As all relationships go, Ralph and Robin find themselves in the slump of catching each other doing things wrong or majoring on each other's minuses. They have lost the luster of love and started to engage in fault-finding. It has become a dance of criticism, where every misstep is magnified, and every flaw is scrutinized.
Suppose Robin says that she does not receive enough communication, such as text messages, phone calls, or talking when he comes from work. In this case, she brings it to his attention in a manner that feels like complaining. Ralph will likely defend his actions or, even worse, attack back by pointing out her indiscretions or faults. Bingo! The discussion will continue with attack and defend, point, and blame. Now the argument may shift to pointing out how Robin is habitually late. This becomes the next battleground as one accuses the other of always being late, an apparent sign of disrespect for the other's time. Once this foundation is established in their relationship, communication becomes a point of contention, as one feels that the other does not effectively express themselves.
Complaining or nagging is a sign of not feeling heard. It is repeating the same thing which does not produce any change. Complaints beget complaints.
Talking to them about being their own cop and policing their actions when they get out of line or violate the law of relationships can be foreign to them. Relationships have a profound beauty when individuals choose not to play the role of the other's cop. Instead of policing each other's actions, they focus on self-improvement. The relationships blossoms when both partners take responsibility for their actions and strive to be the best version of themselves. Being able to listen, observe, and move out of the way of others can be endearing. To admit, rather than rationalize, minimize, or justify can be freeing for both parties.
I call this “self-policing.” It is when Ralph and Robin look inward and identify areas for personal growth without blaming. This creates an attractive dynamic where individuals continually evolve for the relationship and their emotional well-being.
How about you? Are you being the other's cop or are you self-policing?
Watch for the blind spots.
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