How often do you hear words from people in your life, especially your significant other or even friends that bear no action?
As in, a word of reassurance, promises, feelings, apologies, and anything else which should hold meaning verbally, but the action is incognito or missing altogether.
Take for instance the words, “I love you,” or “I’m all in; I’m there for you.” What does it mean when someone says it, but nothing they do supports the words.
Is it a statement of their feeling good when thinking of you?
I mean, let’s say your house is robbed and your boyfriend talks to you on the phone for 15 minutes and that’s it. This person says they love you so much, but can’t show up physically to be there in a crisis! What is that?
Or how about the friend who vehemently says they will be there to help you move with a moving van and is nowhere to be found, not just on moving day, but several days later. And when asked what happened; they say, “Something came up.”
What about the self-professed loyal employee, who just up and quits one day without so much as a conversation, only to reappear at some event or other run-in to give you a hug and say, “No hard feelings, I still love you and think your wonderful.”
Married couples, in which one partner is always occupied with many activities—when their spouse needs their ear, help or affection, there’s an excuse like, “I am too tired, or “you’re smart, you’ll figure it out,” or “I’m busy.”
And finally, the spouse going through a divorce and their departing mate speaks of how much they love their spouse, wanting as little drama as possible, but yet in contrast to their words, finding every way to not make the divorce an easy process.
Are words supposed to be enough?
All these people say the words of love and support, but how is it shown? Is it behind door number three?
Even better. What about the conversations about these so-called lapses in action, what do they bring?
Usually… more words.
Conversations that cover promises to change, to work together, to show love or just show up and you buy into their earnest words. You wipe your brow and think, “Okay, now we’re on the same page,” except nothing changes and you have several of these “talks.”
It could go on for years.
And nothing happens, no compromise, more excuses and yet, this person swears up and down that they love and adore you. They think you’re awesome!
Is this love?
Or bad medicine?
How the hell does it make you feel in this situation full of contrast between words and actions?
Unsteady? Unstable? Not sure wha’ts really going on?
You may carry some sort of hope around for about 10 minutes, but then you notice the other person is going about their business like nothing happened or worse, they’re withdrawing. They disappear, not for good, but until they can deal with the situation. And even if they live with you, the distance is noticeable.
What are your choices? Stay in the relationship or go?
Your anger grows at the lack of respect given to those words, because there’s no follow-through. You may spend a great deal of time second-guessing your feelings, because after all this person loves you, and may say all the right things, but you rarely “feel” the fulfillment of those words.
This person doesn’t want to lose you out of their life, this is clear, but what are they doing to keep you in their life?
Often, we see the conflict as external between us, rather than the internal space where the seeds are planted.
Someone who is full of words with no action can have a variety of ghosts haunting him or her.
They may lack confidence in their own ability to follow through with action or they may be afraid of losing control and being swallowed up emotionally by you or their own feelings. They may feel in giving to you their world is no longer their own.
It’s crazy making, because the reason for inaction to back up words usually has nothing to do with the person on the receiving end.
Often these people are deeply in fear of abandonment, may feel unworthy, don’t trust themselves or anyone for that matter, and may even have deep-seated anger issues.
And usually, this all started before you ever came into contact. The degree of the inaction to words of promise is the degree to which this person is living in the past.
Even if you have issues between you, or are a control freak or have trouble handling your own baggage… the inaction or disappearing of your partner, friend or loyal employee has so little to do with you.
What has to do with you is why you find yourself in this situation? What needs or beliefs are being fulfilled for you? What is it you think you deserve deep down inside?
Are old beliefs running you and your partner in a relationship? Who’s in charge of the here and now?
You can make changes when you get clear on why you’re in a situation with someone who gives so little to you. You can change the relationship or you can leave it, but the key is to get clear on why you allow this treatment in your life.
If the other person is so inclined to start recognizing why they are triggered into “inaction,” then you both will be changing your present and future.
Start to separate what is actually happening in the relationship versus past experiences that happened before you. The clarity and possible new action that may come when you stop holding each other hostage to the past is freeing, it allows real love to flow within you and between you.
Ed: Lynn H.
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