TL;DR: It’s easy to fixate on your partner’s imperfections instead of taking a hard look at yourself. Flip the script (reverse roles) to remember you’re both human.
I chatted with a friend recently who’d been exhibiting many symptoms of an anxious and insecure relationship. Her tendency to overthink her boyfriend’s actions left her feeling paralyzed like a stunned animal. Their communication styles were out of sync like a movie with delayed sound. And like many people who’ve taken my relationship insecurity quiz so far (and like me when Phillip and I started dating), she nitpicked his flaws like picking leaves and petals off a plant, one at a time.
This conversation sprouted many sparkly lessons to share with you, but one takeaway that stands out in my mind is flipping the script.
Wtf does that even mean?
Of course, the internet yields different definitions, but I’m talking about reversing roles. Flipping the script helps you look at a situation from another perspective, and it can come in handy when dealing with inner and outer relationship conflict.
For example, let’s look at our tendency to nitpick our partner’s flaws. It’s easy to call your man “the most forgetful human you’ve ever met,” or an “asshole driver,” or a “bad texter,” or “lazy” when he doesn’t do work around the house.
While some of these judgments might be true on some level, let’s flip the script: What if he nitpicked your flaws? Maybe you hog the bed at night (like my parents’ dog). Maybe he thinks you nag too much (like his mom). Maybe you get easily distracted by your phone when he’s trying to talk to you (like many millennials). Maybe your unnecessarily large Fran Drescher art collection takes up half the house (Wine Country reference).
It’s easy to critique everything about the other person without looking at ourselves in the mirror. So, when we flip the script, we take ourselves off a pedestal and create a level playing field. In other words, we need to acknowledge that we’re all flawed, so patience, acceptance, and understanding are in order.
How would a certified relationship coach like me help you flip the script in your relationship? Every client is different, but chances are we’d dig deeply into the gremlins, assumptions, interpretations, and limiting beliefs (GAILs) that might be influencing your damaging thoughts and feelings toward your partner. While we can’t surgically change our partners’ behaviors and personality, we can certainly mold our own behaviors, starting with our mindsets.
Here are some questions to consider when slaying your GAILs:
- What might be prompting you to critique your partner?
- What thoughts come to mind when your partner acts the way he does?
- How do you feel when he does that?
- What actions do you take when that happens?
- What’s another way to interpret his actions?
- What thoughts and feelings do you have under that new interpretation?
- The next time he does something you dislike, what new action can you take?
Speaking of taking action, if the time is right and you need a certified relationship coach to help you get past your relationship anxiety and insecurity and reignite that spark in your relationship, then fill out the easy form here and I’ll be in touch within 24 hours!