Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"What Just Happened?" (Pt. 3 on Insecurity)

Unless you're an artist or a fascist dictator (or both), your deepest insecurities probably don't show their face anywhere besides your relationship, where you should probably feel the most secure. I appreciate a great irony.

I've been dating women for 13 years now, foolishly for most of them, seriously only in the past few, and I make my next statement with utter certainty...

Every problem I've EVER had in a relationship has dealt directly either with MY insecurity or HERS. Period.

I'm either mad about SHE feels about herself, or mad about how I feel about myself.

If I've ever even looked at another woman, it's because looking at HER has become exhausting. I mean, SHE won't even look at herself! Why should I?

If HE cheats, perhaps his ego has told him he can have whatever he wants, and he better do it now before he can NEVER DO IT AGAIN. Insecure about one's future maybe?

If SHE has become quiet and defensive, perhaps she is uncomfortable sharing what exists so deeply and truly inside of her? The ego is so monstrous that it believes the only thing that can help it is ITSELF.

Why are we defensive? Because we are insecure. In the past two posts I have told stories. I like my life, so I'll hold the PERFECT illustration here. Maybe you can share one. How about something all men deal with?

"She got mad because I told her she was getting big. But she told me don't lie to her. But when I told her the truth, she got mad. (insert expletive here)"

For good reason. Insecurity. We don't want the truth. We want to be loved in the midst of a truth we already know. Not, "yeah, you're fat" but "Yeah, you can see yourself you've put on a few, but it's nothing you can't take care of. Want me to help?"

Advice: Saying "You can see for yourself" helps people tell their own truth. Never co-sign ("yeah, you're family is JACKED UP" or "Dag"). DAG NEVER WORKS for ANYTHING. I've had some unfortunate exchanges that started with "Dag."

Here's how all arguments END, and I tell you this so you can avoid the argument altogether and just have good communication:

1. Content of Argument: "Blah.Blah.Blah"
2. Response from participatory party: "I'm Sick of this"
3. Some amount of SPACE, proverbial or literal, occurs here for minutes, days, weeks, or months. It's up to how antsy you are. If you rush back in before step 4, return to step 1.
4. REFLECTION (by at least one party).
5. Reconciliation: "You know, I was wrong" (never, EVER, try to reconcile by saying "You know, YOU WERE WRONG but..." (also, experience)

The Reconciliation ALWAYS has two facets: an admission of guilt ("sorry I bust the windows out your car") and a reason ("I thought your therapist was your mistress"). Put those sorrys in a sack and listen closely to the reason. There's always a "I thought that..." or "I was worried that..." or "I figured that..." in there. Insecurity.

I once got mad at a woman because I wrote letters by hand and she never responded with letters by hand (or at all sometimes). Did we argue? Higgity yes. But not because I wasn't getting an eye for an eye. After I reflected, it was because "I was worried that..." (see what just happened there?) our communication over time would be unequal and we would grow apart from one another. From there, we discussed ways in which we can better communicate, personal preferences, all that crap, and the argument was complete.

Do your partner a favor: when something bothers you, skip steps 1-3 and try to find out what about this situation makes you insecure. Reconcile before the fight.

If in your honesty and vulnerability (it is a relationship right?) they act carelessly or insensitively, MOVE BACKWARDS to step 3 (Create Space), and if they don't respond...by all means give them TWO PIECES OF YOUR MIND and their walking papers. This ain't tough (even an All-Star has been cut before).

It's about the interplay between two broken people. Ever left an argument saying, "What just happened?" Hurt people hurt people. But if we love we forgive, we are patient, and we hope the best for this person (even if the best requires your absence).

Tick. Tick...


Anonymous Stephanie Snow said...

I have to go back and read the previous posts, but this one is on point. For real. And LOL at this:an admission of guilt ("sorry I bust the windows out your car") and a reason ("I thought your therapist was your mistress").

January 7, 2010 4:40 PM  

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