I Just Passed You the Butter

I love Pink's song "Just Give Me a Reason" from her 2012 album 'The Truth About Love'.

Aside from her amazing voice and brilliantly catchy tunes... the words and ideas behind this song are really meaningful.  "Just give me a reason, just a little one's enough, just a second we're not broken, just bent, and we can learn to love again."  

Pink told music streaming service Spotify: ''Sometimes [one partner] can be like, 'The way you passed me the butter this morning, I kinda feel like we're going to be over in a month and we need to talk' and he's like, 'I just passed you the 'flipping' butter, what are you talking about?'"   She added: '' ...this is a story, this is a conversation this song - it needs the other perspective..."

Wow.  Very insightful Pink!

Now let's look at what often happens.  You ask for the butter at breakfast.  Your partner gives you the butter but doesn't make eye contact.  Your mind flashes back to the beginning of the relationship - to a morning when he passed the butter with leisurely, loving warmth in his eyes as he reached across the table and playfully buttered your toast.  You feel suddenly sad.  Disconnected.  Lonely.  You wonder if it's over.  If this is the way it's always going to be.  If there's no hope for enduring love. You start to notice other things.  He comes home later.  He doesn't linger when he kisses you. The list is soon quite long. He obviously doesn't love you anymore.  You feel sadder and more lonely the more you think about it.  And you can't stop thinking about it. 

The truth is that the relationship might not last at that point and you will have no clue about how you participated in ending it.  You will have no clue that it was your 'thinking' about it that was a big problem.  That you at least partly created the 'end-of-love' narrative in your head.  That if you had asked him, he might have said "Whadiya mean I don't love you anymore?  Sheesh.  I just passed you the flippin butter!"

The challenge is to recognize and stop those thought narratives because by the time one gets spinning in your head, you truly believe all the evidence and proof you have collected to substantiate it.  You truly believe that your partner (or friend, or family member) doesn't love you.  And at that point... the other person picks up on your belief about them  - whether you say anything or not.  And soon they think... 'what's her problem?  I can't please her anymore..."  and he starts spinning his own narrative.  And the next thing you know it's actually true... the love/trust is broken... but... sadly... it was NOT broken when he passed you the butter.  Maybe a bit bent... but not broken.

If you find yourself feeling and reacting this way, for heaven's sake learn how to control your thoughts before they unnecessarily destroy your relationships. Learn how to incorporate perspective-taking into your thinking. Learn to recognize how you participate in setting up the very thing you want least.  Learn how to have an informative, restorative, healing conversation before you leap into the 'It's all over!' abyss.  Learn to recognize when the relationship is not broken,  just bent.  And absolutely... learn to love again.

If you don't know how to do that... email me.  Seriously.  I can help.

Posted on March 22, 2015 .