"I Don't Want to Talk About It." Really?
Are you aware there is no such place as yesterday?
Sounds like gobbledygook.
But hang with me a moment because there’s a method to my madness.
We use the word yesterday in our everyday language like it’s a place.
“Just yesterday I saw Mike at Starbucks.”
“You know yesterday we ran into Mary in the mall.”
See, it actually it feels like a place, doesn’t it?
But even by the definition of the word place, it doesn’t have a location.
People can get a little woozy on this one.
Many just consider yesterday to be part of life. You know, like yesterday when you ran into Mary at the mall.
Where is the yesterday of you meeting Mary in the mall?
It no longer exists.
Except in your mind.
Kinda feels like you have a yesterday though, right?
Like it actually exists.
Almost like a shoebox of all your birthday or baseball cards.
But see you can go grab a hold of those cards.
Yesterday?...well it’s just an experience you now have a mental record of.
But the killer thing is it’s only tabbed as yesterday in your mind.
Hold on now...here comes the madness...
See, if meeting Mary in the mall had no “yesterday” tab, what significance would it hold?
Stay with me now.
It would be something you experienced then.
You got out of bed this morning.
Where is that experience?
You then had a cup of coffee or tea.
The moment you began to read this article is only a brief moment ago.
It is not only Gone With the Wind.
It is Gone into Then.
How long ago since you got out out of bed?
So, we’ve got to have some measuring stick to tell us how long ago then was, right?
Ever had one of these?
“It feels like it just happened yesterday.”
The fact is it was simply then.
So what the hell does this have to do with the price of eggs?
Well, hold onto your suspenders Farmer John. I’ll tell you.
Most people are still stuck in then.
A Day in the Life:
You wake up.
You still have attention on the argument with your spouse last night.
You go into the kitchen to make coffee.
While you prepare your coffee you think about the argument you and your spouse had last night.
Your attention then shifts to the confrontation with your teenage daughter who smelled like alcohol when she came home.
And looked you dead in the eye and denied it.
The coffee is brewing and your attention now shifts to having to prepare for your morning Executive meeting. You are still steaming about that testy confrontation yesterday with Elizabeth your Marketing Executive.
You and her do not see eye to eye.
As you sit down and sip your coffee, your spouse walks into the kitchen.
You feel this tiny ridge of energy between you and her.
Your mind shifts to what she said last night.
As she looks at you and looks away, you see her mind shifts to last nights argument as well.
She’s got attention on what you said then.
No words are spoken.
Only a parade of then moments sitting between you and her and your morning coffee.
Neither of you are in present time.
You are both still in then.
Your morning conversation is this kind of social-enforced-pleasant “Good morning,” as you both have last night’s argument hovering over you like some dark rain cloud renting space.
And you asked me earlier what this has to do with the price of eggs?
The price is lost livingness.
Now you see my method.
Just exactly where are each of you at this moment in the kitchen?
You are both in then.
And the problem is not the argument, event, or memory of the event.
The problem is how much attention is stuck there.
If you have an unresolved upset or emotional charge on then, and you pretend “Everything’s okay” or “You don’t want to talk about it” because, “You don’t want to get into it,” then every moment you move forward you are wittingly or unwittingly building a powder keg called:
Why does this matter?
It matters if then is stealing your moment of now.
It matters if it in truth puts you out of real communication with your spouse or partner.
And each time you have an unresolved then, it compounds.
When I work with an individual or couple, what they tell me is like a string of beads each one an emotionally charged moment of then.
They always dive into some experience that happened days ago or weeks ago and it’s like this car accident that they have enormous upset about but never communicated about it.
And you know what?
That emotional charge or upset they have is often sitting on the simplest thing imaginable.
“If he just could have called me that he was going to be late it wouldn’t have ruined the nice dinner I made. We argued about it all night.”
No, not so fast Bronco Billy.
The simplicity is a lack of communication, yes.
But see it’s been too many times he was working late and didn’t call to give his wife a head’s up.
The problem is not enough communication.
So the wife’s attention goes where?
Is there another woman?
Is it Joanna from the Finance Department that was flirting with him at the Christmas office party?
