C: People we are meeting arrive at 7:58 PM to outdoor play that begins at 8 PM instead of 6:30 PM as they communicated and when we arrived accordingly.
T: I’m allowed to be disappointed they are late and express it.
A: Let go of people-pleasing need/not wanting to offend someone with my disappointment. Explain briefly and matter of fact that we had arrived early as planned to socialize and in the future would like them to let us know if they need to change the time. Move on emotionally after sharing this. Decide to be more selective which events in the future to attend with them (i.e., not say yes out of obligation or to events I don’t really want to attend but are just doing to spend time with them).
R: I build the ability to feel and express disappointment authentically in my relationships.
Coach’s first response: What questions do you have about your model? Do you believe the thought ‘I’m allowed to be disappointed they are late and express it’ or would a bridge be helpful?
My answer: I do believe this thought in theory, but when it came to applying it, I ended up feeling shame for saying something to my friends about being late. A bridge thought could be helpful.
Here’s another try at the model, including this shame feeling, starting with the C of having said something:
C: I tell my friends “In the future, please let us know if you plan to come at a different time to an event”
T: I am being difficult.
A: When they respond, I just say “Ok thanks” even though I still feel disappointment in how they answered and their behavior. I pretend their answer is satisfactory to me. I put on a facade of being okay with their behavior and how the relationship is, even though I am not. I avoid further confrontation. I avoid saying other things on my mind or about the relationship that I think are important to become closer or more honest with each other.
R: I reinforce the belief that being assertive in a relationship = being difficult