I love all of the relationship dialogue resulting from Issa Rae’s Insecure series. Whether you are Team Issa or Lawrence there are a myriad of unhealthy behaviors which contribute to compromising healthy relationship spaces.
Issa and Lawrence’s We Space
Was there a conversation about the vision for their relationship? In S1 we meet an unemployed Lawrence who had dreams of being an entrepreneur. What was the plan for supporting this dream? Was it considered in the ‘We’ vision? Finances are often an area of contention in relationships, especially when they are not discussed prior to entering into a romantic space. For example:
- Do you save?
- Are you investing?
- What are your short and long term financial goals?
- How much debt do you have and what are you doing to reduce it?
- What is your spending habits? Are they compatible with or contradict your S/O?
- For the entrepreneur route, when working in corporate; are you saving X amount of money to put towards dream?
- Is the goal to work in corporate for X amount of time, save money and then live off one salary?
Unexpected things happen in relationships, job loss, health issues, etc. and these are the moments when people will discover who they really are and who their partners are. It is easy when everything is aligned and going according to your plan, but when it does not how do you handle this space?
Talking is not communicating. Healthy communication is a balance between speaking and listening and effective communication is when one taps into their vulnerability. When we connect with our vulnerability, we speak from our heart space and articulate our truth. If Issa tapped into her vulnerability she may have articulated her feelings like:
‘Lawrence, I feel X, because you are not working (Y) because Z.
X could be: frustrated, scared, tired, overwhelmed, etc.
whereas Z could be (1) it reminds me of seeing my mom provide for a man, (2) I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel, (3) I don’t know the timeline of this space and I feel powerless.
‘Issa, I feel X, due to Y because Z.’
X – emasculated, frustrated, angry, sad, scared, not supported, etc.
Y – not working, receiving X rejection letters, being over/under-qualified, not working in my field, not pursuing my entrepreneur dreams, etc.
Z – this is not how I envisioned by life, (2) I feel like I am not making progress, (3) I feel like I am disappointing and letting you down
When we speak from our heart space, the other person can hear us because they are not lost in the ‘smokescreen’ of our defense mechanisms (i.e. anger, belittlement, silent treatment, pettiness, disrespect, etc.).
Defense mechanisms always exacerbate unhealed emotional wounds in another resulting in a defensive reaction.
Unfortunately, there are many people who are partnered together who do not trust each other to be emotionally vulnerable. They trust each other in pockets. Pocket trust leaves gaps and gaps create space to disconnect. Being disconnected leads to voids which easily result in choices and decisions that are not aligned with honoring, cultivating, nurturing or protecting the We space. Establishing emotional vulnerability, connects individuals and allows for solution oriented discussion: What do you need from me when you are feeling X? What can be done to change Y? – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS