I Sing to the sadness and the shadows of your heart,it all comes together once its been ripped apart, Shed not a tear for I have not bled without reason,a man without a country cannot commit treason, I hold out a hand to only myself, a self out of reach with each passing season. Dan King- Rumi-Nations
I love relationships…most of the time. Okay. Most of the time after I’ve been in them quite awhile and I think things start to go my way. Before I begin though, we must ask the question…who really changed…me or them? In reality, it’s both. But that’s a blog for another day. Today, we’re talking about how to get someone to treat you the way you’d like to be treated.
The last blog talked about how communication is supposed to be key to good relationships, right? I say, “If you don’t mind, I would really like it if you did (fill in the blank). It is important to me because (blah, blah, blah…)”. And they’re supposed to respond, “Of course. That makes perfect sense. I’ll try to do that for you since I know how important it is.”
That sounds exactly like your house, doesn’t it?
Okay. So, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have any issues, fears, insecurities, bad days, prejudices etc. and we’d both communicate well. But that’s not reality. Reality is two people who know how to push each others buttons trying to manipulate the other into taking out the garbage, or shutting up for 2 minutes or having sex. Right?
Well, I can tell you…there’s a cycle of communication. And if you wait it out and keep showing up, people really do make changes because you changed how you interacted with them. It’s a constant action/consequence dance. And here it is…
First, you try telling someone what you need or want. They look like they’re listening and then blow you off. If they don’t get mad because you’re implying they don’t care. You get hurt, wondering what you did to deserve to be treated badly.
Next, you get angry because you feel unimportant. Dishes are thrown. Words are exchanged. They get angry in return. Maybe you have great sex. This can happen in a matter of minutes, years or both.
After awhile, they still don’t take out the garbage. So next, you get disappointed and treat them like they’re stupid. Which, sometimes they are, sometimes they forgot, sometimes they’re tired. In turn, they behave even stupider.
After awhile, you stop caring because it’s just too much work. They start trying harder because uh oh, no more sex. But by now, you don’t care if they captured the moon for you. They get frustrated because you don’t appreciate their efforts and stop caring in return. You go to counseling and get a divorce.
Wait. I thought they were supposed to change?! What happened?!
There is a way to break the cycle and start getting more of what you want in a relationship. The secret is to stop caring sooner, before the relationship is past the point of no return. Like the wise people say, as soon as you stop trying so hard, love walks in the door. Don’t wait until you’re completely done with your relationship before you emotionally detach.
Relationships ebb and flow. We need time together and time apart. People notice change so change it up. A marketing friend of mine said once, “just when you’re sick of a marketing campaign and ready to do something different, that’s when people start paying attention”. Be patient. Sometimes years and years and years. Allow yourselves to feel close and then to feel apart so it’s always new and interesting. So you both care. So you both listen. So you both try. And if that doesn’t work, you really do need to find someone else because some people just don’t care, won’t change and you don’t have to be stuck with them anymore.
You might ask, “why do I have to be the responsible one?”. Well, do you want to have effective relationships or not? Do you want to be treated well or not? Because let me tell ya’…if you don’t learn how to break the pattern, you will just keep feeling hurt, angry, sad and alone. No matter whom you’re in relationship with.