That’s In The Past!

How to recognize when this cliche’ is being used against you

I get told this phrase a lot in my family. They don’t like to discuss things to work them out, so they use this phrase to have the last word or to get me to drop the issue.

This phrase is oftentimes really good for those that constantly live in the past and are stuck in it. It’s not the end all to be all of the psychological truths.

When something is repeatedly happening and you feel it isn’t healthy and you bring up the fact that it is indeed a pattern. Then it is relevant. You are using the past to make a point. To show that it is something that has happened before and isn’t an isolated event.

I’ve noticed this from gaslighters they say this to put it back on you. People that do not wish to really understand why something bothers you, and aren’t open to really communicating it, will use this.

Often times men will bring it up to me when trying to address something that bothers me. The thing about these Phrases are they are cliche’s they are designed to stifle or betray original thinking. In other words, stop the process.

Often we use these terms as weapons in relationships. We do! We hurl it at our loved one and just want to shut them up. Basically, we are saying we don’t love you enough to really try and follow your train of thought, your feelings to understand why you are bringing up the past.

When therapists say this to me, I remind them I trying to make a point and that what I’m saying is relevant to the message I’m giving and how what has happened has affected me.

In relationships, we can do the same thing. We can gently remind the person we are communicating an issue that is repeated and that is really affecting how we react, respond and feel about the other person.

When in relationships it’s usually really good to understand that some of what they say is due to social conditioning and isn’t personal. They just have heard someone use it in a way that was inappropriate and so they do too.

It’s really clear to me that an emotionally aware person can see this and not use it in a way that dismisses you or disregards what you are feeling.

If it feels like a jab – consider leaving the conversation until they can listen to you more intently. Just be aware of the use of cliches. If you are indeed using the past as a weapon or repeatedly stuck in it. I suggest asking yourself why.

I had that happen once in a relationship and he asks me why I keep bringing it up. I sat with it a moment and said, “because it hasn’t been addressed or worked through, I’m still feeling hurt”. Then the real conversation happened.

Much of relationship health has to do with your understanding of yourself and your ability to look inside and find answers and communicate them to your partner.

Next time you hear that phrase coming from yourself to another or directed to you, ask yourself a few questions before you hurl it outward or feel hurt when it is said to you. Get clear on what is happening and then proceed. You might be surprised at how much growth can come from this. It’s a process.

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Photo by Ethan Smith