Canceling Commitment Phobia
How to Go from Resentment to Reciprocity Relationships
By: Michell Stanley, LICSW, ACC, RYT
All healthy relationships come with responsibility. Interestingly, most people feel unfairly burdened when it comes to their most intimate relationships. Whether it’s integrity, consistency or reliability most of us fall short of meeting expectations.
You might think that flakiness is a flaw in the other person, which sometimes it is. However, usually a lack of follow-through results more from cutting corners in the commitment process, than a fear of commitment.
What is a Complete Commitment?
A complete commitment includes 3 parts:
- Intention — A personal priority that is essential for the person making the commitment
- Communication — A verbal agreement to act on the intended commitment
- Action- Behavior towards a result that fulfills the commitment
When responsibility or accountability are lacking, it’s usually because one or all 3 of these parts are missing. This article is going to show you how to understand your relationships so that you can stop feeling resentful and get more reciprocity in your relationships.
1. Define Your Relationship
Friendships, family relationships and intimate partners all have different roles, responsibilities and expectations. Make sure that you are clear and in agreement of what type of relationship you have and the expectations you each have for these relationship roles.
2. Consider Your Own Level of Commitment
Some people are afraid of or uncomfortable with commitments. If you think this might be you: Reflect on the things you are reluctant to commit to or be responsible for. Next acknowledge all the things you do commit to even if it’s mundane (i.e. brushing your teeth). If you don’t see yourself committing to anything of significance, look at how you spend your time, money and attention. What you choose to focus on will reveal your intentional (or unintentional) commitments.
3. Don’t Keep Talking to Deaf Ears
No one wants to nag (hopefully ;). If you find that you repeat yourself when you don’t get the response you want, try something else. Stop trying to persuade, convince or complain. Try to understand the other person’s motivation, emotions and intentions underlying their actions. Then try to find the middle ground that is a win-win for you both.
4. Define & Align with Your Intention
The most frustrating part of being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t follow-through is a feeling of resentment. When you find alternative healthy ways to meet your needs without demanding or requiring it from someone, you alleviate a lot of stress, pressure and resentment in your relationship.
5. Take Initiative towards Integrity
Integrity doesn’t just mean doing what you say you will do. Integrity also means refraining from saying “yes” when you aren’t sure you can fulfill a request. It is simple, but definitely not easy. Even if you realize you can’t fulfill something you’ve already agreed to, it’s better to communicate as soon as possible. Making an authentic and visible effort to do what you said you would can also go a long way.
Hope you enjoyed the read. Don’t forget to share what you like and reach out if you need someone to lean on reach out: www.mokshaliving.org
Psychotherapy alleviates symptoms of emotional distress (such as anxiety or depression). As a holistic psychotherapist and a life coach, I use life coaching and psychology to help couples to be more intentional in their communication so that they can evolve through conflict and enhance connection.