I met a couple friends for lunch the other day. Unfortunately, the restaurant we met at was closed.
So, of course, we had to choose a new one.
You would think this was easy.
It was not.
In fact, it proved so difficult that a few of us ate at one place and another couple at another place and two of us just went our separate ways.
“Requirements” for the wrong thing.
As we deliberated where to go, we had to work around everyone’s requirements.
One of us didn’t like some restaurants.
One of us had a dietary requirement.
One of us had a financial requirement.
One of us didn’t want to sit in a dark bar in the waning days of sunlight.
One of us wanted somewhere with “good” food.
And these five+ “requirements” ultimately led us in separate directions. If we look at the requirements, though, what were they for?
They were for lunch.
But, the true purpose was to get together… to spend time together… to enjoy being together.
We let where to eat get in the way of together.
Is it truly a “requirement”?
Could these “requirements” have been forgone for the true purpose? Could we have just picked something on the menu anywhere that would have been OK? Could those with healthier incomes have covered those that don’t? Could we have just spent an hour inside despite the lack of sunlight? Could those who “didn’t like” or “didn’t want” have simply tried better for the common goal?
The answer is yes.
It’s yes to all of those questions.
The truth is that we do this to ourselves all the time. We “require” things that are actually just nice-to-have things and forgo our real desire.
At what point do we say “this is good enough,” because it lets us experience what we truly want?
The relationship corollary: I believe this applies to relationships as well. In the end, what we really want in a relationship is partnership. Someone you only see once/month is not a partner.
Someone who says they love you, but verbally berates you, is not a partner. Someone who is there for you, supports you and lifts you up, but doesn’t make “a lot” of money – is the “wrong” religion – supports the other “candidate” – IS a partner.
Staying in a *&^% relationship for the “bigger goal” is a focus on the wrong goal. Not being alone isn’t what most of want. Being in partnership is what most of us want. Traditionally, *&^% relationships aren’t partnerships.
PS – Many of my clients come to CST to help with anxiety / depression. The story at the beginning is a good example of how we are adding to our own anxiety / depression by focussing on little insignificant things instead of what we are physiologically designed for – being part of a group.
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