Agreements Workbook #2: With whom?

 

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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 second in my new series on the Agreements Workbook that I’m writing. [For the first entry in this series, click here].  I’m not sure how often I’ll update this series, but I’m shooting for at least once per week, possibly more.

Entry #2 is a worksheet designed to get you to think about with whom you might make Agreements. I would LOVE to have your suggestions for other people I might add to either of these lists. Please feel free to make comments or ask questions, either here, or on my Facebook Page, Love Outside The Box.

 

With whom might you have Agreements?

Agreements require the active participation of at least two parties. In addition to that, both parties must be able to understand the Agreement, understand any consequences for breaking the Agreement, be able to say no (otherwise it’s not an Agreement, but is instead a demand), and have the freedom (or agency) to say yes. For each example below, can you imagine at least one possible Agreement you might make? For the ones I list as difficult to impossible, can you come up with at least one reason why?

Possible Agreement partners

  • A lover
  • A spouse
  • A friend
  • Your boss/employee
  • Everyone in your gardening club
  • Your kid/s
  • Your neighbor
  • A fellow church member
  • A fellow committee-member
  • Your co-worker
  • The car-park attendant
  • Your Dom/sub
  • A waiter
  • The paperboy/girl
  • The babysitter
  • Your neighbor’s kid/s
  • Your housemate/s

Cases where mutual Agreements are difficult or impossible:

  • Your dog
  • Your cat
  • Your neighbor’s dog (no matter how much you might want to!)
  • An infant
  • Someone mentally impaired from birth
  • Someone mentally impaired due to alcohol or drugs
  • A sociopath or narcissist (lacking a empathy for others)
  • A habitual liar
  • A prisoner, or other person whose freedom has been legally or in some other way severely restricted
  • Someone with a severe brain injury
  • Someone who is extremely angry, sick, or sleep-deprived
  • Someone over whom you have complete power, no exceptions (e.g., a teacher to a child in his/her classroom)
  • Someone with whom you have no mutually understandable shared language

~♥ 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: #3: Why have Agreements at all?]

3 thoughts on “Agreements Workbook #2: With whom?

  1. svetlana brown

    That’s all well and wonderful but I have to dissagree about you having to have 2 people for and agreement to occur. You see you me we all first make agreements with ourselves as to what’s right what’s wrong how to behave and what not to do these choices we make all the time in our daily lives begin with agreements to yourself. Agreements dating back to when you first was told what’s red & what’s blue we are taught thru our family our peers and society what’s ok and what’s not but your boudaries you keep or don’t keep are all are some random mixture how you view How does that feel good or awkward? If it feels awkqard than you may have difficulties loving and accepting yourself as you are. In the early years from birth to between birth and 2 yrs old it is crucial for that babys trust to develop rather than mistrust it is important to be responsive to their needs in and apropriately and timely fashion. and inneractive care giver who is intelectualy inter active with the child 3 and 5 years who have a caregiver who reads to them nightly no matter what have a better cognitive level than a child who is set in fron of the tv so the movie can entertain them. With a book you can pause and comment and discus the story you can make voices for the characters further engaging the attention of the children in the story it encourages desire to learn better social skills and is apt to read more than one that never got read a bed tine story. Any way way offf track you see that was an agree ment me and my children had at least 2 books little disney stories, Dr. Seus collection and one of wonderful series of answers to the worlds most asked questions as told by some adorable little mouse and his forest friends very informative books!

    Reply
    1. dawnd Post author

      Svetlana, I certainly agree that you can have Agreements with yourself! For me, that sheet was more about making the point about “active participation”–that it’s not possible to have Agreements with other people who aren’t willing or able to do what it takes to be fully engaged in the process. Agreements with yourself are a sort of a special case, since usually you agree with yourself (although you may not always keep your own Agreements, which is another matter worth discussing!). But you’re absolutely right that they are important! In fact, at the moment, my own safer sex and relating agreements are with myself, primarily. I share them with potential partners, but they’re not really up for very much negotiation, because they are really a statement of my own *boundaries,” including wants and needs, and expectations. Being only with myself, for others they are closer to demands than Agreements based on requests (see my latest entry on the Radical Requests exercise.)

      I may look at re-writing the wording on that sheet, from your feedback, and possibly include a chapter/section on Agreements with Self. Thanks for writing!

      Reply
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