DID YOU KNOW THAT TURTLES AND HAILSTORMS HAVE A VICE VERSA LOVE AFFAIR?
Ever heard the tale of the turtle and the hailstorm? Me neither. Until a friend of mine sent it to me after listening to me rant about why I am right and my boyfriend is wrong. Maybe its insights will help you too.
I am a talker. I like to fix things via my voice and my words, and I tend to think that all I need to fix something is to talk it THROUGH. Like, all the way through. I protect myself and my relationships by talking. My boyfriend, on the other hand, has learned to protect himself by staying silent. He was punished as a child for “speaking out of turn” or saying the “wrong” thing. This has taught him to stay covered and silent to stay safe. But we fell in love. And now we have to figure out how to love and live with each other, all weird old childhood patterns included.
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VICE VERSA, GIVE AND TAKE, LEARN TO TALK
Recently I spent a full day texting my best friend about a fight my boyfriend and I were having. I didn’t know what to do. And the worst part wasn’t even the fight itself. It was that at the first sign of there being a problem, he canceled the date we were supposed to have and, well, retreated. I was in a complete panic because I never know when or if we will see each other, when or if we will be able to speak. I feel unhinged from the world in these moments. I feel like I’m falling into a liminal space where there is no space or time and there is just nothingness. And not in a calming way, no, but in an everything-is-crumbling-around-you kind of way.
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TURTLE AND HAILSTORM PARABLE IS A LIFE SAVER
So my friend told me to read this psychologist parable about the turtle and the hailstorm. It goes like this: there is a turtle and a hailstorm and they fall in love. Only problem is the turtle retreats into its shell at the slightest chance of hail and the hailstorm starts hailing at the first sign of the turtle’s retreat. They go to a wizard who they hope can tell them who is right and who should change. The wizard simply tells them that the turtle must try to stick its neck out more and for longer periods of time, and the hailstorm must try to contain its constant hailing. This effort on both of their parts will make them both happier. Both must change a little for the other and for themselves.
This calmed me and I was able to tell my boyfriend that he need not retreat from me as I will try to not hail so much. I don’t know if this will help us forever, but it definitely gave us a good start.