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Do you have a story you would like to share about your own experiences with RSDP?

I have several already that I will be sharing here.

All published cases  will be anonymous and relevant data (location, time, etc) will be intentionally changed to maintain confidentiality

Please send me your story

Click                                                           here


CASE 1 - Harry’s and Harriet's Habits

Let’s face it Harry is not a faithful partner. Harry regularly has affairs, always short term. Harry’s partner Harriet inevitably finds out about these. At first she gets very hurt followed by violent anger but just as regularly she forgives Harry when he promises never to do it again.

It’s may seem funny how she always seems to find out about Harry's latest lapse until I explain that part of Harry’s pattern is his regularly repeated habit of leaving so many clues around that Harriet cannot miss them. If Shooting Yourself In The Same Foot was an Olympic event Harry would be a certainty to represent his country in the event and would probably bring home the Gold Medal as well.


1. Just what is Harry’s repeated pattern? Having repeated affairs? Repeatedly leaving clues around for Harriet to find so she can confront him?  Both?

2. What is Harry’s payoff,  the hidden benefit that drives his repeated RSDP behaviour ?

3. Obviously Harriet also has her own RSDP pattern. What is her payoff,  the hidden benefit that she gains from her RSDP ?

4. Is Harry really repeatedly shooting himself in the foot or might he be doing this deliberately?

5. Are  Harry and Harriet each supporting each other’s patterns to the point where this is just a game they play and not really RSDP?

CASE 2 - Fred’s Focus Failure

Fred ‘s RSDP pattern is obvious to almost everyone around him. But Freddie can’t see it!

When Fred talks about anything that’s going wrong for him in his life or anything that doesn’t work the way he wants it to, his focus is always on other people, what they are doing to him and how they need to change.

The people at work are unfair, he gets all the unpleasant jobs. Fred’s wife doesn’t love him the way Fred think she should. Fred’s grown-up children are selfish and don’t take the time to come round and do anything to help their father. The government is forever making unfair laws that make life more difficult for Fred.

Notice how Fred’s pattern keeps repeating same underlying theme. When Fred is criticises other people he is also suggesting ways in which he would like them to change, to do things the way he wants them done.

Fred sincerely believes that if only they would make those changes this would help him to feel better about himself and happier with his life.  

Fred’s view of life is “externally focused”. He believes that the only way he can get his life to improve is to get other people to change.


1.  How successful will Fred be in his quest to get his family, the people at work and the government to change in the way he wants them to?

2. If by chance Fred did manage to get someone, for example his wife, to change just the way he wanted them to, how much happier would he feel?

3. What would happen if Fred started to focus internally instead of externally? What if he started asking himself what he could do to create changes in his life regardless of whether other other people wanted to help him?


People like Fred who are severely externally focused, are failing to see one vitally important point about themselves.  The more time and energy they spend trying to get other people around them to change the more of their own personal power they are handing over to those people and the less personal power they are keeping for themselves.

They are denying their own self empowerment, their own ability to make changes in their life the way they want to make them. They are ignoring their authentic right to make those changes themselves. Their outwards focused repetitive pattern is self-defeating.

Spending too much time and energy  trying to get love, liking, trust, appreciation or any other kind of positive reaction from our “audience” (that is other people around you) means we are spending our time behaving more like actors on stage than behaving as an authentic person.

It can be very pleasant when we manage to get the audience to applaud but once we walk off stage we have finished our act. There is nothing left but the memory. Nothing really changes.

This characteristic of trying to get a positive reaction from other people or get other people to change is a very significant pointer to some of the deeper issues that restrict self empowerment.

At the core of self-awareness and core belief work is the understanding that the more time and the emotional energy we use up focusing our energy outwards:

* waiting, wanting or hoping other people will pay attention to us,

* wanting, waiting and hoping for other people to like us, trust us or love us or appreciate us

* talking about other people with other people

* writing about other people to other people

* waiting, wanting and hoping that other people will change (the way we want them to)


........  then the less time we are working on our own issues or doing things that help develop our own self awareness.

