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What’s your biggest fear, other than harm coming to someone you love? Is it being out of money?  Is it being alone or unloved?  Is it that people will find you you secretly read Mad Magazine in the john when no one’s looking?  Failing?
Odds are pretty high that your biggest (or one of the biggest) fears of all is being humiliated…and you may not even know it. Your relationships will be the place that will allow you to test that out, in case you’re curious.  There have been times, when my wife and I were arguing, when I’d get mad and say, “You don’t need to talk to me like I’m an idiot, you know!” (Of course, the minute I ever said that, I was contradicting myself.)
If you’re a regular reader, you know that movies are one of my favorite sources of educating, learning, and enjoying; hence, the poster you see above for the new film, Our Idiot Brother.  If you’ve seen any trailers for this film, it can look like this is just another in a seemingly endless stream of moronic comedies that keep pandering to the lowest common denominator of human existence.  However, if you go see the film, and pay close attention, it’s actually a film with a deep message for you hidden amongst some simple – and, it should be said, enjoyable – low-brow humor.
Paul Rudd’s character in the movie is someone who everyone treats and talks to like he is truly an idiot.  Now, he does some seemingly idiotic things in the film, but if you’re really paying attention, the only thing his character is really doing is being 100% honest, heartful, sincere, caring, and authentic/real.  For doing all that, his character gets ostracized, thrown in jail, ridiculed, rejected, and humiliated by others.  Yet, in spite of all that, there’s not a moment where he’s willing to sacrifice his integrity, heart, or truth…and the only times he skirts it even a bit, he gets in more trouble.  Now, ask yourself this question: “How often am I being that way in my life?“  You may want to particularly ask yourself that question in regards to your key relationships.
How much of yourself (your being, your truth, your heart, your capabilities for loving and connecting) are you denying and/or hiding from others because you don’t want to look like an idiot?
Of course, we’re conditioned to do that from childhood on…you know, “Get along to get along…”  When you were a kid, you’d have probably done almost anything to be accepted by whatever clique you were wanting to be embraced by (I’m not even getting into what happens in our families growing up…that’s a separate article).  There may even have been times, particularly in childhood/adolescence, when you “sold out” someone you care about to “be cool” (for a kind of quirky example of that one, go see the film Fright Night).
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Well, sure, but I’m a mature adult now.  I’d never do that now!”  Yet, if you’re really brutally honest with yourself, you’ll likely see that there are many ways you sell yourself out with others to not upset, hurt, or cause problems for people you love.  When that’s the motive, it looks like you’re being “considerate” or “caring.”  While there may be elements of that, how often is it TRULY about not wanting to upset the other person because you don’t want to look bad (by the way…looking bad tends to make us feel humiliated).
Getting the drift?  In the film, Rudd’s character hangs in there…he’s virtually incapable of lying or being out if integrity with himself.  How true is that for how you relate to your spouse or partner?  To the degree that it does happen, how much of it is because you’re also trying to consciously or unconsciously manipulate a situation to get an outcome that’s going to make you look good and get what you want?  What would happen instead if you were just honest (granted, you can do that in a responsible, mature, compassionate way…it doesn’t have to be about clubbing people to death with no sensitivity) with yourself and your loved ones, ESPECIALLY when it scares you to do so?
In the last week, I’ve worked with three couples who were suffering deeply because they weren’t wanting to look bad, or like an idiot (to be clear, I’m using that word as almost an archetype, not a judgement).  Studies are showing that more marriages deteriorate not just from lack of communication (the root of all evil), but the lack of relentlessly honest communication, even if it’s going to possibly hurt the other’s feelings.  This is one of the prime causes of resentment, which kills more marriages than money issues, or damn close.  Once they started sharing what they weren’t saying to their partner, things started shifting almost immediately.  Was it painful?  Sure.  Did anyone get pissed off?  Sure.  But, through hanging in with a commitment to being more intimate (which requires more candor and vulnerability), after they started moving through the initial reactivity, they were able to get into their hearts (see the feature article in the August 24 issue of this eZine to refresh your memory) and start getting close again.
One of the smartest things you can do for yourself and your relationships (other than remember that you’ll ultimately feel more humiliated if your relationship fails…for many, again) is to first get real with yourself…be an idiot with you.  Then, when you’re as clear as you can possibly be, see if you’d be willing to take the risk of being an idiot for love…see if you’re willing to invest in your happiness, and the health of your relationship, enough that you’re willing to risk looking and/or feeling like a doofus to be able to bring all of you, and your intimacy, to your relationship.  If you’re feeling pretty scared about that, because you’re not sure how to do that…then let’s talk.  You know how to find me.  It’s a skill you’re never too old to learn or improve.
Give that a try…and, go see the movie, if you want to see what I’m talking about and the impact the main character’s stand for integrity ultimately does to all those around him.  after all, isn’t it pretty obvious how much of the troubles in our world today could have been avoided if we were all practicing compassionate truth instead of co-dependent BS?

Geoff Laughton

Geoff helps couples get the relationship back with each other that they’ve been dreaming of instead of continuing to live the one they’ve been settling for.
Geoff is a Master Relationships Recovery Coach who has spent the last 15 years guiding individuals and couples worldwide in re-energizing and re-inventing their relationships – with themselves and others – before they get irreparably damaged. This, combined with his 29 years as a loving husband and father, has provided Geoff with the real-life experience needed to guide others in rescuing and renewing the relationships into which so much time, love, and energy have been invested – and need not be wasted.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.