¤¤ ¤å HOME
  Oasis Consultation Services: how to avoid hurting one another more

We introduced Oasis Consultation Services in our October/November issue last year. Since then, we have been told by Oasis that some of our colleagues are quite concerned about the problems they are having with intimate relationships, including their marriages. So we interviewed one of the Oasis hosts, Dr Peter Cheung, about this subject. Dr Cheung is the Director of Resculpt — the Centre for Personal and Relational Reconstruction and a Certified Focusing Trainer. He helps people sense into what they experience, and develop genuine communication in their intimate relationships.

As Dr Cheung points out, trivial, everyday incidents can be emotionally upsetting. Quick, sniping, reactive remarks can often escalate a conflict, establish a vicious cycle, and eventually spoil the day. Then you regret having said what you said. The question is: what can you do to avoid all that, the next time it comes around? For Dr Cheung, the magic word is "PAUSE". His advice is to pause and give yourself some space every time you hasten to react. Don't allow your emotions to take over. Take a deep breath, go to the washroom, or make yourself a cup of tea. When you pause, you press a button and stop the vicious cycle. You create a space in yourself where change can happen.

What Next?
Dr Cheung goes on to say that, if you want to take one more step, you can look back inside your entire body. Ask yourself what you truly feel; and see if you can say out loud what you feel inside. For instance, instead of sniping straight back at your partner, saying for example: "Why do you always ignore me and spend every Sunday playing mah-jong with your friends?" pause; ask yourself what you really feel inside; then say something like: "I really enjoy the times we had when we went out together. Can we find one Sunday when we can have dinner outside, just you and me?" You may notice there is a risk involved: you may be rejected. The choice here is whether to face this risk or simply strike back and escalate the conflict.

We all feel frustrated when our expectations, often unspoken, are not met. Instead of blaming the other person for our unmet expectations, Dr Cheung advises us to pause and look back inside, then say simply and directly what we expect and what we yearn for. That is not going to be easy. But it is a sensible thing to do, and it is worth trying, before the relationship comes to a point when making a turn towards the better becomes difficult.

You can book an appointment to see Dr Cheung individually, or as a couple.