Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Conquering That Pesky "YSK Syndrome"

I'm not exactly sure when I contracted YSK syndrome. Chances are, if you're reading this, you have it too. Limited research points to it possibly being a disorder I inherited from my mom, who inherited from her mom, who inherited it from her mom (you see where this is going). It seems to be primarily a woman's disease, and I discovered the older I became, the more of my relationships and friendships it threatened to affect. However, now that I'm more aware of its damages, I can say I'm getting better at recognizing its symptoms and hopefully heading towards a permanent cure, which means, there's hope for you too! So, let's explore YSK, also known as..."You Should Know" syndrome!

That's right. The ugly "You Should Know" monster that keeps us silent toward getting our needs met while being secretly frustrated at the person who we've entrusted to figure out what said needs are through mental telepathy. Yes, it may sound silly, but it is unfortunately how many of us are navigating our relationships OR using as a measuring tool to end them. Whether it's a "You should know what I like..." "You should know what I want..." "You should know that I don't..." or "You should know that I won't...", there will never be any clearer communication than just saying whatever it is that needs to be said following that opening statement.

Now, as a woman, I understand how difficult (and unromantic) this can be to accept in relationships at times, as I do believe God gave women a few extra "already know it" neurons in order to navigate motherhood. Remember how your mother knew what you were doing in the next room without even getting off of the couch? And when you were caught red-handed, the first words she uttered to you were "You should know better!" Well, over time most of us did come to know but we, unfortunately, expected everyone else to know too. However, that only happens in a perfect world...and really great science fiction movies starring Keanu Reeves. Never is this theory more flawed than in our personal relationships where we're now merging our "life lessons" with someone else's yet hoping for a flawless, pre-conceived outcome.

It's also pretty safe to assume romance movies have done many of us in as well, where the friend happens to send flowers at just the right time or the guy proposes at just the right moment or someone says "I love you" seconds before a shooting star passes by. And so we hold on to these images and apply them to our own situations, forgetting the fact that a team of writers and producers were responsible for those moments we're measuring our own relationships against.

The truth is, in our quest to truly be known and understood, we have to open our mouths and share who we are: our likes and dislikes; our hopes and our dreams; our wants and our needs. Relying on others to simply observe and figure out what those are over time might work, but it will never be as effective as simply speaking our truth, even if that truth has to be spoken more than once for another to fully understand it. But that's simply called communication, and it's a necessary foundation for building any strong relationship of any kind. So, whatever it is you're hoping for, waiting for, or wishing for, begin by opening your heart and then your mouth and sharing it. It's the only way we'll ever truly get what we need and want, and takes someone having to guess about what that is out of the equation. But you should know that, right? ;-)