Stalemate: Noun, position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check.
Verb, Bring to or cause to reach stalemate: “the currently stalemated peace talks”.
Synonyms, deadlock – impasse – dead end – cul-de-sac
Stalemates in relationships, to me, are the worst thing possible. It’s when you come to a point in any discussion or within a relationship with someone where your differences are so great, there seems to be nothing you can do to move forward. I used to have the illusion that anything could be talked through. While I haven’t dismissed this idea entirely, there are those things that will bring a relationship of any kind, to a screeching halt.
This happens when people are unwilling to budge, move, give up on their position as it pertains to their beliefs, fears, etc., etc. You can think about politics if you like, rarely have I seen people budge on their position.
What about personal relationships? Friendships, romantic relationships, any kind of personal relationship you can think up? Stalemates happen there too.
When a person is very firm in their beliefs or how they set their life up, usually it’s due to their experiences, what they see fit in their life and how they want it run. Your life, your rules. It tosses compromise and mutuality right out the window however there’s a very good reason for having a standard and boundaries in your life. It’s to have a guideline as to what is acceptable to you and/or not acceptable to you in your life, how you are treated and hopefully how you treat others.
If you have a standard in your life as to the people you associate with, going against your own beliefs under the assumption that if you bend, others will… it’s a mistake. It will cause you anxiety. You can be as clear as you like to the other person, they may not feel the same. No one is willing to budge because whatever their stand on something is, is important to them.
If you try to morph how you feel to preserve the relationship and it goes against your beliefs. You’re not going to be happy. Depending on what it is, you’ll find yourself in a stalemate. Especially if you’ve expressed yourself to someone else and they poo poo it with what they want instead. Basically, it’s about “this is you” and “this is them”.
What seems to happen is both people sink their teeth into what they are not willing to do or willing to do (whatever, that’s semantics) and it’s appeared to me that it becomes a matter of control. Which, is not supposed to occur in a relationship but happens often enough where I feel the need to write about it. Some things we make allowances for and accept. As I mentioned the other day if you accept something under the guise of thinking that if you are patient someone else will bend and think your way, over time… this is a mistake.
It’s in the details. It’s in how they express themselves and while I can be on board with compromise and mutuality, when you reach a stalemate and something that’s important enough to you to bring it up and discuss it… if someone doesn’t concede things fall apart.
We “could” blame expectations in a way. We expect others to work with us, we assume (again) that they think like us and particularly based on all those things they said which led you to believe they would be open to sharing or whatever it is… they have established a pattern of communicating “with you” which gave you the expectations that there isn’t anything you can’t discuss and/or move through.
Depends on how much time you’ve been together, if you have the same values, again… their fears, etc., etc., and YOURS…
If you’ve been dealing with a person who has discussed things with you in the past and you’ve reached a compromise they create the very real expectation that you are now safe enough, to express something to them and you can work through it.
This isn’t exactly how this works. It hasn’t been my experience. With some people it has. I mean you move through a disagreement and there are little shifts in how you speak to one another and the parties agree to disagree. However there are those times where both are so firm in what they believe they reach a stalemate.
I had a couple on G+ and that’s cool. I recognize it for what it is. No harm, no foul.
What I really want to talk about is these expectations people talk about. How if we have these expectations we disappoint ourselves. In part, this could be true, but it’s not true as a whole. When we are working with someone in any situation, our prior behavior up through to that point creates the expectation that there’s nothing you can’t discuss or work though. This is not a false expectation that we dream up. It’s one based on prior discussions with whomever it is.
The people on G+ I’ve had stalemates with, I’ll speak to again because it was pleasant, it was an exchange and I don’t expect them to agree with me. However, the expectation based on our exchange up through to this point on various topics, leads me to know that while we may disagree… we will have a civil discussion.
In a romantic relationship or a friendship, where you’re more attached to the outcome or how things will work out, sometimes it’s much harder to discuss. It’s why people, and myself at times, shy away from these conversations.
When you can have a discussion with an individual and it’s been your experience that you can discuss things, the expectation is created by prior behavior.
What is important to keep in mind, while I know having some conversations are very unnerving, there’s that point, that stalemate. You’re not willing to give up on your stance on a matter because it’s just that important to you and neither is the other person. This breaks people apart. I think about how if there was a happy medium in those cases, what would it be?
Who gives up their thoughts on something, their fears, their past experiences, etc., to compromise on something they feel that strongly about. Who does that? And when this happens, does someone win or lose. Remove ego and all ones preconceptions in life and tell me… does anyone win or lose really? No stalemate that I’ve ever seen, yields any good results.
We all don’t think alike. You touch on people’s fears, anxieties etc., and delicate conversations that mean so much to you, the individual… stalemates happen. How to work through those? Well… I’ve had a few I’ve worked through, however if it’s something I feel very strongly about and the other person feels strongly about. There’s your stalemate.
Oh yeah LOL :) A mediator popping out of no where would serve SO many so well :) And even then… I wonder.
That’s all for today. I think. And NOW a FUNNY! Too much seriousness makes my brain very unhappy.