30 Jun Is Your Partner All Words And No Action?
Is your partner all words and no action? Does it feel like you’re in a relationship with an “I’m gunna…”?
Does your partner do a whole lot of talking about dreams and goals, but never follow through? Talking up big dreams, but going nowhere?
You believe in how absolutely amazing he or she could be once they achieve these goals and dreams…
… but you find that he or she never takes the necessary steps to actually make them happen?
The natural and loving response when we hear loved ones speaking about their dreams and goals is to offer our encouragement and support:
“You want to start your own local business? Great!”
“You want to be the CEO of a start-up company that goes global? Good on you!”
“You want to lose five kilos by Christmas? Awesome!”
Enthusiastic responses are all part of being an enthusiastic, supportive, and loving partner, right?
Of course. But endless enthusiasm and encouragement wears thin for most partners if those awesome dreams and goals they hear so much about never actually develop into concrete plans.
If our partner is all words and no action, and our enthusiasm starts feeling like frustration, it might be time to stop encouraging.
I had a client this week (let’s call her Sue) who explained it this way:
“He has so much talent and so many dreams. So when I hear him speaking so passionately about starting this business, I get so excited for him…”
“…But it’s been four years now, and he hasn’t actually done anything to make them come true! He hasn’t even printed business cards!”
Sue even went online and created some great business cards for her gorgeous “gunna”. But no prizes for guessing whether he’s actually ordered them.
When I asked Sue whether her designing the business cards for him was effective in prompting him to step towards his dream, she had to admit “no”.
She also realised that her constant offerings of encouragement and advice, introductions to people in his field, and attempts to find him suitable office space, also haven’t helped at all.
He’s still talking and not doing.
It was a revelation to Sue that the way she’s been trying to help her partner may have become part of the problem.
I suggested that she start looking at their interactions in fresh ways:
Maybe when she’s “helping”, he’s hearing:
“I don’t really trust that you are capable of this, so I’m going to do it for you. I’ll love you more once you achieve more. Here, let me help, I know better.”
It could be that only once he is left to solve his own challenges (or not) will he really have an opportunity to change and grow; to really find out for himself what he’s made of.
There’s a big difference between offering loving encouragement, and rescuing.
Rescuing says: “Hey, let me take over. You need help! Let me show you how it’s done!”
Encouragement says: “Hey, good luck with that! Sounds great! I’m here if you need me!”
If your partner keeps talking about dreams and goals that are going nowhere, respond with kindness and enthusiasm, but avoid becoming more enthusiastic about their goals than they are, because once that happens, you’ve taken over.
Love means letting our partner know we’re there for them. But ultimately, it also means letting go.
Want to learn more about why you’re driven to help too much, and how to create a balanced marriage or relationship that allows each of you to thrive? Contact Pamela here, and let’s get started.