Why Being "Dumb" in Relationships is So
The word "dumb" usually has such negativity
attached to it that you may be wondering what it
has to do with creating a great relationship.
In Susie's family, her dad and his younger
brother affectionately called each other "big
dummy" and "little dummy"--when they did something
that wasn't very smart or for no reason at all.
It was a way that they lovingly made fun of each
But we realize that not every situation where
one person calls another "dumb" is meant in
In fact, it can be downright hurtful and a
trigger for all sorts of problems.
But consider this about the word "dumb" or any
other word that might be a trigger word for
Take the trigger out of it.
That's right, one way to take the emotional
trigger out of a word or a belief is to play with
it and turn its meaning around so it loses its
emotional charge around it.
For our purposes here, we're going to turn the
meaning of "dumb" around to mean it's okay not to
Sometimes being "dumb" or "not knowing" in your
relationship really is the smart thing to do.
Sometimes being "dumb" can actually help you
create closer and more loving relationships.
We're not talking about dumb as in "dumb blonde"
jokes kind of dumb.
We're talking about is how smart it is to
sometimes be "dumb"--or not knowing--on purpose...
Here are some really good examples of how being
"dumb" could be a good thing...
1. It's smart to be "dumb" in your relationship
by not fixing your partner (or anyone else). So
often, we know exactly what the other person SHOULD
do and how he or she should live and act. We offer
unsolicited advice when we aren't asked and we try
to push our ideas on the other person because we
KNOW what they should do.
Sometimes we rush in so fast to "help" the other
person that he or she doesn't have the opportunity
to work it out for himself or herself--or ask for
We know that this "help" is well-meaning and
usually given in a loving way--BUT
If "fixing" and the unsolicited help is
constant, the message that the other person gets is
"I'm not enough."
We know that it's difficult to hold back when
you think you have the answer for someone else.
But your relationships will be filled with more
ease if you can pull your energy back, wait, and
ask before you start giving the advice.
2. It's smart to be "dumb" in your relationship
by not making assumptions about what your partner
is thinking or his or her motivations. After being
in a relationship for several years, most of us
fall into the trap of thinking we know exactly what
the other person is thinking and the motivation
behind his or her actions.
The truth is we can never know exactly what's
going on inside another person, no matter how many
years we've been together.
So it's "smart" to be "dumb" when it comes to
thinking you know the insides of your partner.
The rule is to ask before you assume and don't
make up stories in your head that may or may not be
When you begin to make up a story, get curious
Ask yourself--"I wonder why he (or she) said or
Then ask from a place of curiosity and being
interested rather than "checking up" on him or
You could say--"I noticed __________ and I'm
wondering if you would satisfy my curiosity about
it so I won't make up assumptions that aren't
3. It's smart to be "dumb" in your relationship
by speaking your truth and showing your authentic
self. Some relationship advice we've heard says
that it's smart to hold back part of yourself and
not share what's on your mind.
We can understand that in some cases, if you
fear for your physical safety or the safety of your
children, speaking your truth may not be smart.
(If you can identify with this, start making
plans and take action right now to create a life
that is safe for you and your children.
But if physical safety isn't your concern and
you find that the two of you have gotten into the
habit of not sharing what's really important with
each other (it's easy to happen)...
Think about how you can begin to start sharing a
bit of what's authentic and real for you.
That's the smart thing.
If this is an issue in your relationship--that
the two of you are good "house-mates" but intimacy
is lacking--we suggest you start slow and
Don't start with "We have to talk..."
That's a death phrase to intimacy.
Start by simply sharing something small that you
haven't shared with your partner before and then
watch and see where there are openings between the
two of you to get closer.
Being "dumb" can be oh so smart in your
relationships in other ways too..
To the parent who felt abandoned as a child and
is afraid she'll lose the love of her husband or
It may seem like the dumbest thing ever to set
and enforce a boundary with their children. But in
most cases, setting and enforcing boundaries will
be one of the smartest things you'll ever do in
relationship with anyone.
To the man who's afraid of losing his job when
there are bills to pay and groceries to buy... it
may seem like the dumbest thing ever to stand up
for himself at work (especially to his boss).
The smart thing is to NOT play it safe and
really get out of his comfort zone, contribute,
rock the status quo and be someone who shakes
things up or is an idea generator.
Sometimes it really is smart to be dumb...
sometimes when you least expect it.
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
Dollars! You can also
read more articles like these and subscribe to
their weekly newsletter on love and relationships
by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
Their new E-book Should You Stay or Should You
Go? has just been released and is now available
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