The amount of time that you and I spend focusing outwards on other people and on them and their issues is a clear indicator of the degree to which our inner selves are still hard at work inside us and blocking the growth of our self empowement.

The more we try to get these things from other people the more we disempower ourselves and the more we are handing our power over them.

The more often you stand on your own Awareness Hill and see this clearly the more often you will know that you are achieving one of the most incredible steps forward in growing your self-awareness and self empowerment.

These notes are an extract from the page Four Levels of Self-awareness and Self-empowerment

CASE 3 - Robert’s Regularly Wrecked Relationships.

Over the past 25 years Robert has enjoyed many many relationships. For Robert the only problem is they don't last very long. If you talk to Robyn about this he goes to some trouble to explain that it's just a matter of finding the right woman.

Robert observes with a cynical laugh that the singles scene is nothing more than a combination of a used car yard and an unemployment agency. He says there is not all that much to choose from and everyone out there is a reject.

However, being an optimist he continues to keep looking for his long lost long-term soulmate. On the surface Robert has a lot to offer a woman, if only the right one would come along and recognise him. Instead Robert seems to keep meeting up with the wrong ones. Robert’s one complaint is that after he gets to know them for a few weeks they often seem to become more controlling. That worries Robert who values his independence and doesn't want a woman taking over his life or trying to dominate him.

OK so you may be inclined to agree with Robert about the difficulty of finding a compatible partner in his age group. If Robert is just talking commonsense then perhaps he's not trapped at all in a repetitive pattern or getting stuck in self sabotaging, self-defeating behaviour.

On the other hand, Robert has spent more than 25 years getting in and out of relationships. None of them have lasted more than a few months. Even if you take an average of only 3-4 relationships a year Robert is getting close to the hundred mark in that time. It is beginning to look as though something that Robert does in his relationships may involve a bit of a repetitive pattern.

It's not as you might think that Robert doesn't get on well with people. He is actually charming caring and considerate. It's not anything he does that would turn a partner off him.

In fact it is almost nothing to do with what Robert does while he is in the relationship.

The one thing that Robert does over and over again is choosing the wrong kind of person as a potential partner! He has done this nearly 100 times do date.

You and I are in a position where (thanks to the magic of case study flashback TV) we can go back and look at Robert's "top 10" partners. And that's when a clue to his pattern starts to emerge. All of them are of above average attractiveness, all of them are vivacious and extroverted. All of them have professional careers. All of them are ambitious. All of them like to be seen in the company of good looking men like Robert.

And all of these characteristics are very very appealing to Robert. So is that why he gets into relationships with them?

The trouble is that Robert does not have the personality to match women like these as a long term partner. He is quiet, introverted and not particularly fond of social life. He is not particularly interested in getting ahead in his profession.  

His good-looks help get women interested in him.. Some imagine that with a bit of work they could even turn him into a suitable long-term partner. When it doesn't work out, most of them quietly end the relationship. Others who are a little bit smarter know that controlling behaviour is what will turn Robert away from them. So they just start to act in a more controlling way and soon it is Robert who is ending the relationship for them.


1. The repeated results, the outcomes that Robert keeps getting are obvious. But those are not his pattern. What is he doing that gets him into these situations over and over again? What is his actual RSDP pattern?

2. Robert doesn’t seem to notice the repetition, the realities of what is happening. And until he can see this he will continue to make the same mistake over and over again. How would you explain this to Robert in a way that would help him to see it clearly?

3. Why are so many women happy to start a relationship with Robert? Does this mean they too  each have a matching kind of RSDP?  What might that be?

4. If Robert could see his repetitive pattern might he start looking for a different kind of long term partner?

5. What kind of partner do you imagine might be more likely to have a successful long-term relationship with Robert ?


For full information on Negative Bonding patterns see  Negative bonding patterns  

Or go to

One of the things you notice about people with RSDP problems is that their partner often has a complimentary RSDP. Each pattern helps keep them (and their partner) both more firmly stuck in their repetitive patterns.  These dual RSDP bonds are called Negative Bonding patterns.

See the link at the foot of this page to find out more about negative bonding patterns.

Case studies 1 and 3 may help illustrate what can happen.

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