Is Resignation Shaping Your Relationship?

If you really listen to yourselves talking about your relationships, you’ll hear how often you exaggerate with “always” and “never."

October 15, 2019

If you really listen to yourselves talking about your relationships, you’ll hear (1) how often you exaggerate with “always” and “never” - which fills your future with your past - and (2) how often you unconsciously talk about what happened in the past as if it’s happening now - which also fills your future with your past.

Having a future filled with the past - which is, in a very real sense, forfeiting your future to the past - is the definition of resignation, which literally means “marked or signed again.”

Today, a friend of ours spoke about how his wife “wakes me when she gets up early in the morning, and I can’t get back to sleep again.” By speaking in that way, he had what happened yesterday (and perhaps some other days in the past) as happening now and into the future. That produces resignation.

That’s very different than saying “yesterday, and several other days recently, my wife awakened me when she got up early in the morning and I didn’t go back to sleep again.” The latter way of speaking - saying what happened as what happened rather than as what’s happening - puts the past in the past and produces the room for a new future, an opportunity to create another way of relating in future mornings.

Creating new possible ways of behaving together resolves issues in your relationships rather than extends issues of the past into the present and future. And it’s all a function of being aware of the automatic, unthinking way you have been speaking.

Saying what happened in the past as though it’s happening now is not unique to you. You live in a “linguistic environment” in which exactly that way of speaking is the norm and keeps most people - and their relationships - stuck in the past. When you get unstuck from the past, there’s nothing to fix.

There’s a future to be created together.

Listen to Lon read "Is Resignation Shaping Your Relationship?" from our podcast.

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