#562 – Journey Of Attachment: I Know What You’re Thinking, So Why Ask?

Does this conversation sound familiar to you? “So-and-so is mad at me.” “Oh really, did she say she was mad at you?” “No, I can just tell.” Or what about this one? “So-and-so doesn’t want to hang out anymore.” “Oh really, why do you think that?” “Because he found someone else to spend time with so he doesn’t need me anymore.” Ah, assuming. You get to feel self-righteous by making someone else the bad guy while you’re the victim who did nothing wrong. It’s an excuse not to communicate. When you create a story about what someone else is thinking or feeling, it keeps you insulated from all those “bad people.” Instead of asking questions or seeking the truth, you drive a wedge between you and the other person. It positions you as the suffering victim with them as the perpetrator, which means you have no power.

In this episode I’ll show you why this is so damaging to relationships (you’ll never get close to someone this way), and how to catch yourself making up these stories. Because when you pay attention and catch yourself, you have a choice. You can take responsibility for your thoughts and seek the truth instead of assuming you know what’s going on with someone else. You can choose open communication that connects you to someone instead of made-up stories that create distance. Do you really want to make decisions based on assumptions that may not have a kernel of truth?

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Transcription:

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another journey of attachment. Yeehaw! Here we are again! All right. And actually it’s changing the name to overcoming insecure attachment. That is what we are doing. And so overcoming insecure attachment is a big deal, right? Because most of us feel like we’re stuck with it the rest of our lives, or we’re struggling with it, and so these podcasts are really meant to help you to get some tools, to get some ideas of how you can come from a completely different perspective in your love life, and in your life, because insecure attachment affects all parts of our lives. So this is here to help you. And for those of you that want to take a deeper dive, and really want to transform, and want help transforming, because doing this on your own is very hard work. I did, and let me tell you, it was very painful to do this on my own. And you really want to look at how much time do I want to spend doing this, or do I want to get on with living?

Right? And do I want to have healthy relationships and feel like I can trust myself to make good choices to feel good? And that is really the key, and that is why I’ve developed the programs I have. I only want people that are ready, and ready means ready to commit. Not I’m going to freak out, and I’m going to run, and I’m going to make a bunch of excuses. You’re not ready. So the minute you start thinking, like when I’m talking about this, “Oh my gosh, that scares me. That sounds too big.” You’re not ready, so don’t worry about it. And I’m not trying to be a jerk when I say that at all, because it’s true. And I really want people that are like, “I don’t want to do this to myself anymore. I want to commit to myself that I can do this work, and have what I really want,” because it can feel like it’s an impossible goal.

I should actually do a podcast on impossible goals. But a lot of times you do because we haven’t experienced it yet. Right? Right. Okay. So, hey guess what, we are going to get on with the podcast. Oh, and if you’re interested by the way, happiness@tracycrossley.com. All right. So this is an interesting title. I don’t know what the final one will be because I never know, when I’m recording, what the editor is going to actually make the title to the public. So the working title is I Prefer Assuming and Making Myself the Victim to Get My Way. We do this. I’ve done it. I know it. But to the degree that I’m going to be talking about today, I haven’t lived that. I’ve done it in small increments.

So what is the idea here? The idea is assuming you know how someone else feels, what they think, or what they want, and you make this a story. It’s your story. It’s not their story. It’s the story of your focus, and what they have not said. And not is in capital letters. But you believe, you know, what they want to say, but that they don’t. And it’s an excuse. It’s an excuse to not communicate. Ooh, right? This is a pretty big thing, and I’ll get to why shortly enough, on why I believe that.

So to begin with, you might be thinking, “How am I a victim?” You said victim in the title, Tracy. How am I a victim? Well, how do I assume? Look at what you pay attention to all day long. He or she wants to do this or that, he or she doesn’t want to do this or that, and this is not because you’ve had a conversation. This is all an assumption. This is in your head.

