“ I just don’t understand why she cares so much about all that nonsense. I have tried explaining to her that none of those things really matter.” Phil had been “explaining” things to his 14-year-old daughter for quite some time. The problem according to Phil was, “she is just not getting it.” Phil had tried every form of “explaining.” He had been calm and rational. He had been gentle and pleading. He had been loud and frustrated. Phil tried long “explanations” and short ones. They were all equally ineffective. Phil could not quite explain to himself, why his “ explanations” were not really helping. If anything, he appeared to be losing ground not gaining it. I have talked to lots of Phil’s. I have been Phil. It sucks to be Phil.
So I ask Phil a question. “Have you ever seen someone get their car stuck in the sand?” “Sure”, Phil replied. “What do they usually do”, I ask. Phil said, “They step on the gas and try to dig themselves out.” I waited for just a minute. Phil looked at me and said, “ So you think I am just spinning my wheels with all my “explaining.” Your thinking I’m just digging myself into a bigger hole.” I waited again. “ You know what I think”, said Phil, “ I think counselors suck.” Now I knew we were making some good progress. Phil was sharing his feelings. I would have given him a sticker if I had one.
Phil was trying to accelerate without having traction, always a bad idea in Sand Traps or Relationships. Here is a reminder to the Phil in all of us.
When your wheels are spinning quit accelerating.
If you want traction in a relationship:
Ask a question
Admit that you don’t know how to help
Confess some part of your own brokenness
Declare your love for the person making you crazy
Try it this week. I double dog dare you. I know what you are thinking
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester