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Negotiating Change in Relationships When You’ve Made a Shift

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

Lets face it, this last year we’ve had plenty of opportunity for growth. I see many of my clients coming into awareness of what’s working in their relationships and what is not.

For some, boundaries and non-negotiable stances are becoming quite clear.

Great! Perhaps you too have made leaps and bounds in your personal evolution in the midst of lockdown. You find yourself ready for change, and you’re now ready to unleash your evolving reality upon those with whom you reside, play and work.

Fantastic! You just need to remember that we’re all evolving at our own pace. Some moving at warp speed, others on pause or suffering from cognitive dissonance.. It’s all perfect tho, right?

When I work with people who are married or living with a significant other, have children at home, or are dealing with colleagues in the workplace- as I see them embrace their evolving awareness and see their excitement in implementing change, I find I must caution them to realize that the people around them likely have not quite made the leap with them. Reality check! You need to bring them along to your new reality. But how you ask?

Allow me to digress! I once picked up a book at a second hand store that focused on personal power and financial independence by Darel Rutherford. The book, Being the Solution, literally fell on the floor in front of me. No accident, me thinks. I began flipping through it and come across a chapter in the relationship section, titled: FIND THE UNWRITTEN AGREEMENT. The premise being that life works by agreement. Relationships he states are based on unwritten agreements about how you will relate to one another. One example that he uses in the book is:

If your boss jerks you around at work then you must realize that you at some point gave him permission to do this. The stage was set the first time it was allowed- the unwritten agreement.

You gave permission when you did not stop it from the get go.

Think about that in the context of all your relationships. How many unspoken agreements have you created that you are ready to un-create? Who would you BE if you agreed to not be the victim from the get go? Or you had not chosen to look the other way when someone did something against your wishes? Every time we choose to look the other way we are giving people permission to treat us in a manner that is not in agreement with us or our values. You have just told them it’s ok and I’m not going to and Im not going to do a thing about that. Game on!

Seems so obvious doesn’t it? Stated so clearly, I remember feeling instantly humbled, as I thought of a thousand examples of ways I had allowed this over the years.

From that moment on, I vowed to try to be very aware when forming new relationships of just what I might potentially be setting into motion, to avoid having to “undo” things in the future.

Fast forward, you’re now in healing mode, a-ha mode, or whatever- and you’re not going to take it anymore! Now what?

It’s imperative that you now bring those people up to speed with you. You explain that things you’ve allowed or tolerated in the past (behaviors, habits, attitudes, etc.) are not exactly going to work going to work for you moving forward. Spell it out for them, so it’s clear. Forgive them if they’re not as excited as you.

Then it’s on you to renegotiate new agreements, consciously with your loved ones, colleagues, children or people in your sphere of influence. You all need to get on the same page that this is going down.

Do a little soul searching. Give this some thought before you launch. How will you show up differently? What can you do to help people to consciously make the leap with you? Pray about it. Ask your besties? Meditate on it. Journal it. Buy a few more sessions?

Be gentle on yourself.

And your loved ones as you shift your reality.

I love the example that Rutherford spells out in his book- He suggests that you ask yourself the following questions.

Who am I BEING that invites this problem into my life?
Who am I BEING that allows this person to take advantage of me?
How did I invite the unwritten agreement I have with this person?

If you’re a giver, perhaps you have invited the takers. When the taker finds someone with a need to give, they simply form an attachment. When the giver and the taker find each other,

you have a match he states, for the proverbial co-dependent relationship.

When you have looked at why you have created unwritten agreements you must then ask yourself the question:

Who would I BE being if I no longer chose to put up with that problem?

Part of my work with people is helping them to discover the unwritten agreements they have made with people.

The homework is allowing the change and the negotiation with loved ones and people in your spheres to move along with you.

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