The Four Agreements
From Chance to Wisdom. From Conflict to Connection.
In my experience, there are four agreements that are necessary as foundations for any healthy relationship regardless of the context. Meaning it doesn't matter if it's professional if it's friendly, or if it's sexual/intimate.
In fact the more intimate it is the more important I think these agreements are, but unfortunately - and paradoxically - the less likely someone is to actually be willing to have this conversation. I think that's for many reasons, most of them self-esteem issues are at their source.
Let me explain: If we are attached to the hope that someone will like us to the degree that it becomes a need and therefore induces fear in ourselves, and we have scarcity around whether or not we will actually find somebody who is a fit, or whether or not we can find someone else if a relationship does not work out, we have a tendency to overlook things that we know are important to take care of because if the person doesn't like us then we may take that personally if it's the case of a self-esteem issue, or we don't want to set up any barriers to them liking us or connecting with us.
But in doing so, we skip over critical foundational steps - and virtually assure we end up with someone who is not a fit or find ourselves in a conflict without the agreement reality as to how we find our way out of it and get back into connection.
So we ignore wisdom in favor of the immediacy of connection. At its worst, of course, this borders on codependency and external validation and that a path that if you continue down that road leads to frustration, heartache, and worse.
However if we have an abundance mindset that there are plenty of people out there who might be a fit for us - and fit is more important than not being alone - and we understand that it's easier to find somebody who's a fit that it is to deal with the frustration and challenges and eventual heartbreak of someone who is not a fit, and we are internally validated in terms of our esteem for ourselves, then we choose wisdom over chance or … worse: predictably negative results.
Four Foundational Agreements For Healthy Relating
- We tell the truth and we hear the truth and we value truth over comfort
- We do not hold anyone accountable to agreements they have not made
- If we are upset, we make a request (for a new agreement)
- We accept that we are responsible for our own experience and our own emotions.
- Make no assumptions
- Don’t make anything up
Agreement 1: Truth Over Comfort
The first agreement is that we tell the truth and we hear the truth and we value truth over comfort.