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"Notes" #25

Permission vs. Courtesy

The subject of permission came up with a friend when I suggested a breakfast date. Do I really need my spouse's or partner's permission before I can decide to do something (like stop for a beer with colleagues, or set up a golf game), or can I make that decision on my own with the understanding that if she needs me, I will extend her the courtesy and change my plans.

I believe the constantly seeking of Permission will eventually lead to resentment and a pulling apart of the relationship, whereas, extending Courtesy leads to good feelings and a supportive attitude/bonding of individuals.

Here is the concept, "Courtesy and Permission" from my book, "Finding Balance" p. 48.


 Sometimes individuals confuse needing permission from a partner to do something, with just being courteous to the partner. I learned a long time ago I didn't need to ask my wife's permission to take part in the Friday staff meeting at the local pub. But I also discovered if I called and discussed our Friday night plans, to see if they had changed, then she often would be very encouraging about my staying with my colleagues, as well as being supportive when I mentioned golf on Sunday.

My colleagues often made fun of me at the pub because I made that telephone call. They didn't seem to understand (and at that time, I didn't either) that I didn't need permission to be there. However, I certainly needed to show some courtesy to my partner, which would be rewarded many times over. Good relationships are not about permission, but rather trust and courtesy.

I don't need your permission to make decisions about my life.
              I don't need you to always agree with me.
              But I do need you to be courteous and to
               respectfully listen to what I have to say.

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, within the guidelines of course. Despite COVID, I still feel a lot to be thankful for.

If you have any heart warming, insightful, entertaining, or humorous experiences that happened to you, or that you observed over the last while, please pass them on - we could all use an uplift! danrosin@drcounselling.com

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