January is goals season, we’ve seen people on Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere, sharing #Relationshipgoals that almost always involve two people but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Did you know that 91.7% of the mass of an iceberg is below the surface? That should be the focus.
We stopped counting how many people go on a first date at Datespace and when asked for feedback, their date did this wrong or they didn’t do that right. Oh well, once is happenstance. Then they go on another date and the story is the same. Well, second time is a coincidence. Then there’s the third date and without a doubt, we know it’s a pattern.
The name of the pattern? BULLSHIT!
Great relationships do not start with two people coming together to – insert your idea of what makes a great relationship – for each other.
It starts long before their paths cross. It starts with one individual and if you are looking to get into a great relationship now or ever, it starts with you and it begins with you calling out your own bullshit.
What Is Bullshit Anyway?
It’s an interesting concept, paraphrasing from Frankfurt’s 2005 philosophical essay, ‘On Bullshit’ which became a bestseller, we’ll say:
Bullshit is a disregard for the truth and at the same time, it is not falsehood. For the Bullshitter, it is all about using their words or actions to have a premeditated effect on their audience.
As Frankfurt puts it,
“By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.”
The Bullshit Checker
No relationship can thrive without honesty and you better believe it, that especially includes the relationship you have with yourself.
Having an honest relationship with yourself involves checking your bullshit.
The first step is to identify them. The second, is to challenge them.
Right this moment, ask yourself:
Do you tell yourself the truth? Do you know your flaws and do you hold yourself accountable to them? Do you live your truth?
If you can honestly answer these questions and say, I’m good, I don’t have any more work to do on myself. Perfect! Then there’ll be no point in reading any further, you’re good fam!
If you’re still reading, we’re happy to have you come along for the ride! Strap on a safety belt of compassion and let’s dig into it!
Call Out Your Own Bullshit
Almost everyone can tell of a time they were either in a relationship or on the cusp of one and they were constantly getting mixed signals, not knowing exactly how he/she felt because they said one thing and acted another way. Or maybe something just felt off and you couldn’t quite tell if they were playing games and pretending otherwise.
That was bullshit and depending on how developed your bullshit meter was, you were able to detect it early.
However, that’s not the point, the focus here is, have you been that person?
Do you find yourself in a situation where you are saying or acting with the intent to manipulate the next person’s thoughts or actions to your benefit?
Do you feel the need to fake it, to put on a mask? To cover up some parts of you?
Do you recognize your own bullshit? Do you call it out? When you get tired of your own bullshit and do something about it, that’s where the magic starts to happen because you start to hold yourself and everyone to higher standards.
Own Your Truth
Oftentimes, when we’re bullshitting, there’s a truth underneath we’re running away from and if you are hiding from your own truth, no one is going to find it for you.
Shining the spotlight on your flaws is a great way to tell yourself the truth, owning your truth and holding yourself accountable is an important foundation for the relationship you have with yourself and ultimately, with others as it puts you in a position to live your truth and attract wholesomeness to yourself.
The Flaws Spotlight
Here’s an exercise to shine the spotlight on your flaws:
- Take a blank sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle and on the left side, write out all your flaws or not-so-great things about you, the things you need to improve on, be brutally honest with yourself. If you can’t think of any, (that’s bullshit) we all have that one friend who has a knack for saying it as it is, call them up and ask them.
If you don’t have such a friend, then you may need to do an audit on your friend list.
This list of flaws can be as long as you want but as a rule of thumb, should not be shorter than 5 items, the longer, the better. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it just means yo there should be no shame in upping your game.
- Next, make another list on the right side of the sheet, lifting items from the left which you would commit to working on for a period of time (set a time frame for yourself) and can start working on right this moment. Working on your flaws effectively means replacing new patterns with old patterns. Let’s give some examples.
A Few Examples
Some common examples would be, shutting down emotionally, hoping for things to happen and doing nothing about them, negative self-talk, being judgemental of others, not confronting issues when they arise, avoiding communication especially difficult ones, etc.
Working on your flaws is about breaking an old pattern that doesn’t serve you and in order to do that effectively, Psychologists say you need to replace it with it a new pattern.
For instance, if you have a flaw of being judgemental of others and every time you catch yourself about to tell someone how they always do x,y,z and you hate it, flip it and instead tell them you sense you are about to be judgemental but you would like to understand why they always do x,y,z and if there’s a reason they do it around you in particular.
Another example is indulging in negative self-talk, if you do, that means you are constantly putting yourself down, holding yourself back, thinking you are not worthy. Every time you catch yourself slipping into negative self-talk, flip it and instead, affirm to yourself that you’re a great person to be with, highlight the good things about you and be proud to flaunt it.
A great relationship is a gem that everyone deserves, however, it doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of work but more than half of the work would have been done if the two individuals started working on themselves before they ever meet, calling out their bullshit, owning their flaws and taking responsibility.
Like most things in life, getting good at recognizing and calling out your own bullshit takes time and practice but like a muscle, the more you use and train your bullshit detector, the better you will be able to cut through the bullshit. You wouldn’t take bullshit from a potential partner (we hope), you shouldn’t give bullshit either, it is a self-defeating exercise. You’re wonderful already as you are, but the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement but guess what? There’s no room for bullshit there!
Let us know in the comments if you will be calling out your own bullshit and what it is, we’d love to read from you!