And it could be an assumption that’s based on past experiences. Sure. Or even past behavior with this person, or your own past ideas, or your own past experiences in and out of relationships. And so you may be making a story because you believe that it is the truth without evidence. Of course, that’s what a story is is, well, this is the truth. According to who? According to your head. That’s usually what it is. Except that when you’re doing this, and you don’t have the evidence, and you may be making up evidence, based on again, the past, you have selectively chosen this narrative. You have chosen to make up this narrative, and you may not be consciously aware you’re doing this either.

A lot of times, we’re not consciously aware of the things that we’re doing. We’re just doing them because we’ve always done them, or we’ve always looked at things in a certain way. Right? And so here’s the thing. To not communicate, what the hell is that? Right? That’s the opposite of a healthy relationship. Yes, it is. It definitely is. Not communicating, and thinking you’re a mind reader, and then reacting to it, and doing things that are detrimental to a relationship because of it, yeah. That my friends is not something that resembles any kind of healthy.

So the narrative you create on your assumptions is what causes a divide. It’s never about something positive, and it’s always about something negative. Always about something negative. So when you’re an assumer, which is a new label, you’re an assumer. Hey, great. I always wanted to be an assumer. Not really. You’re a victim. Since you never ask questions, or build a bridge to seek the truth, you instead look for separation, unconsciously. Again, this isn’t so you go beat yourself up. I don’t want you to beat yourself up.

This is to recognize the things that you do, and that you can do something about, because if you don’t see them, how can you do something about it? Right? So you’re acting on a feeling, which says to drive a wedge, and you may have been comparing yourself, or judging them, or taking what they say. And like I said, assuming things are a certain way, right? That you think they feel a certain way. That they’re in this mood. That there’s their reaction, that this is what they’re going to do. And perhaps you want to tell them to go fuck themselves, or you can believe they’re going to tell you the truth so you better beat them to the punch without a shred of truth. Right?

You might just disappear. I was going to say, runaway, disappear, same thing. You might just disappear because you believe, in your mind, that this story is true. And so, “Oh, they’re going to break up with me. I’m going to break up with them first,” or, “They’re upset with me. I’m going to be more upset with them.” We do stuff like this and we don’t realize that we’re doing it. So you’re the victim because, in the story, the other person’s the bad guy. Right? They’re the perpetrator or the persecutor, depending on what you want to call that label. And they’re the ones, supposedly, with an agenda, and you’re the one who is long suffering, or perfect, or somehow you’re beyond reproach.

You’ve got it together, it’s this other person that doesn’t have it together. So what about me or anybody I know. Right? Let’s get to that section. So I cannot say that I have done this to the degree I describe, but I’ve talked to plenty of people who do, including a family member of mine. Yeah. And this is her M.O., and when she shares one of her narratives about someone else, and that the friendship will be ending, or ended a long time ago, I have found that she just assumes things rather than asks questions.

It’s like she thinks she knows what people are thinking, or she thinks she knows by whatever they do, that somehow, “Oh, that’s the answer.” How often do words and actions not match when it comes to human beings? A lot. Right. But we’re not taking that into consideration. So she would rather assume things then ask questions, or have a conversation, or something which might indicate she knew what a person was doing, because they said it, not because she thinks that that’s what they’re doing, or she thinks that’s what’s going on.

As an example, she said one of her friends was not going to be her friend much longer, and that was okay. And I asked, “How do you know, or did something happen?” And she goes, “Well, they found another friend, and therefore they’re spending more time with this other friend. And there’s just a season to a friendship.” I’m like, “Don’t you care? Don’t you want to talk and see if this friendship really is ending or something.” And so she said, “No, it’s okay. I don’t really care.” And it’s what she always says to everything. No, I don’t really care. No, I don’t really care if I’m coming to your daughter’s graduation, or your children are upset or anything. Oh, I don’t really care. Okay.

So the thing is, that’s always the answer, and it’s also something with… And what’s funny, in this situation, is that that person is still in her life. So this was just some random conversation, and then she’s still hanging out with this person. So anyways, so another time she spoke about a long ago friend who she grew up, and hadn’t been friends with for years. They were friends for years, and then not friends for years. And she said it was all her friend’s fault, basically. I don’t think she used the word, “Oh, it’s all her fault,” but she said she did not do anything to deserve this in her own mind.

