The Secure Connector 3 – Rate Yourself

Special Announcement – Help needed!

We are thrilled to announce that we will be speaking at all of the Saddleback Church Services the weekend of May 5-6!

We need some volunteers who would be willing to come and help us at each of the services. If you would like to help, please contact us at and indicate which service you would be available for. We will get back to you with details. Thank you!


Rate Yourself as a Secure Connector – Part 3 

On our website under Secure Connector we have a link to a list of traits a secure connector would possess.  For any attachment injury these are your goals.  You can rate yourself to see how proficient you are at the abilities a secure connector possesses.  We can all find some area to improve.  For the weeks ahead we will look at each of these traits and explain why this is an important relationship skill.  If you really want to be courageous ask your spouse, teenager or friend to rate you.

As we work toward a secure attachment we will be able to rate ourselves higher (more strongly agree) in the following areas.  Here is the next very important trait.

Rate 1-5: #1 = No/rarely.  #5 = Most often/always.

  • I know my childhood history so I am aware when the past is influencing my present feelings and causing me to overreact.

This trait is so important that we are going to look at it exclusively.

Everyone has a history and EVERYONES’ history influences the present.  We may be a new creature in Christ which involves a total transformation.  But, God doesn’t erase our C drive!  Growth means we have to identify areas that are not like Christ and purpose, with God’s spirit, to change.

How do we know when our past is influencing the present?  Very simply, when we overreact?  Avoiders overreact by detaching.  Pleasers try harder.  Vacillators get mad.  Controllers intimidate.  Victims hide.  Your overreaction may be loud or quiet, but overreactions often mean the past is flooding into the present.  Next time you overreact try these three steps.

  1. Stop. Call a time out for self reflection. Take a moment to think. What are the feelings underneath your reactivity?  You will have a lot more clarity if you use the soul words list.
  2. What do you want to say?  Don’t say it…it’s probably not very nice.  Just ask       yourself, “What words go with these feelings?
  3. Turn around.  Pretend like the people from your family during childhood are all standing there.  Who made you feel these exact feelings?  To whom do you want to say these exact words?  Are you bumping into an uncomforted wound?

Tell those with whom you overreacted about your insights.  Ask for a do over.  Ask for comfort for the painful memory.  Invite Jesus into the painful memory.

If you can’t see a link from the questions above then perhaps this is a new situation you have never encountered and you feel lost and inadequate.  We tend to get defensive in these situations and blame others verses saying, “I feel lost and am not sure how to handle this.” (Remember Adam and Eve?)

Prayer:  Lord, give me the wisdom and awareness to see when the past if flooding into the present.  Bring healing to the painful places in my history that cause me to react in ways that are not loving.



2 Responses to “The Secure Connector 3 – Rate Yourself”

I’m so thankful for your blog, your books and your lectures! But this is hard!! I’m a Vacillator married to an Avoider, so it’s hard to overcome my frustration when he says, “I don’t know what I feel; I don’t know what to say,” etc. I can identify what is going on with us, but controlling my reactivity and doing something different is really difficult. And I’m so tired of having to initiate everything. Sometimes I want to say, “Let’s just stay where we are, because I’m sick of feeling like your mommy instead of your wife.” But we keep plugging along.

I am pretty much the opposite. I am the avoider/victim and my husband is the vacillator, but I do feel the same way. I am the one who initiates the forgiving, the approaching (part of the pleaser in me). And it is tiring. I thought I am the weaker vessel to be cared for, gently raised and valued and protected and it doesn’t seem that way.
When I get the courage to speak the truth and be honest, I am labelled as blaming…I just can’t move forward so I hide, duck, avoid and just “spiritualize” it away. Then I become dishonest, and more dishonest.
I love the awareness journal because it helps me to learn more about myself…it is tough to be in a marriage with something who things it is I who needs to change and that nothing is wrong with him.

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