One time, I went to a customer service department to get help in resolving an issue. The woman at the counter came around the counter and walked with me down the hall, making nice chit chat. Then, once we were down the hall, she told me that the company appreciated me, yet they weren’t going to do anything to help me or resolve the problem in any way. She wished me all the best and walked back to her customer service counter. This is a strategy and frankly it didn’t work. It left me feeling angry and manipulated. I walked right back to the counter and asked for her manager, who also tried to walk me down the hall. And now my complaint was more about the manipulative way that I was treated. In the end, the company gave me what I had originally asked for, yet, I was left with this yucky feeling about being manipulated. Despite years of customer loyalty to that company, I’ve never gone back. This is the problem with having a strategy.
I’ve noticed that many of my clients call me in times of confusion and stress in their relationship and they’re looking for strategies. They want to know how to change the situation, change the other person, change themselves. All this instead of just having a relationship. Instead of saying, doing or feeling what’s right in front of them. I understand this completely. It’s hard to rock the boat. We get scared and mostly we are scared of these three things. 1. The other person will be hurt. 2. The other person will hurt us. 3. It will cause damage that will never be undone. So people do things like, have the conversation in their head and come up with the worst possible scenario. Tell the person indirectly or passively aggressively. Blame themselves. Or, don’t take responsibility for themselves.
It means doing something most of don’t want to do, ever. And that is lose control. Or at least not be in control. And that’s ultimately what a strategy is. It’s controlling the situation for our own benefit and comfort. And that is a relationship for one.
My very best advice is to rock the boat. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do and especially feel what you need to feel. Because when you operate from a strategy instead of being in relationship, you in a strategy. It feels weird to be in a strategy. It feels better to connect and get through things.