ON RESPONSIVENESS AND CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION
asked me to elaborate on "responsiveness" in my playbook
on my visitor wall today. I replied to LovingRadiance in PM and I also wanted to put it in my blog thread so I could expand a bit more.
It just fits the whole theme of today soooo
My emotionally abused/divorcing(?) friend who is enduring the crazy asked to hang out this afternoon because friend needed a sympathetic ear. I said ok and friend came over and vented at me about all kinds of nutty that was going on.
Friend is fed up and frustrated and upset and largely it is because partner? Apart from being nutty? Is playing the AVOIDY DANCE. Basically do everything BUT engage and respond in a constructive way.
So yah. Responsiveness matters in a relationship. I have the right to that. Do not play here if you don't plan to give me that right!
The Right to Responsiveness?
DO NOT be Mr or Ms Avoidy to me. LISTEN and RESPOND to me when I try to engage with you.
Do not ignore me or stonewall me or do the "uh-huh, sure, yah" and play whatever song just to get me to shut up but not really be a part of constructive conversation or problem solving.
Then consider the issue "solved" because "we didn't really talk about it and if it was important we would have" (ignoring me) or it is solved because "we already talked about it." (I talk, you stonewall me and don't give me any information or feedback.)
Um... no. Either way? All I said went into a black hole. This is not a two way relationship when you do that to me. It is me pitching things into the black hole of nonresponsiveness. RESPOND!
If you agree to be in relationship with me, you have agreed to the polyship playbook.
You have promised to follow through on promises and that promise includes granting my RIGHTS in this relationship. Right to responsiveness is one of them!
You don't have to give me instant gratification -- respond to me and go "Listen, I see this is important conversation but this is not a good time. Could we do it on Saturday when there's chance to have a big block of uninterrupted time rather than rushing 10 min convo on the drive home?"
Sure. We can negotiate appointment for Big Conversation. That is fine. You have responded to me appropriately. You did not leave me out on a limb.
Ways to leave me out on a limb by NOT responding appropriately?
- If you ignore what I am saying or the need to talk entirely? Ostrich? We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
- If you obfuscate and cloud/confuse the main issue? We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
- If you bring up totally unrelated topics -- even if also valid problems that we need to deal with -- it's not giving THIS problem it's proper air time. We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
- If you play tit for tat? That's the blame game. We are not having constructive conversation to move this forward.
Oh, there's other techniques to avoid having the conversation that needs to be had. Could misremember, could "I didn't say that/mean it that way/you took it wrong," could accuse, give up, lots of things. Still
not having constructive conversation and moving it forward.
After enough avoidy dance? I can only conclude that I have to check the number of strikes so far. Because I'm too young/old for neverending shit like this.
- You are a Muppet. Not a Jedi player. Esp if you seem fully capable and just don't want to deal in honesty. Lying is a strike 1 you are out.
- You have negative thinking with cognitive distortions perhaps. Won't seek help on that? Are we on 3 strikes? We're done. I can't be with a negative person. It's a DRAIN.
- Avoiding the conversation is more important to you than engaging forthrightly with me. Are we on 3 strikes? We're done. I can be with Mr or Ms Avoidy. It's a DRAIN.
I was just telling DH the summary of the whole friend situation and he says he is agog at all the shenanigans.
I am not agog. I am not surprised. There is NOTHING new under the sun.
When my friend was describing the nutty to me I was thinking -- "UGH!" Friend was all "UGH!" too.
This person is showing that they are more interested in their own way than in having constructive conversation or the well being of their partner (my friend). That's about it. Plain and simple.
I just wrote about having stress and it triggering my anxiety/panic stuff in previous entry. Well, dealing with conflict in a sane way
goes a looong way in reducing my stress. So does thinking about stress management and applying those skills to reduce my stress load.
So does not engaging with people who deny me the right to responsiveness.
I want two way street RELATIONSHIPS -- not talking to walls or one-way relationships where I feed black holes to my own depletion. Oy!