Agreements Wkbk #4: Why Have Agreements? (pt 2)


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Two stylized hands clasping, forming a heart. Copyright-free symbol designed by Ravi Poovaiah, Professor, IDC, IIT Bombay.This entry is the fourth in my series on the Agreements Workbook that I’m writing. [For the first entry in this series, click here]. Note that these entries are all rough drafts, and thus are probably missing things like references. If you know the perfect reference to add, feel free to suggest it! I always like to add to my resource collection. I’m updating these somewhere between 1 and 3 times per week, BTW.

Entry #4 continues the discussion of some reasons to make Agreements: For structure and support, or as a memory aid.

Please feel free to make comments or ask questions, either here, or on my FB Page, Love Outside The Box.


Structure and Support

Some of us (I’m raising my hand here!) have a hard time keeping on-task and focused. Agreements—whether with our boss, or with ourselves—can provide a needed structure to help us get our goals accomplished.  Without an Agreement with myself about when I would try to have the first draft of this book completed, for instance, I would never have finished it.

One of my favorite examples of this sort of structure comes from the Star Trek universe, in the series Deep Space 9. That series featured a character that was a shape-changer, named Odo. Where other people had beds to retire to at night, Odo had a bucket. A shape-changer, you see, has to expend energy to keep himself in any particular shape at all, so in order to truly relax, Odo needed a structure to relax in. Otherwise he’d end up in a puddle in the floor—or floating through space—and he could easily find himself in pieces, or damaged, making it literally difficult to pull himself together!

The same is true for those of us with bodies, just around our time and energy, rather than our physical form. If we lack structure and containment, we can end up wasting time on unnecessary tasks or other people’s priorities, and end up damaging our schedule or our wallets. Agreements with others, or especially with ourselves, can be very helpful in avoiding damage in the short term, or even in training us into better patterns.

Memory Aid

Agreements—especially written ones—can also serve as a handy memory aid. You might record a simple Agreement on your calendar for instance, as “Lunch w/JW, 12 noon, Mar 4.” Both parties have agreed to meet at a particular location for lunch that day, at noon, and the Agreement as recorded on the calendar serves as a reminder of that activity.  Otherwise, without an agreement, you might find (as I often have!) that you want to have lunch with your friend, but that somehow, it just never seems to happen. Without the Agreement, the intention is never turned into action.  And without writing it down, the Agreement itself is in danger of being forgotten. (That’s why Write It Down is Tip #10, which we’ll get to later.)

So these are some of the reasons you might have picked up this book in order to learn about making Agreements: Because you already have them, for increased intimacy, for safety, freedom, structure and support, or as a memory aid.  Ultimately, all of these reasons are about one thing, however: Meeting needs. The next section will briefly discuss the nature of needs, how to figure out what needs you and your Agreement-partner/s have, and why the relationship needs your needs (and no, that isn’t a typo!).


~♥ Dawn


∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥ ∞ ♥

[© 2011 Dawn M. Davidson]

[Return to the Table of Contents for this series]

[For the first text entry in this series, click here]

[Next Entry, #5: Agreements are about meeting needs]



2 thoughts on “Agreements Wkbk #4: Why Have Agreements? (pt 2)

  1. Pingback: Dawn Davidson's Five Reasons Agreements Fail - Loving More Nonprofit

  2. Pingback: Time Limited Agreements [Tip #9] — Uncharted Love

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