‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man,” wrote George Bernard Shaw.
That’s a lot to consider!
Most of us were raised with: Being asked to be ‘reasonable’ and ‘cooperative.’ Not drawing too much attention to ourselves. Fitting in. Being seen not heard.
A look at the internet or news implies some people are either rebelling against this—or they’ve been raised differently. I’d like to propose that somewhere between the extremes, communication, peace and happiness can improve on personal levels for all.
The idea for this blog is this: For our most important relationships it’s up to us to set certain ground rules for ourselves and others; defining what we want and asking for it directly. We are old enough to know what we want and strong enough to handle the rejection if the answer is no—but smart enough to know…the answer might be yes! Further, owning our ‘unreasonable’ natures means that it is time to stop assuming that we think we know what others want as well. If someone is important to us, it’s time to risk asking about their preferences. Sharing our thoughts and asking others to share theirs constitutes investments in the health of our important relationships. Nobody benefits when a missed opportunity to ask a preference becomes a conversation of: ‘I didn’t ask because I thought you wouldn’t want to’ (which can actually be perceived as passive-aggressive, which is not a great trait.)
When we accept that it is our responsibility to ask for what we want and need, others may or may not be receptive. But, it will end guessing games…which can be at the root of disappointment. Speaking up moves conversations out of our heads and into the realm of possibility.
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