Mexican or Chinese??
This week's Pleasure Point [If you're not on the list yet, sign up here!] was about "reality" and social hypnosis. There are so many ways this could be applied or explained. It's a bit of a stretch, but one I was reminded of recently circled around relationships and how we lose sight of what really works. We fall into a common belief.
A friend was telling me about going out to dinner with her guy. He asked her where she wanted to eat and she put it back on him. He stated that he really didn't mind and he wanted her to choose. She thought, "I don't want to pick a place where he doesn't want to go" and she knew he usually liked Mexican food. That would have been ok (not necessarily great) with her and she threw in Chinese food as a second option. He finally chose one and off they went.
There was nothing really "wrong" with this scenario, however it could have been so much better. Like so many women, Sally (not her real name) has the belief that "making" her guy happy will make her happy when actually, it's the other way around. Let's get into it some more ...
When Pete (not his real name) asked Sally where she wanted to eat, he was really hoping she would tell him because he wanted to please her. Men are literally built to give and women are literally built to receive, yet we struggle with that. We learned somewhere that we must always give, give, give, even though the women that taught us that (our Moms??) were often not very happy. Pete isn't a mind-reader so he needed Sally to tell him where he could take her and be her hero, in essence. Sally acted as if she were a mind-reader by "deciding" that he would rather go for Mexican food than accommodate her desires.
In the end, this particular situation worked out all right, although I wonder if it was really
where Sally wanted to go. I have often seen and even been guilty of not voicing my preferences and then, feeling resentful when I wasn't where I wanted to be and I had "sacrificed" my true wishes or longings. Does that ring any bells for you?
Pete might have been satisfied with the final destination, yet he could have been thrilled when he saw the delight Sally might have expressed in being somewhere she fancied more than the final choice.
If you've found yourself in these or similar circumstances or you know you'll probably be in them again soon, practice asking for what you want. It really is ok. You'll probably pleasantly surprise the other person and you'll start exercising that receiving muscle and oh, the joy you'll experience!