A big problem with this oppression is that even the feelings that seem to be buried stem from the behavior. Because we carry doubts and fears about whether to share our feelings, we compromise with ourselves in the form of silent agreements. We now believe that such feelings will cause difficulties if we express them out loud, so we make a deal with ourselves and with others to make life easier by remaining silent. It is not wise to communicate halfway. Unfortunately, there are a number of social and cultural mechanisms that allow us to leave messages in the air, such as implicit or tacit agreements. Society regulates words and how they are used, sometimes to encourage good manners, and sometimes simply to facilitate their daily use. A silent agreement between two people often shows that both parties have thoughts and feelings that have not been fully shared with each other for fear of ending the relationship or having to recognize certain deep emotions intact. Because of your silence, your behavior and the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs associated with it are often misinterpreted. You have internalized this way of doing things because your open expression of feelings has often seemed risky in your life or has received a reaction that has made you anxious, ashamed, guilty or insecure.
And so you learned to make silent chords. Sarah`s scenarios are the kind of early experiences that teach us to make silent deals with ourselves and with others. When you`re a baby, you tend to express real feelings and reactions to the world around you, and as you grow, your repertoire of expressions expands. As an infant or toddler, you can throw away a toy when you`re bored or knock out the adult`s hand keeping something you want out of reach, but you end up learning to use words to express how you feel. Along the way, your parents, families, and countless people you meet around the world teach you how to express yourself in a socially acceptable way. Second, stick to the agreement: the ultimate part of showing someone that you have both listened to and fully understood expectations is through your actions. Respecting the agreements you make cements you not only as a good communicator, but also as a person of integrity who keeps your word. Then, before we realize it, our opinions (rules of life) begin to influence our agreements. But what if you have a conversation with someone who has a different worldview than you? This can interfere with any kind of understanding we are trying to forge. Interruptions, judgments, disagreements and emotions are now in control, and our attention is mainly focused on respecting our own agreements we have already made with the world. Your first relationships have a huge impact on many of your conscious and unconscious behaviors, choices, and motivations.
Silent agreements are the unspoken «rules» of your relationships. You grow from assumptions, expectations, and beliefs that you don`t talk about, but that hold others accountable. You appear in all types of relationships, and as you read on, you`ll likely find that you`re participating in several silent chords. If you have a problem that you don`t want to face, you can try to find a way to hide it from others and even yourself. In such scenarios, you do everything necessary to divert attention from the problem and keep it underground. It is in the nature of silent agreements that your problems remain buried. I sometimes call this «youth hypnosis» – the things we learn very early, which become our opinion on how the world should work and the rules of how the game of life should be played. And this is the beginning of the agreements we are beginning to make with ourselves. Because you don`t share your chords out loud, complications can arise in your relationships. You may believe that the other person understands the terms of the silent agreement and fully accepts it. Think about how many times you`ve said something like, «He should already know this» or «Why should I tell him this?» Silent chords are usually associated with multiple beliefs, feelings, and expectations.
Trying to handle all the layers of a silent chord at once can be scary and difficult. Therefore, you can choose to deal only with the top level. It can be difficult to discover all the layers of your silent chords, as one or both of you may be overwhelmed and unsure of what hurts and to what extent. However, once the basic truths of your feelings and beliefs are revealed, they can provide you with a stronger foundation for a truly authentic relationship. These agreements between us and the world are so deeply rooted in us that most of the time we don`t even consider them to be agreements. They are implicit, unwritten and uncommunicated, but also quite rigid. It can be how we think others should behave, what it means to be a good person, or come in the form of «if/then» agreements. They can be above everything. Silent chords are fluid. Just as relationships go through phases, so do silent chords. For example, in your family, you might play the role of the docile little sister as opposed to your authoritarian big sister.
You can both agree with these roles initially; Your sister can feed her ego and be in control, and you feel protected and safe. Tacit agreements are indirect forms of communication where one or both parties assume that the agreement is sufficiently clear and that no further explanation is required. Suppose someone tells you that someone is knocking on the door. You obviously know what that means – «open it». You can read the message between the lines by deriving it from what was actually said. An agreement is essentially a pact between two or more parties. Of course, you can always make a pact with yourself, but at the moment we are talking more about social agreements. In an agreement, both parties promise to act in a certain way. People make deals when everyone involved believes that a certain behavior would achieve a common goal. And so on, with speakers who do not make their points and listeners who do not receive the information they need.
Equally uneven chords emerge from these unequal conversations, and before we knew it, we adapted to some epic misconceptions. Wouldn`t it be great if we knew what all these tacit agreements really are? Would that not make it easier to determine whether these are advantageous agreements and, if so, to comply with them? Tacit and poorly communicated agreements are like small time bombs that can explode at any time. And the more we, as speakers and listeners, do NOT practice good communication, the more we produce these little time bombs that will explode when we least expect them and cause a huge mess. To stay up to date with our agreements, these best practices must be applied consistently. The alternative is catastrophic and costly. Believe me, I saw it. Silent chords look like this: «Her mother has the right to criticize my cooking, but I shouldn`t answer» or «My daughter gets good grades, so I stay away from her schoolwork.» Such agreements can continue indefinitely, often without discussion, out of fear, guilt, a sense of obligation or aversion to conflict. Let`s revisit Sarah as a teenager. Unfortunately, as she grew up, her relationships with men followed the same path as her mother`s, despite her wish to the contrary. After being with her first high school boyfriend for several months, Sarah decides she wants the freedom to date other boys, but her boyfriend is a really nice guy whose feelings she is sensitive to, so she has a hard time breaking up with him. Instead of just telling her boyfriend how she feels, she becomes more and more irritated by him for smaller things. Sarah repeats the same silent response she learned from her mother.
Her boyfriend is shy and afraid he won`t be able to find a girlfriend as special as Sarah, so he won`t talk and end the relationship either. They eventually separate, but only after painful weeks of mixed signals, drama, and uneven communications – thanks to their complementary silent chords. But what we often don`t realize is that while some of these agreements are conscious, many of them are unconscious. Conscious diversity is spoken or written. Unconscious agreements are tacit, but often have us just as strongly under control – although we are not even aware of it. For those of you who want to understand how things can start from an individual`s perspective, we offer a step-by-step guide on how to form silent chords. Here`s one person`s story about how it all started. If you look at Sarah`s introduction to silent chords, you might find yourself in some of these scenarios. Your story will show you how silent chords begin, become stronger, and appear again and again throughout your life.
Once you know where they come from, you`ll be in a better position to choose a new path. .