“Inherent in your silence is acceptance” ~LMB
Many people talk about wanting to stop racism, address patriarchy, end misogyny and shut down oppression of all groups. Men and women of all races and sexual orientations have come out of the woodwork to march against these issues—particularly in this past year. Marching, talking against and wanting to change these behaviors is a worthy cause for all of humanity. And, if we truly want to change things in our world, our lives or our homes, it requires consistent action.
Working with couples has taught me that far too often human beings have the propensity to complain, beg, rage and even cry about wanting change. Many believe that if we’re raging, yelling or complaining, then we’re doing our part to create change. We’re not. Unfortunately, change requires new moves, new steps and most importantly new ACTIONS. Change also requires consistent action. This is true regardless of whether we want to change our work environment, home environment or world environment.
If you want change to happen somewhere in your life, then commit to taking action in that area.
• Change in your romantic relationship or marriage: If you want to save your relationship because your partner is telling you s/he wants to leave, then change the actions s/he most complains about regarding your behaviors. Don’t buy her more flowers if she says you don’t help around the house. If he says you never appreciate what he does, start looking for the things he does do and take the time to appreciate them. Listen to your partner’s complaints and change your actions as a result.
• Changing your friendship: If you feel that you over-give and your friend seldom gives, then start saying no. When s/he says no yet again, have a conversation about the imbalance and be clear about what you want and what you will be doing (i.e., I will be saying no more often).
• Changing the world: If you hate the way women are treated, then read up on misogyny and learn to recognize all the ways it shows up. When it does show up, notice it, speak to it and do not collude with it by laughing at sexist jokes, calling females bitches or staying silent when someone grabs a woman’s private parts. Step up, stand up and don’t collude.
Change can happen and individuals can make a difference, not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of others. However, to do so, we must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and stand up for the very change we know in our hearts we want to happen.
Challenge: When you find yourself complaining about an issue—in your home, job or in the world— slow yourself down and ask yourself if it is a big enough issue for you to do something about. If not, stop complaining. If it is, then step up, stop complaining and start taking ACTIONS. Check in here to share the difference in the way you feel when you complain versus take actions.