Now before you go down a different road, let me explain the question.
Recently, while in a coaching session, I was discussing results of a group interaction with my team leader. The team leader is another coach. We covered quite a few areas of human behavior within and without the group. I had an issue with one of my group in that she was not responding as I had wished. Further, I was having difficulty probing her and gaining information to motivate her into action. It may seem odd that I write this blog about how to make things work with relationships and then I myself have the same or similar problems. I even discussed this in a recent article, the link is here for you to review: Making Any Relationship Work . I should think this proves that even coaches need coaches.
This reality exists with us all. You see, we are the same at every level of our existence and no problem, behavior or issue is new to human kind. So yes, I have the same troubles. But my team leader was generous enough to share a perspective with me that I had not yet discovered. When I explained what I perceived to be road blocks in the discussion with my teammate, and that I would shut off the conversation at the point I thought the resistance would go to hurt feelings, he asked if this was “fore play”?
Fore play? I had never considered the context outside of the implied sexual content. His point was that we all have a style of fore play that brings us to the main act. So let ask again; What’s your style of fore play?
Fore Play in Everyday Life?
Given that the woman I was attempting to coach is a very nice, educated, hard-working adult and I could not get what I wanted. There had to be more I was missing. I gave up in the conversation and possibly didn’t provide her enough space to open up and join in the conversation because, in her mind, the fore play was not over.
What a concept! It makes my outlook on conversational resistance change 180 degrees! Is it possible that people have this need for a style and approach to conversation? YES! And to prove the theory I began a discussion and a fact finding mission. It’s not about being right, just finding a new distinction to share and create with.
My team leader went on about children. When a conversation takes place with a small child they are always eager to engage. They love the attention and the stimulation. Talking is new to them and they revel in it. Tell them to do their homework, take out the garbage, brush their teeth, go to bed, they know the end result, but does that stop them? Hell No! And here comes the fore play… Thousands of excuses, reasons why it can’t be done, asking for delays, pleading, but in the end, they just do it. Every child is different in the approach, but all children have this natural propensity to push back.
This is the set up for how engage in conversation throughout life. It doesn’t have to be bad or good, it’s just that we want to have a little massaging before we get to it. Now, knowing this gives me a new way to approach or look at how we get to the main act of life.
My team leader said he was certain that my girlfriend and I loved each other. I agreed.
He asked if there was ever a time when she would accompany me to an event that she really didn’t want to attend.
“Sure” I said, “There have been several occasions.”
“Did she argue or complain before going? And did you know she would support you in any case?” he went on.
I said, “Of course!”
“Consider this was her style of fore play”, he ended.
And It’s There Everyday
Now that I understand the reasoning and basic programing we all have about how we approach and are approached, I take the opportunity to view these “nuisances” as an availability to advance and progress the conversation. And having the distinction gives me great power in the conversation itself.
While I was writing this article, my girlfriend came into the office and asked that I hang a mirror in the bedroom. We relocated two weeks ago and both of us have been working hard to get the apartment in order. She was lucky enough to spend the pervious weekend at the beach leaving me to finish decorating and hanging pictures. So, rather than ask for a moment to finish, request that we do it another time, or just ignore her, I got up from my desk saying, “It’s not like I’m writing my article or anything important…”
Did you say, “Go brush your teeth and get ready for bed”?
And as I entered the bedroom, she asked,”Was that sarcasm I heard in your voice?”.
“Do it right now young man and no arguing!”
“No” I offered, “Just a little fore play”.
So Where Do We Go From Here?
As interesting as it is, and yet little known, this distinction can dramatically change how we react or interact with those in our lives. Just imagine the possibility of being in control of removing the fore play from the conversation and getting down to the “real thing”. Would you get more or less upset with your children? Would you be able to have a different kind of discussion with your relatives during the holiday seasons? Could you tolerate and understand the co-worker you have had issues with? The possibilities go on and on.
And now for the main act…
When she says, “I’m not in the mood”, is this her offer to begin fore play?
Don’t miss the sex because you don’t like the fore play. Relish it!
What’s that Dear? Yes, I’m almost finished…
Love with no shame and ask with no fear