(This video is recorded from a YouTube LIVE session)
I love my girlfriends. I have literally been through hell and back with them by my side. We have navigated just about everything together from deaths to divorce. And I am so grateful for my girlfriends.
But lately, I’ve started to notice a new little habit in the way we communicate. Something that creeped into our conversations and it’s been incredibly toxic.
And It’s called co-rumination.
“Co-rumination” is defined as frequently or obsessively discussing the same problem.
A less scientific way of talking about this is when the complaining about the problem stays stuck with what’s not working, or talking about changing our behavior – but never actually changing anything.
We want sympathy.
We want someone to agree with our pain. And we go round and round and round the same negative toxic thing. The problem is that keeps us stuck in our pain. Stuck in our victim story that life is always happening TO us, as opposed to life happening FOR us.
It feeds fear.
It fuels anxiety and distrust.
It fosters depression and learned helplessness.
And leaves us feeling powerless that anything could get better.
So how do we break ourselves out of this cycle with our girlfriends?
You change girl talk from the inside out by asking yourself these 4 questions.
QUESTION #1: Is this a viable source for advice?
Are they someone who has earned the right to have a vote in your life? And..is the person you are asking advice from living the life you want to live? For example: If you want relationship advice, do they have a healthy thriving relationship? If not, this isn’t going to remain your go-to person for advice. You’ll have to find other topics to talk about and other ways of connecting.
QUESTION #2: Do I want that to be my story?
Just because my girlfriend sees it as one thing, doesn’t mean that is my story or want it to be my story. As Louise Hay says, “It may be true for some, but it’s not true for me.” The reality is, their input is just one opinion. It is not fact. It’s just how one person is choosing to see it. Their perspective. And so every time a girlfriend shares some advice with me, or throws out a blanket statement of “this is how it is,” I get to decide if I agree. If I want to hitch my wagon to that story. To their interpretation of life. And the truth is… often times it is a no.
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Question #3: What are we focusing on?
Girl talk typically ends up focusing on what didn’t go right. When we get together, we tend to focus on what’s missing. What’s not working. What’s been hurtful. What we wish we had that we don’t have now or could never get. The truth is, there will always be something missing if we look for it. Right? And focusing on what’s missing is never going to give us what we really want. The drama of it all is keeping you distracted from taking action to create a better life. And unknowingly, by focusing on what’s going wrong it puts you into that victim mentality. So when you find yourself there, you have to shift the focus.
Question #4: Are we problem dwelling or problem solving?
Is this helping lead me into a more empowered state? Am I taking responsibility for how I contribute to create and allow this? What can I do to make this better? How can I own what is mine to own, and to do what I need to in order to create a life that is more aligned with deepest desires? What action do I need to take? What’s the next right step? How can I get more of what I want? How can we ask ourselves the tough questions, challenge our limiting beliefs and walk more towards our empowering future? And so in these conversations it’s kind of like asking, “Is this conversation constructive?” Are we actually finding ways to solve our issue. That is how we break out of this cycle with the conversations with our girlfriends.
And so that is my encouragement to you. Ask yourselves these 4 questions during your next conversation with your girlfriends and see if you need to break the cycle of toxic co-ruminating.