Swinging Between Love and Hate: Finding the Balance Between Both

What Happens When We Swing Between Love and Hate?

Have you ever experienced an emotion of love so strongly only to question how you can absolutely and painfully down right despise the person later?

Which emotion holds the truth? Do you love this person or do you despise them?

It’s a confusing experience nonetheless. Also, distressing. Do you stay or do you go?

Finding the truth in between can be an important first step and Dialectics can be the answer.

What is Dialectics?

Dialectics is all about learning how to simultaneously hold two seemingly opposite truths all at once. It’s experiencing the middle ground between black and white – all or nothing – thinking.

In therapy, dialectics comes into the room with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT therapy assists those who have experienced a history of trauma, depression or anxiety to live beyond the survival rules and experiences of their childhood.

“In trauma we want black and white and we want rules because rules help us survive. Those who have lived in environments based on rules of survival, need a life that is black and white. This works when you are in an unhealthy relationship environment and it doesn’t work in a healthy relationship environments where people live in grey zones.” – Laura Meyers, PhD, ABPP, Certified DBT Provider by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification

Consider this, in trauma we want and we need rules. We need to know when to run, when to sit and freeze and when to fight back. We create safety rules around emotions, in traumatic living situations. The strict rule making works for toxic relationship. However, in health relationships there is a lot of grey.

Dialectical Examples: Holding and Balancing 2 Emotions at Once

  • “I can love and hate you at the same time”
  • “I can hate my job and love parts of it”
  • “I can love them and want to end the relationship”
  • “I can be right and wrong”
  • “I can be tough and gentle”
  • “I can share and be private”
  • “I can be wrecked and fine”
  • “I can be scared and safe”

Often times, after an argument or a disagreement, we will see a dialectical challenge as emotions boil over. We become upset, angry, hurt and may see this feeling as the only truth, in the moment. However, using effective dialectical skills can assist us to balance by connecting and linking multiple emotions at once. For example, ‘I am angry and I love you and I’m upset with you.’

By changing words from all or nothing such as: ‘I am angry but, I love you’ we are able to move through the emotions and validate them as a whole, at once, in the moment and move through without becoming emotionally frozen.

At the Center of Life Counseling, our therapist are focused on anxiety, depression and trauma. If you are someone you know are experiencing anxiety, depression and/or trauma, know that you are not alone. Our therapist, at The Center of Life Mental Health Counseling, are here to help. We understand that no two individuals experience are the same. Call us today 407-476-1432, we look forward to supporting you throughout your experience. 

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