Relationships thrive within a WE-ality, not a ME-ality
The key to creating an Extraordinary Relationship lies in developing your capacity to go from a ME-based life to a WE-based life. Up to and until the moment you entered into a relationship with another, the language you spoke, the choices you made about how and where you live, and how you spent your time and money came largely from within you. You made choices taking into account personal wishes and desires. Until you entered into a relationship with another, you were accountable to and one hundred percent responsible—to, you. If you made a mistake, the consequences were yours and yours alone.
However, the minute your life merged with another, the context of your life had to undergo a radical shift of focus and language. Where once you spoke from within a context of “I, ME, and MINE,” you now had to learn a new language of “WE, US, and OURS.”
ME-based conversations are full of ME, MY feelings, MY experiences, MY needs, MY wants, and how I am being frustrated by YOU.
For example, ME-based language sounds like: “You are not making ME happy, there’s something wrong with you; MY needs are not being met. YOU never listen. “If only THEY would… then I would be happy.” In ME-based relationships one ME based partner complains, the other defends, feelings get hurt, arguments escalate, and the temperature grows hotter. The ME based relationship spirals downwards from there.
But what if we shifted the way WE talk about our relationships from ME-based language to WE-based language, such that “I, ME, MINE, and YOURS” becomes “WE, US, and OURS?”
How would our relationships feel were we to say, “WE are not making ME happy; the way WE communicate with one another is not working for US; OUR needs as a couple are not being met?”
Isn’t it easier to hear our partner when they say, “WE are not making ME happy,” “There something about US, the way WE speak and listen to each other that isn’t working for US.” Isn’t “WE need to take a close look at how effectively WE are doing US”much easier to hear than, “If only YOU would…then I would be happy?”
With a simple shift in the way WE talk about ourselves, we’ve taken our partners off the hot seat; we’ve stopped making them the one responsible for our feelings and upsets. When our partner no longer has to stop listening to defend themselves in the face of our upsets and dissatisfactions—then WE can shift our attention to where it belongs, to US, about WE and what is going on between US. Once WE have accomplished this, WE can begin to clarify, discuss, and focus on the relationship WE share. WE can listen to one another in a way that will make a difference for US and the future of OUR relationship.
As a WE, speaking with rather than at one another, WE have a chance to listen to our partner in a way that makes a difference for US. With our relationship at stake, WE can look for what is missing; WE can uncover new ways of being with and for one another that would transform us from struggling individuals to extraordinary life-partners. With our new set of WE-based skills, WE have an opportunity to be extraordinarily happy together for the rest of our lives.
Relationships thrive within a WE-ality, not a ME-ality.