Are you a coconut? How we push people away without even knowing it.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a coconut. It was warm, secure and she was comfortable. She had plenty of food and she felt safe . But as time went on, she started to feel lonely and a little bored. she longed for a more exciting and fulfilling life. So, she would say a prayer that someday, someone would come along and crack her shell open. And then, she waited on the beach.
At first, she as really hopeful! “Oh! I can’t wait until the right person comes along! Then, everything will be so different! I will breathe in the fresh air and get to go to exciting places! I will finally get out of this shell and see the world! I can’t wait to have someone to be happy with! I will be so happy when that happens!”
After some time, she could hear people walking by. But no one came. She was angry. “What’s wrong with people?!?” She would yell. “Don’t they know I’m in here? Doesn’t anyone care?” She became quite the victim inside of that shell.”I can’t believe that dummy didn’t know I was in here! What? Is HE BLIND? Is he dumb? What’s his problem? Maybe the next guy will be stronger and better and have more sense about him!”
But still, no one came. And she started to get bitter. “Well. I suppose I’m better off in this coconut! It’s lonely, but at least I know what to expect. Who wants to be out there anyway? With all of those selfish and stupid people.. Yea, it’s better in here. Alone.” She lied to herself.
Eventually, she died.
Weeks later, there were people walking on the beach kicking shells and someone kicked her shell. Out popped the shriveled up old lady she had become. And the people panicked! “Oh my! There are people living inside of these coconuts! Let’s get them out!” They searched and searched for more people inside of the coconuts but they never found another one. Why?
Because that kind of a nut is one in a million.
(Ba da da goes the drum.)
It’s an old story taken from one of my first formal teachers on Love, Leo Busgaglia. And the first time I heard it, I said, “YES! I too am a coconu!” I was in my twenties, waiting to be rescued.
And then, over the years, I have met several more coconuts.
How might you be showing up as a coconut?
I know in my work, as a Relationship Expert, I see it all of the time. I’ve actually narrowed it down to 10 personality types. (More about that in my 8 week coaching program!)
I see a coconut every time a woman says something like: “I have walls. I don’t trust a lot of people. So, it’s going to take some effort to break me open.”
Or a Man says, “I don’t know how to be emotionally available. It’s going to take the right woman to motivate me to open up.”
“I’ve been hurt! Men need to work harder to earn my attention and respect now.”
And it doesn’t always sound so abrasive. Sometimes, it sounds like, “I have a list of expectations”. Not that expectations are a bad thing, but checklists keep us lonely for sure.
Or, she is single and alone and lonely. She wants to have a relationship but pretends it’s about not meeting the right people. Or she pretends she is OK being alone when she is born for love and feels the best when she is with people. .
In a relationship, a coconut expecst her partner to meet all of her needs.
She come to a relationship asking, “What’s in it for me?”
Or she is in a miserable relationship, and she knows she should leave, but convenience and commitment keeps her in it. She wants things to change (and by things, I mean HIM.) She wants HIM to change because HE is the problem.
There are three steps out of this behavior:
#1 Know your type of nut
What type of coconut are you? Are you an Emotional Distancer? Do you keep people at an arms length and try not to get too close?
Are you a Controlling Coconut? Do you attempt to control every situation?
Are you a Tester? Do you intentionally push buttons to see what happens? And by that I mean see if he will leave you.
Like I said, there are 10 types of coconuts.
#2 Make the decision to change by taking 100% responsibility
No one is born a nut! You can absolutely change. But only if you are willing to take 100% responsibility for how you are loving and being loved. Remember the young coconut above? She blamed every man she heard walking by. But at the end of the day, we are the common demonstrator.
#3 Seek out a qualified mentor or a coach
Who has walked the path before you? How can she illuminate your way? When we are seeking help with relationships, who do we usually go to? Yup! Our friends. And usually, they are as troubled as we are.
When you are seeking relationship advice, always ask yourself, “This person I am asking for help right now, do they have what I want?” That question is so important. Because, a leader can only take a follower as far as she has gone herself.
So, seek someone who walks the talk!
So, now let’s hear from you. Do you know any coconuts?
Leave a comment below. Don’t forget to hit the like button too! And as always, please share if you believe this will enlighten another sister on the path!
With Love and Laughs,