Sometimes I wonder how I get myself into these situations! I think I know exactly where I’m going and how something will turn out; only to realize I’m not even close! I am in a state of shock (upset, or…). Or at the minimum, feel like a deer in the headlights.
I suppose it is one more of those lessons about ‘control’. Note to self: “Oh yeah, that’s right.., control is an illusion!”
Recently when this comes up, I have noticed that I have worked out an agreement in my mind. I have an expectation that when ‘Y’ happens, then someone else will do ‘X’. Except that ‘X’ never occurs. The other person is not following my plan or agreement.
Of course, I never told the other person what my plan was. They never knew we had a silent agreement. Believe it or not, they are operating by their own plan AND it has nothing to do with mine. And suddenly I realize.., I have been making assumptions!
So what do I do with my disappointment, anger or shock? Can I still be angry with someone, when they didn’t know I expected them to behave a certain way or that they would do a particular thing?
Suddenly I am painfully aware that there has been no actual communication involved. Any dialog is in my head. I am negotiating, planning or strategizing with myself. I am an island!
Now I have to regroup and start over. I have to ask for what I need. I have to negotiate or finesse. I have to accept that what I imagined and reality are two different things. I also realize that in some situations, I am starting from scratch! Anything that I assumed, is no longer valid. And any disappointment must be directed at myself.
I am a communicator. I know better (most of the time!). So why is this coming up? What am I trying to learn by creating these situations?
The phrase that keeps running through my mind is “Be impeccable with your words”! This of course is the first of “The Four Agreements” from Don Miguel Ruiz. When I think of this, I realize that I have always interpreted this as how you ‘respond’ to a situation or someone else.
In my case, I realize that “being impeccable with my words” means that I need to actually speak them, not just make assumptions or implied agreements in my head. It is not just responding to a situation it is also when I am initiating or have an expectation of someone else (or group, business or party). If I want or expect ‘X’ in exchange for ‘Y’, then I need to let the other person know, upfront. That way, they have a chance to accept or decline. Just because I think it is fair, just or right, doesn’t mean that they would.
Maybe there is a clue here for me. Maybe the reason I have chosen not to be clear, is because I don’t believe I will actually get what I want or the other person won’t agree. Bottom line.., better I know this from the start, than to find out just before the finish line!
With Light, Love, and Laughter
As always, Sir Charles, you speak my language, my friend. Aahhh… communication. It truly is the heart of an honest relationship. Proud of you for holding yourself accountable (and rising to the occasion/education). Blessings! ~Jamie
Thanks Jamie! Glad we resonate with one-another!
Interesting, Charles, you are on to something VERYpowerful… in communication consulting & conflict meditation, we call it CCCA… communicated, clarified, committed to, agreements. All relationships exist by agreements. There is a sociological theory that your degree of disappointment in relationship is in direct proportion to the degree of uncommunicated, unclarified, unagreed-to, expectations, of something someone else didn’t know about, agree to, understand, or commit to. Imagine that! Keep up sharing those tremendous insights & observations. Good stuff! Darla
Thanks Darla for sharing an area of expertise and understanding. I appreciate your insights.
I believe this phenomena you wrote about is also a leading cause of many people’s anger. They assume that everyone heard the dialogue they had in their own head and they developing a whole set of preconceived results based on the assumption that everyone knew their role. Assumption, anticipation, disappointment, anger….. I’ve actually developed a class module to help people identify where their anger starts and it quite simply is in our own heads. Therefore, no one thing, person, incident, etcetera can make a person angry; they, themselves have created a scenario of their own construct that no one else knows which results in anger.
Thanks for sharing Michele. I believe you are correct… we create it all!
Wow, Michele, that is a great process you have described. Cutting edge! Thanks for sharing it. Darla