Are You Grading On A Curve In Love?
It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been out of college, I still associate this time of year with late night study sessions, comprehensive exams and fighting off the flu from lack of sleep. I still have the occasional nightmare of showing up to a final exam for a course I thought I had dropped at the beginning of the semester…totally unprepared and out of luck!
I actually really enjoyed school and have fond memories of my favorite professors. The ones that had a great deal of personal and professional experience and made it come alive in the classroom. The ones that treated you like budding colleagues. The ones that were truly passionate about their work. And the ones that never graded on a curve.
Grading on a curve never made sense to me. It always seemed unfair and honestly quiet odd how an otherwise failing grade could get inflated to passing just because so many people did worse than you. It honestly felt like permission to lower the bar in the classroom.
And fast forward all these years later and grading on a curve still happens to us. Not in the classroom like before, but in our relationships.
And trust me, this is dangerous. Grading on a curve in our relationships is a toxic choice.
Grading on a curve allows us to justify our negative behavior and actions because our mate isn’t showing up the way we expect them to. Lowering our bar on our own choices impacts our relationship more than we may realize. It starts a steady decline that we need to pull out of quickly.
So what do you do if this is happening for you right now?
How do you raise the bar in love? How do you stop grading on a curve in your relationship?
Start with these 5 steps.
1. Become a self-observer - hold up a mirror to your own actions. Become better at seeing what you’re doing to positively or negatively impact the relationship.
2. Stop adding “buts” to your “I’m sorry’s” - adding a “but” to your apology is the fastest way to negate it. Make amends for the injuries you’ve created without justifying why you “had to do what you did”.
3. Trust that changes you make have great potential to shift the tide of your relationship – raising the bar in love can be really scary. Trust that as you make positive changes, your mate will follow.
4. Own the choices you make – be open to seeing impact of your actions and behaviors, even when they cause unintended pain.
5. Raise your own bar – demand more of yourself than maintaining the status quo in love. Raise your own bar and celebrate the connection and healing it brings.
I can’t wait to hear from you about your experience of how you may have graded on a curve in love and how you’re working to raise the bar. Please reach out and let me know how I can support that removing the curve!
As always, I want to know what your journey in love and connection is like. It’s why I do this work. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call, 916.955.3200.