She has an entire separate time track she’s envisioning.
Which has nothing to do with present time.
For the most part, that is where she is.
Let me pose this to everyone on the farm:
If you kept your then moments pretty much cleaned up, you know maybe give yourself or agree as a couple to a 24 hour rule, would you have any communication problems with your partner?
Couples Store Ammunition:
Let’s say you didn’t resolve this argument with your spouse.
You know you just “moved on,” which by the way is bullshit.
And so a few days later you’re feeling amorous in bed one night and your partner gives you the arctic freeze.
What is this arctic freeze made out of?
It probably sounds like metaphysical gobbledygook, but the truth of the matter is that’s exactly what happens.
You’re like, WTF?
Listen: When you both come home from work are you in present time talking with your spouse, or are you nodding and shit as he or she talks while you’re still in that moment of arctic freeze?
What if you had an argument with your spouse, friend or co-worker that happened weeks ago and was never really worked through?
You know, you just “massaged” the comm to a somewhat social, “We’re good.”
It’s total crap!
People do not like confronting the ugly side of their arguments.
Because it is friggin’ ugly!
So...people stuff their emotionally charged then moments under their mind-carpet and then say “We’re good,” like it’s a Dove commercial.
It’s still a then moment that keeps you out of communication.
Look at the anatomy of any argument.
It’s compromised in the main because of unresolved moments that have stuck attention on then.
And if you bullshit yourself that “We’re fine” or “We just moved on,” in about two weeks when you have another argument, guess what one or both of you use for ammunition?!
(I know. It’s getting ridiculous, right?)
I mean, is there anything worse than your partner bringing up how you fucked up everything two weeks ago?
You know, they’re holding onto being right and “If it wasn’t for your goddamned stubbornness” things would be better, right?
And because those then bullets she’s firing at you are doing some serious damage to you psyche, you pull out your then bazooka and fire back!
Then Moments are Like Kryptonite:
The tough part with these emotionally charged moments of then is that they behave like Kryptonite.
You don’t want to approach them.
Remember the kitchen moment?
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
Every single moment of emotionally charged then, is a moment of:
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
Think about that for a minute.
The one thing you absolutely have to do to handle your upset is to communicate.
And yet the one thing you often absolutely refuse to do is communicate.
The Resolution of Then:
The first thing you need to do is to confront that any communication you leave incomplete has a shelf life in your mind.
It occupies space on your mind-shelf just like your Cheerios.
Some of these moments you just let pass.
But listen, if you were irritated by it in the least, the irritation is still in your mental box of Cheerios.
And the liability in that is when your partner does or says something that “pushes that button,” that Cheerio box begins to glow like a bad day at Chernobyl.
It’s just plain-ass false to think because you said “It was nothing,” when there was something still radioactive left in that box.
And then one or both of you will falsely assign the other as being "the one that won’t talk” or “ he/she never listens” so you just say fuck it and move on with life.
Well, each time you do this you forfeit a little bit of your own life and livingness.
You will find your intimacy becoming less intimate.
One or both of you have tabbed these moments that now have stuck attention on them with something like “I’m over it.”
Liar, liar, pants of fire.
And all it takes to rob the moment, steal the intimacy, or real communication is having unresolved then triggered and reactivated by something similar in present time.
And that then moment is stealing your moment of now.
I wrote this article with some levity because when these then moments are not resolved they get "heavy" in the mind.
The spark and the magic in the relationship begins to disappear.
All that you need to do is to decide to not be kept captive by these moments of unresolved then.
But you have to take a “time out,” and realize, which time stream are you in?
Are you right here right now with your partner or spouse?
Or, are you stuck on that last unresolved moment and pretending "all is fine" and just being "social?"
Because if you don’t take responsibility for these unresolved moments, pretty soon there will be so many of these bad boy then moments sitting on your mental-shelf that someone’s Cheerios is going to explode.
And tell me…
What will you do then?
I offer a proprietary online test that isolates the exact issues you have in your relationship. If you would like a free phone consultation with no obligation to do anything else, please click on the link below.
Author. Consultant. International Speaker.
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