About Blaine

Who do you want to be?

By Published On: May 30th, 2022Categories: UncategorizedComments Off on Who do you want to be?
Many years ago, I dated this guy…
and we were good together in a lot of ways.  We loved triathlon so we were workout buddies and motivation for one another.  We were both vegans, so we had fun cooking and trying new restaurants and seeking vegan recipes.  We had many similar interests, so it was a pleasant relationship.

There was one thing that bugged me though.  When we went out to eat, I always picked up the check.  I didn’t mind paying, and I made significantly more money than he did, but it bothered me that he didn’t ever offer to pay.

What was up with that?  Well, I’ll tell you what was up:

I was participating in a silent contract. 

Silent contacts are unspoken, implicit rules or habituations that arise in a relationship that become expectations.  Maybe one person cooks and one person cleans, or one person buys groceries, and one person mows the lawn.

In theory, none of these things are a big deal, but if you’ve never talked about them and just assumed that’s what the other person wants so you go along with it, then you have a silent contract.  Silent contracts are tough and they get harder when circumstances change and we know, everything changes, especially over the past two years.

Here’s another example.  I have a friend who’s trying to cut back on alcohol.  She’s getting ready to go on a big vacation and it’s normal for her and her partner to try a lot of wine when they travel, it’s what they’ve always done.  She’s gone along with it in the past because it’s the expectation.  Now she doesn’t know what to do… that’s a silent contract.

We also have silent contracts at work – big time.  Working weekends, picking up extra projects and all those additional expectations from your boss that seemed to make sense at first but now create stress and resentment.

There’s one other place we have silent contracts that I want to mention, and it’s the most impactful.

We have silent contracts with ourselves.

I recently journaled about this.  I asked myself the question, “in the last 48 hours, how many decisions did I make that were out of habit or silent contract?”  There were a lot, way more than I realized.

It’s a good question and journaling exercise but the heart of the question is really this:

Who do you want to be? 

It’s a choice.  Decide who you want to be.

Do you want to be someone who moves your body every day or someone who watches Netflix?  Do you want to be someone who’s there for your friends or someone who works all the time?  Do you want to be someone who drinks alcohol or someone who makes the right healthy choice for you?

That’s the crux of silent contracts, with your partner, your social group, your work team and yourself.  Decide who you want to be, find your mismatches, and start to course correct.

And let the guy pay for his own dinner.

CATEGORIES