I was talking to my client the other day, let’s call her Neely. Neely’s been seeing a guy over the last 6 months but just as friends. In the last couple of months, it’s become clear to her that she really likes him and wants more than just a friendship. Neely was terrified of telling him because she didn’t want to lose the friendship. Spending time with him made her feel so good, and yet she also knew she couldn’t keep it from him because it was eating her up inside.
Ever had this predicament?
Keep reading even if you’re in a relationship because what I am about to reveal is super important.
A couple of weeks ago I told Neely, “The only way to have clarity is to let him know how you feel.” She immediately got scared.
Her mind started churning and creating all kinds of reasons for why it didn’t make sense to tell him how she really felt. Reasons, that honestly, sound very logical, like….
If he felt a romantic connection, shouldn’t he have made a move by now?
Why do I have to lead in this? I don’t want to seem “too much” or too masculine.
So many of my friends have said I should let him come to me. Don’t push it, men don’t like that.
Friends have also said if a man is interested, he will make it known.
He has already told me that he is still trying to get over his Ex.
He’s also told me he feels a little lost in life right now.
You can use all the logic in the world. It doesn’t actually mean it’s the right direction for your soul.
After she got done with all the heady logic, I said, “I understand you’re really scared.”
She started crying, and said through her tears, “Yes, what if he doesn’t feel the same way? Then I’ll feel I’ve lost everything.”
What was happening to Neely, and I see this all the time with women (regardless of relationship status), is she’s forgotten how powerful she is as a woman.
Here’s what I mean. When we were little, there were many situations that happened to us that made us feel like our lives were out of control. Like we didn’t have a say.
It could have been something as simple as asking your Mom for a hug, and her saying, “Oh honey I can’t right now, Mom is busy.” Or your Dad saying, “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?” Or your stepmom saying, “You’re doing it wrong.” Or a parent or stepparent being abusive or leaving. Those moments were painful. We were deeply hurt.
These kinds of hurtful moments over years cause us to start forgoing love and freedom for safety and security. We become afraid of the unknown because it could hurt. We even forgo the joy that comes from venturing into the unknown, because we don’t want to get hurt. Our mind, the ego, fears the unknown as a way to keep us safe.
Neely’s mind was doing just that. She was trying to control the outcome by assuming he wasn’t interested. All those reasons to not tell him how she felt were her mind’s attempt to guess, assume, and predict her way back to safety and security. That way, the ego doesn’t have to be wrong; it’s addicted to wanting to be right.
The problem is true love or profound connection requires a leap of faith, a strength to venture into the unknown and a willingness to get out of control. Because most of us are afraid of that, we haven’t allowed ourselves to experience a soul level connection, not because we aren’t “meant” to, but because it’s hard for us to be in the unknown. The mind, ego, won’t allow it.
So, what do we do with this conundrum?
Well, this is what I said to Neely…
“Every reason you expressed, for why you can’t tell him how you feel, were all about HIM. Each statement was either a way to get him to come to you (through some game like ignoring him which isn’t authentic or what you actually want to do), or you’re trying to figure out what he is thinking and feeling and then adjusting your response from there. This is our way of playing it safe by trying to control what we think the outcome is going to be.
Meanwhile, all you’re left with is anxiety and a lot of obsessing over what he’s thinking and feeling. And in the process of trying to control the outcome or him, you lose your connection to yourself, self-expression, your power to INFLUENCE, and standing in your worthiness.”
She said, “I totally feel the anxiety, and I see what you are saying about trying to control everything to feel safe. That’s also what I’m doing.”
I clarified more by saying, “When you say things like, ‘he told me he is trying to get over his Ex,’ or ‘he would’ve made a move by now,’ or ‘he’s feeling lost,’ those are all ways to say to yourself, you don’t need to let him know how you feel because you’ve already received the answer.
It’s a No.
But… you also don’t really believe that because you haven’t let him know how you feel, so there’s always this doubt that keeps eating away at you.”
Here are some more examples of how controlling can look…
Maybe you assume your partner isn’t emotional enough for him/her to understand you. So you don’t let them into your heart. You’re scared to open up and see if they’re capable of meeting you there, or even giving it another chance. You try to control the situation by assuming they can’t meet you there. Then, you don’t have to step into the unknown.
You could be into a man that isn’t responding or staying in communication but responds when you reach out. You may give yourself an internal deadline, if he doesn’t reach out by this date, then I am done. Meanwhile, he may have no clue that you’re into him, or that you would like something more.
It all comes back to INFLUENCE. When we try to control the outcome, we lose our power to influence the situation. But when you stop trying to figure him out, stop obsessing over what you think he might be feeling or thinking, or stop controlling what you think he’s going to say or do, you’re able to take all the energy, power and focus back and place it on YOU; that’s when you have influence.
When you start asking yourself, what do I need to express, what do I want, how can I be more of myself, how can I be more open and honest, that’s when you position yourself to allow things to unfold moment to moment. Coming back to these questions over and over again taps you back into that internal power and worth to actually influence an outcome.