives, it is usually necessary to start small and work our way up.

 If I want to lose weight, I will begin by tweaking some of my dietary habits, not making wholesale, “night and day” changes. I will cut out some of the foods that I know are not conducive to my health. If I am persistent, I will add to these changes, and over time, the results can be significant.

If I want to begin a workout regimen, I will start slowly and be consistent. The results, over time, can be very satisfying.

The same is true in other areas of lives–relationships, for example. We all get caught up in bad relationship habits–patterns of behaving and communicating that are not conducive to a healthy relationship. Some of the most common self-defeating patterns are:

  • Criticism
  • Defensiveness
  • Contempt
  • Stonewalling

(These have been labeled, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” by John and Julie Gottman, therapists, researchers and authors.  Over time, these patterns can kill any relationship.)

So, what do we do when we recognize self-defeating patterns in ourselves and in our relationships?

If we are really intent on changing, we will start by making small modifications. We will change the things that are the most obvious and, with persistence, over time, we will be enjoy some wonderful relationship changes.

I recently became aware of a fascinating video, “How Wolves Change Rivers.”

In 1995, wolves were re-introduced into the Yellowstone National Park, after being absent for 70 years. Naturalists and biologists never imagined the “domino effect.”

(While there are dissenting opinions on the validity of some of these assertions, the truth remains that with relatively small changes, a much larger cascade of results can ensue.)

The video is less than 5 minutes long. You will be glad you viewed it!

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