Archive for July 6th, 2012

This week, I have been writing about the process of reframing or challenging the premises of the contradictions in your life. You can read the series here and here.

The initial premises in my life that I challenged were child abuse-related – premises such as whether the abuse was my fault, whether I was worthless and unlovable, etc. However, to this day, I continue to identify areas of my life in which I have been operating on faulty premises, resulting in much frustration on my part.

I don’t know how often this happens with people without a history of child abuse, but my life has been filled with buying into faulty premises. These tend to be areas of my life that suck my energy and cause me endless frustration. I keep expecting my efforts in doing X to result in Y, but they don’t. Of course, I assume that I am just not trying hard enough, so I put even more energy into that area (typically a relationship) with the same results.

The movie He’s Just Not That Into You covers this concept in an amusing way. The movie begins with a girl being taught a faulty premise. A boy shoves her to the ground and calls her a mean name. When she cries to her mother about what the boy did, the mother says, “Do you know why he did those things to you? It’s because he likes you.”

That’s the opening of the movie – the laying of the foundation of a faulty premise that many women sadly believe. The next scene is a montage of different women reassuring each other that “he” isn’t calling for any reason other than the obvious one … that he just isn’t that into you (hence the movie’s title).

Later in the movie, one of the main characters, Gigi (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) gets the following advice from her friend, Alex (played by Justin Long):

If a guy acts like he doesn’t give a s#$%, it’s because he really doesn’t give a s#$%.

This is another example of a “duh” moment for anyone who isn’t buying into a faulty premise, but there are (sadly) numerous women who buy into the premise that someone they are dating cares about them despite the plentiful evidence that he does not. (This dynamic is clearly not limited to men treating women this way.)

If you have an area of your life (especially your relationships) that appears to be a contradiction, challenge your premises. While the process is daunting, you will be better off knowing the truths in your life and finding clarity. For me, the process often is accompanied by grief intermingled with feeling like a rube. Give yourself permission to grieve your losses, even when you awaken to the reality that nothing was actually lost – it never actually existed. The loss of what you believed to be true is still a loss that might need to be grieved.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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