Thursday, March 19, 2015

Learner Therapist (56) … Learning attraction a little at a time
Torrey Orton
March 19, 2015

Waiting to be led

One of the challenges for some people is to know where they are with another, especially of the potential intimate associate type. This is especially so for the more introverted and passive who depend on others approaching them. Such folks often show up in therapy with breaking relationships arising from two passive people getting together and not generating enough demand energy to go anywhere. The relationships just peter out, though they can survive years because once established they tend to cling and be clung to because they exist and the expense of creating new ones feels scarily large.

Now some one or two serious relationships down their life trail and finding themselves partnerless again, they are trying to shift two behaviours: the waiting one and the lack of judgment when the first is fulfilled by a needy other. Breaking their personal waiting game is a matter of developing enough intent to try new behaviour and that in turn requires knowing what they want (and even better what they need) from intimacy.

Leading the waiting game

Here’s an exercise many have found entertaining, challenging and revealing. The objective is NOT to get a date or a cup of coffee, just an acknowledged hello. The process is:

1.      Introduce yourself to one person (of the appropriate sex/gender for you) who you are attracted to. This means nothing more than saying hello in a line at the grocer’s, etc. and acknowledging a response.

2.      If the hello develops naturally into a short natter, that’s fine.

3.      As soon as possible after the hello debrief the experience:

·         Note what attracted you to this person.

·         Note if their response felt like they were attracted to you. What was the evidence of their attraction?

·         How did it feel to be attractive in that way?

·         How did it feel to go through the exercise?

4.      Do it again and see what you want to do to make it go a little further….to that cup of coffee, or accompanying them a little further in their activity of the moment…

Play it again…

Repetition may be necessary to develop a good debriefing report which is full of specific details of the interaction.  What’s being trained is, of course, self-awareness. A little skill may come into view in the process. The introverted, shy and diffident often don’t even recognise the skills of relating they possess. That effect itself often provides energy for more challenging self-developments.


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