How many of us have been tempted to do just that? If not kick it at least get annoyed and shout at it; as with the computer which appears to have a mind of its own. We get angry with ‘objects’. We blame them for not working properly – ‘it’s the car’s fault for making me late for work’. ‘It’s the computer’s fault for taking up my time unnecessarily’. Is it? What can we do about it? In other words what is our responsibility when we are challenged in this way? Does a kick, or a shout, improve the situation? Only perhaps in venting some pent up emotion. The question then is – does the apparent reason for our anger warrant such intensity of feeling or are there other reasons? Perhaps instead of ‘blaming’ we need to understand why the car won’t start or the computer is taking its time to do what we would like it to do. We may then discover we need to get it fixed. If we can’t do it ourself we can get a mechanic to look at the car and a computer technician to look at the computer i.e. we can get in an expert.

Perhaps we could consider what our responsibility to the situation is. Have we had the car regularly serviced? Were we expecting the computer to respond more quickly than it was able? Have we overloaded it? Were we wanting the car, or the computer, to change? How unreasonable is that? Perhaps we need to check out whether or not the source of the anger really is the object towards which we are expressing it, or is there perhaps another source which is currently unknown? Both the car and the computer are inanimate objects. Perhaps we can appreciate that and understand that we may therefore have unrealistic expectations which would suggest that we need to change – not the car or the computer.

What if we behave in the same manner towards our partner, other members of our family, friends, colleagues or bosses? How often have we thought ‘if only s/he were different I wouldn’t feel like this’? What we are wishing/wanting is for the ‘other’ to change. We have, therefore, expectations of the ‘other’ and how likely are they to be fulfilled? How much would we like to shout or even kick them to make them change so that they understand us? After all ‘it’s not my fault’! We are not responsible for the feelings of others and conversely neither are they for ours. Perhaps it is we who need to change and, when we do, it seems to have a magical effect. Either the other person appears to change too or, because we are now in a different place, we see them in a different light. Perhaps it’s time to seek some external assistance to achieve this?

If you wish to read more on Object Relations go