Why Clarity Matters

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A number of women join my Clubhouse stage each week to discuss relationship topics they are currently curious about or facing real-time. The conversation usually starts like:

 

I just want to know if I am wrong or if I am making up a story or I need your help. Then, the “I need clarification” confession drops, and we can get started. In relationship spaces, clarity is queen.

 

This is a real, back-and-forth conversation that includes my coaching where the listener is referred to as “Guest.” Some of the content has been modified to protect Guest’s identity.

 

One constant refrain in these relationship-building streets is that we are not always as clear as they believe we are (this is an observation, not a judgment). Adding to that, women tend to lack practice in advocating for themselves with men.

 

Guest: While we were dating, we discussed my business and what would that look like if we were to become married.  I would be at home working and homeschooling children. We are exclusive now and there was an issue about a bill. He he wanted to table it. We talked about it later, but it fell flat and there was no resolution. My issue is that I don’t want to ask for something and then my needs are not being met.  I brought it up twice and there was no resolution.  It makes me think I can’t ask for something.  I really don’t like asking for help anyway.

 

When communicating with your male partner, your presentation and delivery is everything. In this exchange, Guest is running the past, the present, and the future together. The fused assortment of thoughts leaves her to start feeling confused. In that state, she moves from engaging her partner to get her needs met to questioning if she can get them met at all. That realization causes her to self-protect so she deflects and says, “I really don’t like asking for help anyway.” I am helping her to do what I like to call “rightfully divide” so that she can have clarity—her original ask of me. The issue today is her feeling like she cannot ask because she’ll eventually be ignored and the material representation of that is the bill in question (powered by previous similar events). She begins to have her own epiphany, but we still need to do a bit more work.

 

Joyice: Did you ask for help to cover the whole thing?
Guest:  The whole thing.
Joyice:  Did he say yes or no?
Guest: He didn’t answer either way.
Joyice: Why did you walk away without getting the answer to your question?
Guest: I asked a direct question and he didn’t answer, so I just accepted it as no.
Joyice: So his answer was accepted as a, “no”?
Guest: Yes, I just assumed it was no.
Joyice: So, what’s the issue? Because if you accepted his “no”, we do not have anything to talk about. It’s “no.” Be emotionally honest with me, please.
Guest: This is a bigger issue.  I want to know if I ask for something in the future, I’m going to get an answer.  I don’t like to be kept wondering.
Joyice: Don’t make this a bigger issue.  It’s not.  It seems “bigger” because you are projecting what you think this could mean in the future instead of focusing on if you all can get through it right now. Really, you don’t want to be ignored—wondering has nothing to do with it.

 

I notice this a lot in coaching women in relationships—the over-thinking about tomorrow instead of managing their today. A rush of thoughts about things that have not even happened yet will exhaust your mind and wear on your emotions. Come back to present day and make the choice in front of you. Guest has a decision to make about how many times she will ask before she withdraws her request. Or, how many times will she ask before she accepts his “no” or his lack of response. Because I teach women how to employ their own personal power, it is important that Guest realizes she can make a decision. She is totally in control of the practice she wants to keep. I encourage her to create a practice of how she wants to deal with these types of issues so that she is centering herself within her own reality—not his reality and not in a future idea that does not exist (yet).

 

Joyice: How many times have you asked?
Guest:   Twice.
Joyice: You didn’t get an answer either time?
Guest: The first time it was a delay; then he said, “let’s talk later”, but no answer.
Joyice: So, what do you want to do?

 

This part is key! My goal is to help women feel seen, heard, and understood when they connect with me. But, they are not just connecting with me for the heck of it—they are connecting with me to navigate and negotiate their needs and desires with men. To do so, they need to feel empowered. Asking someone, “what do you want to do?” is a good way to empower. I can support Guest more  in guiding her to what she wants, so it’s important that we both hear it out loud. She need to hear the power of her own voice declare her desires.

 

Guest: I want to ask again so I can be sure. If it’s a no, then it’s a no.
Joyice: Yes, now you are being honest. You do want to ask again, which means you did not accept those previous seemingly “no-s.”  I want you to be direct here.  Pose the question so he doesn’t have an out.  How are we going to ask?

 

Pause. After, you account for the “what”, it’s important to confront the “how.” Typically, women will need to complete a few rounds before they “get it right” and feel good about it. The “how” adds more to her empowerment.

 

Guest: I was wondering where we stood on paying for {insert bill}.
Joyice: That’s not the right question. I need you to be direct, not fluffy.  Try again.
Guest: Do you think you can give me the money for the bill by Monday?
Joyice: It’s not a gift.  So, less about him “giving” it to you and more about positioning yourself to get a definitive answer. You told me you want to ask to know. Let’s do that.

Guest: When will you be able to pay the {removed text} bill?
Joyice: Yeeeeessssss, now that’s very clear!
Guest: Thank you!
Joyice: I want to address something else. Did he say he would cover the entire bill?
Guest: No.

Joyice: If he didn’t say he would cover it all, you may have made an assumption that he would foot the whole bill. The real issue is a communication issue. Maybe it sounds something like: When I share a financial issue with you, and I take you up on your advice, I believe you plan to help me with it.  This is something your automatically connect together and if this is not your partner’s view and he does not know you are making this connection, this type of communication will constantly be an issues. You need clarity around financial issues and his advice to you about them. You need to know what things means when you communicate with him. You have to communicate to gain that knowledge. Your relationship is too early for you to act assumedly or automatically right now. You need to know what it all means. Now, I know that this is a communication issue (morphing into an emotional one) and not a financial one because he could give you the money right now and that still would not solve this, huh?

Guest: Right.

 

I am activating my superpowers here to expose that the issue she is worrisome over is not the real issue. Even though I knew it was not about money, for her it was, until she could be guided to see that it wasn’t. I meet her in the place she is in, hold her hand, and we take the journey together. She is hurt that she is being ignored and feeling like she cannot get a direct answer (or any answer) from her partner. The money for the bill is merely the physical manifestation of her intangible emotional universe while she manages through a communication issue.

 

Guest: So, the solution is for me to be clear when I ask something?
Joyice: Yes, it’s two-fold.  You must be clear when you ask, and you have to make sure you understand his answer.  So, when you are speaking with him make sure you repeat your understanding of his answer for him to correct or confirm.
Guest: Yes, thank you!

 

I push for clarity because it helps women to not operate prematurely or unwisely with men. Recently a current client shared this quote with me: “You’re very hard to manipulate when you’re clear.” I do not know who said this, but they nail was hit on its head! I do not have enough information from me and Guest’s conversation to claim manipulation, but her lack of clarity could be aiding in his lack of responses. Now, her new-discovered clarity will certainly render a response.

 

I teach women about clarity because lots of their personal power is activated or restored there. Allowing a man to ignore you is diminishing, but re-positioning yourself to get what you want (in the case a simple “yes” or “no”) reminds us that we have power, that we should use it, and that it changes our experiences.

 

We grow as we go®️,

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