And she said that the friend got mad at her because her son, being my family member’s son, didn’t want to go out with her friend’s daughter. And so I said, “How did you know she was mad,” and she said, “I could just tell.” I said, “She didn’t say anything? She didn’t say she was mad at you?” No, she never did. I could just tell, and family member, knowing what I do for a living, doesn’t have a lot of patience for these conversations. And so, once again, this person was offended, of course, when I was started asking things, and she just said, “Well, I can just tell, and so could her husband.” Her husband could tell that this friend was mad, and I’m going, “Oh, okay. So we don’t ask questions. We don’t have conversations. We just assume.” Right?

And so this person has done things like this her whole life. And when I asked, “Don’t you miss your friend, or want to talk to her, or even get in touch with her to see what happened.?” She’s like, “No, she doesn’t care.” And so it’s like, “Okay,” even though at the beginning of the conversation about the friend, she was telling me how she was really bothered by this friend not reaching out to her and saying, “Oh, my husband died.” And then I said, “Well, did you reach out to her when your husband died?”

So anyways, the answer is no. I share this to narrate how it looks, because these are great examples of how this crap looks, right? She doesn’t want to say anything. She’d rather be the victim, and see that everybody else is an asshole who doesn’t want to be her friend, but she doesn’t even know if they want to be her friend or not be her friend. And maybe letting things go because, oh, who cares anymore, but is that the truth? Do you really care, or are you just numb? Whatever it is, you want to be in this position because you’re probably afraid of whatever someone might say to you.

So why is this a problem? Because you don’t get close to anyone this way, and it keeps you in a state of distrust of others in the world. And it is to keep yourself insulated. That’s what it does. From all the bad people, the supposed bad people out there. So the people you know and don’t, the way you perceive a total stranger, may or may not be real, and you just come up with a story that you believe someone thinks about you in a certain way.

And so you live in a persecuted manner, and it is powerless, and so it’s a problem, because you’re not able to have a healthy relationship this way. It’s impossible, because all of this judgy judgment that you’re living on, well they’re this, or they’re then, duh, duh duh, duh, duh, says nothing to you. Because it’s a flimsy thing if your friend goes off mad, and you never talked to them again because your children aren’t dating. What does that say to the content of the relationship to begin with?

What does that say to the closeness? Was there closeness? Maybe there was no closeness. It says something to that, unfortunately. So to me, that’s a problem, because I like to have relationships where we can talk. This is a relationship I really don’t have that ability to do that in, and never really have, because I’m not willing to play along with these sort of stories, and it doesn’t really interest me, because I believe that honest communication can be really hard at times, and that’s really healthy, though, because then you each know where the other stands, right?

And then you can make choices. Well, you can make choices anyways, but that’s the point. So what’s the wisdom nugget? And this is a hashtag wisdom nugget. So please take this wisdom nugget, and go out into the world and use it. All right. Taking responsibility and asking questions is the way to relate and be healthy, rather than assuming shit that’s probably not true. Yeah. What’s the solution to this? Well, first you got to stop making shit up. You’ve got to catch yourself and stop. Again, this is something that might not be consciously on the level of having an awareness that you’re doing it. You might have an awareness that, “Oh, I’m not getting along with this person, or I’m not sure what they’re thinking.”

You might not have the idea that you’re making a story up, is my point. Okay. You’ve got to catch yourself when you’re making the story up, and then you can give yourself a choice. A lot of people get stuck in this, and then they can’t really figure it out. Well, wait a minute, I don’t know that I’m making a story up. Isn’t that true? But if you really look at it, and you go, “Well, did I have a conversation about this?” No.

If you didn’t have a conversation, you’re making shit up. Okay. That is the clue. So, the next thing is responsibility. Yeah. That can feel really difficult, but when you say, “I’m responsible for what I think, I feel, I say, and I do,” you empower yourself, because you can change it or not. You have a choice. If you don’t take responsibility, you don’t really have a choice. So the keys to be aware of your stories. Are you always the guy or girl who needs rescuing or feels persecuted by others? Look at it that way. Oh my God, I can’t believe these people are doing this to me. This always happens to me. I’m so the martyr and they’re all jerks. Everybody I go out with is an asshole. Everybody I go out with is this or that. I mean, listen to what is going on in here, that’s going to give you clues to why you do what you do.

And you don’t want to feel like you’re being persecuted all the time by a persecutor, because that means you’re the victim. So to stop being a victim, you have to take responsibility. It doesn’t just happen to you. You actually set the circumstances, especially when you have insecure attachment issues, because insecure attachment has scarcity at the bottom of it. We grew up with insecure attachment. That means that we didn’t have an abundance of love, an abundance of anything. We had scarcity mentality by our parents. And they may not have known. They may not have known that they were handing that off. And it’s not just… I’m talking… It’s financial. I’m talking about in love, I’m talking about attention, I’m talking about in ways that are warming, and caring and loving. Okay? So this may be your survival mechanism to be making these stories up.

So only say shit you mean. Don’t say shit you don’t mean, okay. That is not real communication. A lot of times we say stuff to try and get a reaction out of someone. That goes under the doesn’t… That’s shit you don’t mean. Shit you mean is the vulnerability, is the truth, is the responsibility, is the ability to step up and go, “Wow, I’m starting to make a story up here. Why don’t I ask this person instead? Or why don’t I offer how I feel, and see what they say,” not as a judgment to them, or blame to them. I’m very clear about that, because then you’re not communicating. All you’re doing is giving someone your opinion of them. And really, we all have opinions, and we know what opinions are. Right? Right.

So responsibility is good, and then the other thing is that you want to look at if you’re making up a story, you’re probably not dealing with the reality of the situation. Meaning, you’re trying to escape it. You’re trying to escape reality, truth. You want to seek truth. That is the key, also. Seeking truth in life. Right? Have a question, and start to assume an answer, don’t do that. Ask the question without believing you know the answer. Don’t even go into the conversation acting like you already know the answer. See, I knew it. Don’t do that. Don’t do that.

It doesn’t make you look like you’re strong, or powerful or anything. It just makes you look like an ass. And I know because I used to do that. And the thing is, I did it, because I thought it was a position of strength. Well, you’re not going to pull anything over on me. I know. No, it’s not true. It doesn’t help you to get closer to the person. You have to remember, it doesn’t make you a winner in a relationship to do that.

If you’re looking to get out of the relationship, sure. Do that. Come off like that. You’re not going to get anything over me. You think you can get something by me? Oh my God. Okay. If you’re in a relationship like that, it’s not healthy to begin with, but the thing is, you’re not getting to a place of closeness with this person. You’re not. Okay. And even if they crumble, and they go, “Oh my God, don’t leave me.” The thing is, then you have a relationship, it’s showing you, based in fear. Right?

And you don’t want that. It just doesn’t feel good on a daily basis, like the rest of your life, to have to live this way. So anyways, when it comes to asking the person the question though, and being neutral about it, because you don’t know the answer, maybe you’ll get a different answer. A lot of times we ask things in a way to try and get certain information, how we think that actually things are happening, right? Or we think that they should answer in a certain way because of what we believe. But the truth is, you don’t need to do that.

So when you start to ask questions, be open and take responsibility. And if you can be open with yourself emotionally, even better. And if there’s something painful that gets said, then you’re not going to have illusions, and you can allow the pain to pass through. It’s so much better to process it that way than to delude yourself that people are like, “Oh, they’re mad at me. They’re never going to talk to me again. Why are they mad? I don’t know. I just think they’re mad, because this is what happened, and I saw that they had a sad face after it happened, and therefore, here we are.” All you’re doing is avoiding.

So you want to let the pain pass through. It shows you that you’re not a victim, and you can handle any situation. That’s true strength. That really takes courage. Right? So again, you automatically want to make… I’m sorry, you automatically want to look at things from an adult perspective.

 

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