I am reading up for my Passion workshop at the University of Rochester and am reading about differentiation in the book Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch, PhD. He talks about disagreeing and not having the other person pressure you or go ballistic because you disagree. Be open to influence and hear other perspectives but you do not have to sell out to be with the person. Be who you are, be true to yourself and expect the same from them. “If you talk your partner out of what she/he wants so you can have your way- you lose,” he noted.
One concept has really resonated with the men who read it, “Joan wants Bill to be more of a man, but she wants him to show it her way.”
Another was “If you want to make love, why not use the parts capable of loving…?”
The concept that hit me between the eyes was about stuckness-“more highly evolved forms of life display greater variability in response.” There is not just one way of doing things. Other people weigh in on what you should do with certain situations. Take in the feedback, listen to that still small voice within and remember that you have to live with consequences of your actions in your life; they do not.
He reminds us that in differentiation we stop defining ourselves by what others think of us.
The more ways, options, you have available to respond to a situation, the greater the likelihood you will be successful. Find more ways to get it done. The way you dealt with life as a child may have worked at that point in your life, there will come a time when you need to find new ways.
Consider this statement and how it resonates with you, “I want to live exactly the way I did as a child in my parents’ house.”
Experiment with some new ways of being