ferrariWe live in la-la land sometimes. We think that because someone tells us they love us that that guarantees they will say “Yes!” when we ask something of them. That crooked thinking is why we often need relationship help.

Who ever said that loving someone meant that they would always say “Yes”? That is right up there with the insanity of that 1970 movie, Love Story, in which a main character pronounces “Love means never having to say you are sorry.” That is just relationship rubbish!

Do you want to be in relationship with a bobble-head? Someone who has no mind of his/her own? Someone who has no separate thoughts, needs or life? Someone who is simply there to serve your whims?

If that is what you want, or even think you need, stop reading now. You’re not wanting a  grown-up relationship. You’re wanting a go-fer bobble-head who will respond appropriately when you stamp your little foot or snap your egocentric fingers.

If you want a healthy, strong, mature, supportive and mutual relationship, keep reading.

Healthy, strong relationships that can weather storms and revel in sunshine together are based on five things:

  • honesty
  • safety
  • trust
  • respect
  • reliability

People who always say yes cannot offer those things. They are people who want to please you at any cost to themselves. Therefore, they are not demonstrating those five thing to themselves, about themselves.

You cannot give a gift you do not have. If I want to give you a new Ferrari, I have to have a new Ferrari to give you. I could tell you I wish I had a Ferrari to give you. I could tell you that I’d love to be able to give you a Ferrari, but if I do not have it, I cannot give it to you. The same is true with honesty, safety, trust, respect and reliability. If I don’t have it within and for myself, I cannot offer it to you. This is an essential understanding that will help you become aware of yourself in relationship.

Someone who knows themselves well and has respect for themselves, their time, energy, values and beliefs is someone worth knowing. You may not like them because they may differ from your points of view in life, however, they are demonstrating alignment: they are living their truths. That means that they won’t always agree with you or do what you want them to do. They will say “no”.

Yes, some folks seem contrary! They will say no before they even consider your idea, your request, or the merits of these.  The ones who only “seem” contrary will often consider what you said and return to you thirty-six hours later to discuss it further. Often they return with a new idea, a reconciliation, or a middle meeting ground.

Some folks, though, are contrary. They will say no just to be difficult. These two types of folks are very different. If you are with someone who has a pattern of returning with a considered opinion, you will learn that about them and accommodate them. It’s just the way they process information.  If you are with someone who is simply self-centered or difficult, you need to recognize that pattern, too, and make a decision about the degree of toxicity they present in your life.

To be an emotional grown-up, you come from an internal, examined place that allows you to know who you are and what you stand for. You choose other emotional grown-ups to be in relationship with…hopefully. If you are simply an adult–a stage of growth beyond toddler, teen and young adult–you may be bothered when people say no to you. You may take it as a personal affront, a devastating negation, or a demonstration of lack of love. None of these things is likely, but all are possible. Why? Because that other person may also be just an adult and not an emotional grown-up!

If you find yourself deeply disturbed when s/he says ‘NO” to you, take this as a good time for personal reflection and examination of what’s driving your bus. Learn about yourself and why you might feel in someway rejected simply because someone will not or cannot give you what you want. That’s their prerogative.

It is likely not about you at all.  You will demonstrate your caring for yourself to get help with that examination so that it is not operating on automatic pilot in your life, keeping you from having the healthy, strong relationships you want.

Can you get your mind around that? If you can, you can grow from it in wise ways that will actually move you towards positive mutuality.  If you can’t, you can continue being offended. Your choice!

If you need help, I’m always here to provide it from wherever your are through Skype or on the phone. 

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