As I was switching through the 800 channels we pay for and don’t watch, I came upon a therapist talking about the signs of failing relationships. What a better topic (other than running) than this.
Three obvious (you wonder why these people make so much money when they are not telling us anything new) topics were defined as signs of a relationship failing. They are:
§ Decrease or end of private talk. Old jokes are no longer remembered; names we used to address each other are no longer used. We now hear our names spelled out…and it feels weird…the sayings, the lines that were part of what made us whatever we were, are withheld and the conversation becomes general taking away the uniqueness of the relationship.
§ The support ends. The “you did great”, “I know you can do it” are gone and replaced with defensiveness, a perceived attack that in reality is not taking place. Defensiveness blocks communication. It is the mentality of "me against you" and don’t you forget it.
§ Relationships are about rewarding and when the rewarding deteriorates the punishment increases. When a relationship is failing we stop rewarding each other. We no longer pick up something we see in a store to let the person know we thought of them and if we are given something, we won't use it emphasizing the punishment. We punish them because they are not good and we reward others, just not each other.
As I watched and listened, I remembered the kids' poem “All I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”, all the so called signs are nothing but games of control; how childish we become as we get older. And how sad that is.
My attention span ran out so I couldn’t watch more, I had watched enough. These were not signs, these were facts.
Time to pack your things, you know the drill.