When your relationship with someone is proving difficult, when you’re sure that they are acting against you or judging you, and just when you’re sure that nothing can be done, the most helpful and most powerful move is to start making requests.
Your certainty that nothing can happen from talking makes your powerlessness self-perpetuating. You’re silent, because you think nothing can happen. You’re silent, so nothing can happen. And you remain silent, because nothing is happening.
It may well be that the other person is trapped in the same cycle, holding back from making the requests that would connect the two of you again. Your silence turns you into solo players.
In the space between you – and in the stories that fill the quiet – difficulties multiply.
So start asking for what you want. Encourage them to do the same.
You may well discover that what is happening is quite different to what you imagined. That the other person has a quite different motive to what you thought. And that a conversation in which you raise your requests and concerns, listening deeply to the response – and in which they do the same – shifts things profoundly for both of you.