Have you found yourself starting your sentences with…
“ When you do X then I will do Y”?
Responded to your partner recently with…
“On Saturday February 10th at 10:01 am you said…”
Thinking to yourself…
“He would be perfect, if he would just change X, Y, and Z.”
Or found your self wandering your life and relationship, ticking boxes, tallying up the good, bad and simply not good enough?
Then chances are, you are indeed, all about that score card life.
Here are 4 reasons, that life, kills not only our relationships but our self worth.
1. When you do X then I will do Y;
This is the barter and trade phase of score card living. We begin to withhold pieces of ourselves, act of kindness, sentiments and actions of love, and basic participation in a partnership until our own needs are met. This quite logical strategy of self-preservation and manipulation, should totally work. And yes, I just said MANIPLUATION. It is what we’re doing. We are hoping to change the outcome and influence someone else’s actions by skillfully withholding what they want and need. That is, by definition, manipulation. We are resentful, and sick and tired of asking for the same things over and over, or worse, we think they should just ‘know’ this is what we want and need.
Wanna know a secret? This barter and trade strategy does not work. Not with any measurable consistency and what we get back in the deal is typically more resentment, frustration and anger. We are also, with each act of withholding disconnecting ourselves from our partner more and more. Which, I need to point out, will only motivate them less to respond positively to meeting our needs and desires. I know what you are asking for is reasonable, and you deserve it. I just need to tell you, this format is a lose/lose on actually achieving it.
Self-worth is almost exclusively garnered by what we do in our lives. If you are withholding, doing less, contributing less, our self-worth will plummet.
2. On Saturday, February the 10th at 10:01 am, you said…;
You wish we had never met.
You liked my friend more than me when we first met.
I wasn’t your usual type.
My ass did indeed look fat in those jeans.
You didn’t want kids.
Why can’t I be more like your mom?
(that last one, though,…yikes, your partner is still alive after saying that??)
Lady and gentlemen of the court, may I present this affidavit into evidence? Accountability in our relationships is crucial, however, bringing up old promises, past statements, and old hurts back up from the trenches over and over will not ‘make’ our partner more accountable. And it won’t heal the hurt. Brandishing the past, clutching it to our hearts is the opposite of living in today. Is what they did or said, completely unforgivable? Have you ever done or said something hurtful to your partner? If the deeds are forgivable, we must forgive and let go, or be doomed to allow our pasts to haunt us. Each time we brandish this old hurt, we effectively repel our partner from us AND we take a big step back ourselves. How many layers of armor are too many, before love can’t get through to our hearts?
If they are truly unforgivable, why are you still there? Your relationship is either worthy of fighting the good fight, or it's not. The longer we stay in one that isn’t worthy, the more we compromise our own self-worth. Similarly, the more we resist taking action to love our life and partner that ARE WORTHY, based on hold hurts, we compromise ourselves and our self-worth.
3. They would be perfect, if they would just change X, Y and Z;
Me? I used to LOVE a good project. I dated countless guys who had real potential, if only. What a shitty way to offer love. I knew in my heart I wanted someone who I felt truly comfortable around, who loved me for me, who accepted me, flaws and all… and yet, I couldn’t offer that in return. My husband is not perfect, but I don’t love him despite of who he is, I love him because of who he is… annoying quirks and all. Now, I am not saying I didn’t play a leading role in a much-needed new wardrobe for him… but I wasn’t looking to change him to better match me. Could you imagine, if your partner said to you, or made similar requests of you to change? Close your eyes, hear your words, the demands you make of them, coming from their mouths, to you. Oof! I have done this imagining myself, it was, take the air out of my lungs, painful. And it’s not unconditional love.
If self-esteem is tied to contribution, how we contribute to other people’s self-worth by nurturing them, in turn builds our own.
4. Ticking boxes in your life and relationship scorecard;
Having a plan of action, ambition, drive, goal setting, taking actions… these are all things I welcome in my life. Having a clear vision of what we want for our future is paramount to achieving it. However, wandering the hallways of our life and relationship, constantly seeking out what needs improvement, what is not good enough, how things could be done better, is not the same. It’s exhausting and negative. If we are coming from a positive abundant place, we see where things are enough and could be more. When we are coming from negative scarcity, we see where things are not enough. We leap over any sense of gratitude and only focus on what we do not have. Once we start spreading that scarcity, that lack of appreciation and gratitude in our relationships, our partners begin to feel that they too are not enough. That they never ‘get it right’ or are doing enough to make us happy. It’s a slippery slope from that already degenerative state to ‘I will never get it right, so why bother trying’. If you have that internal (or written) list of all the things that are not enough and find yourself regaling your partner with them, I invite you to sit down and make a list of all they do really well. All that is enough and even more than enough in your relationship. Spend some real time here, even a daily journal collecting what you love about your life and relationship. Breathe it in deeply, and then, read it to them. Express your appreciation and gratitude to yourself and to those you love. Not only will you both now have a love filled opening to one another, appreciation is a far better motivation to manifesting real change in your relationship then a score card ever can!
Living a life where we are consistently taking the time to make note and express our gratitude, is key to building sustainable self-worth.
Deepak Chopra says “Gratitude opens the door; to the power, to wisdom, the creativity of the universe”