Covert Agreements And How To Break Them
How many thoughts do you think you have on average per day? Where do they come from? What do they look like in images?
These thoughts are fueled from your crystal clear intentions or desires you have. These thoughts might be something like, "My house needs to be clean," or "I want to live in a clean house!"
And then there are thought provoking thoughts. Thoughts like, "Why isn't my family picking up after themselves," or "Why am I the only one that sees dirty toilets?" These are the thoughts that often have blind beliefs also known as covert agreements. Part of you has silently agreed with yourself that your family is going to be neat and tidy.
Do you find yourself super frustrated with the people in your life who just don't get that you want a clean house?
Maybe this morning you had this expectation that your kids would know how to get up, get themselves ready and put their dirty clothes away, towel, clean up the tooth paste our of the sink, etc. After all they do it every day and you have repeated yourself over and over again for years! Maybe you expected them to know the morning time takes team effort. After all, you are a family.
Both of those thoughts are beautiful and show how important your family is to you. They also show how important order in your home is to you. The struggle comes when your family doesn't understand what you are really asking them when you are telling them what to do in the morning. What they think you are doing is nagging and yelling because it is morning and you seem stressed out every morning.
When in reality there is deeper intention behind you words. Intention that only you are aware of and have agreed to. In our recent blog, "Covert Agreements And What Are They" you can learn more about covert agreements!
Now that you know what covert agreements are, we want to help you know how to break them! One of the hardest parts to breaking those agreements is, It isn't easy to stop and take a look at yourself and the decisions you are making. It can feel overwhelming and even scary.
Your covert agreements can be one of the key factors that create disconnects between you and your family. When you are trying with all your might to explain yourself to your loved ones, but they just aren't getting it. There is this feeling of infuriation. We almost want to scream at them, "Why don't you understand?!"
Do you find yourself struggling to dig deeper and explain what you really mean when you say, "Put your shoes away," or "Pick up after yourself?" Is there something more you are deeply craving from them (or from your relationship) that you don't have the words to explain?
Well here are 5 simple steps to help you get clear on what you are really trying to say to your family.
Here is the 5 step process to making Covert Agreements OVERT.
- Get clear on what you actually want in the situation
- Believe that you deserve to have your needs met
- Focus on what you can control in the situation
- Don't take anything personal
- Be patient with the process
Get Clear On What You actually Want In The Situation
Ask yourself, "What do I really want here?" This simple yet powerful question will help you break down what you want and get straight to the important point. The house being clean is very important. However, there is so much more to a clean house. Working together as a team, being responsible for our belongings and knowing how to pick up after ourselves. So ask yourself, "What do I really want here," and see what comes up for you.
Believe That You Deserve To Have Your Needs Met
Know that you are an amazing gift to this world. Even when you get kick back from the people you love, you deserve to have your needs met. You are a part to the family that deserves to be treated with equal respect and love. The only way to be respected sometimes is by saying how you want to be respected and why that is important to you. The family may not always know how to have that mutual relationship with you unless they are told how to.
Focus On What You Can Control
Sometimes, when we crave that team work, it might not be within the skills ro capabilities of that other person at the time we desire it. This is where recognizing we can't control their ability to work together as a team. The best we can do is model what team work looks like and express our true desires from the team. Know that in the moment of stress and frustration, there is nothing you can do to change the situation. It is important to remember you can control when you have a conversation and what you say.
Don't Take Anything Personal
If your family member or teammate is struggling to listen, make good choices or respect you as their teammate, it has nothing to do with you. You did not fail as a team mate or family member. Their choices are their choices. You can influence them absolutely. However not always will your influence make a difference. Be Patient with the process and don't take things personally.
Be Patient With The Process
When learning how to make covert agreements overt, it takes time. Time for everyone in the family to understand the changes. Time to understand what's happening and why. Time to understand how everyone feels about the changes. If you are struggling with how much time it is taking to get there, go back to step one and repeat this process until you have achieved your goal of making your covert agreements, overt.
My hope is that this process will become a regular practice of yours in your life. Embrace the change, commit to the process and teach from the outcome.