Slowing Down and Discharging

Thanks, Ann, for reaching out in this way.1 I appreciate your question about keeping RC and social relationships separate.

I grew up in RC and began as a teenager to teach friends how to Co-Counsel. I’ve taught quite a few friends or otherwise supported them to learn. It’s been great for them and for our relationships in many ways. One thing I struggle with is what to do when my friends meet each other after having already learned RC.

In some cases my friends decide to have a social relationship and are slow to add RC to it. In other cases they decide to have an RC relationship and are reluctant to come to a birthday celebration or other situation in which they might see each other socially.

I was inspired to reread the no-socializing policy on the RC website and was struck by this part: “If one person associates another person with RC at the beginning of their relationship, there is a strong tendency to expect, awarely or unawarely, that the person associated with RC will operate as a counselor in the relationship.”2

I recently attempted to move into a house together with my partner and two friends. They all are active RC Community members, and my partner had met one of my friends when they had both already known about RC. We were encouraged to slow down and discharge more about the decision. One of the things I’ve been counseling on is the frozen needs3 I’ve attached to the idea of living with these two friends—in particular, from my earliest hurts from being left alone.

I imagine it would in fact be a big contradiction to my early loneliness to live with these two friends. But it could also be setting me up for4 being disappointed with them, because my old need for closeness won’t ever be filled in the present. Furthermore, my desperation to have friends around has clouded my judgment about other details of the potential move.

Generally, I’ve been advised to discharge and make my own decisions about how to handle relationships that are both RC and social. Identifying and pushing against where I feel like I “need” to have my friends in a certain way has been the most helpful way to discharge.

Thanks again for posing the question. I know this can be a scary topic to be open about. I would love to hear the experiences and perspectives of others.

Isaac Zones

San Francisco, California, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

1 See previous article
2 See in Guideline N.1. the eleventh paragraph under REASON.
3 Frozen need is a term used in RC for a hurt that results when a rational need is not met in childhood. The hurt compels the person to keep trying to fill the need in the present, but the frozen need cannot be filled; it can only be discharged.
4 "Setting me up for " means predisposing me to.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00