Do you identify more with Charlie Brown or Lucy? The infamous scenario of Lucy pulling the football away as Charlie Brown goes to kick it represents many relationships. It happens all the time when one person expects and anticipates that the other person will respond a certain way and are sorely disappointed, hurt, and angry. Why did Charlie Brown continue to attempt to kick the football when it had been pulled away so many times in the past? Why do we set ourselves up for failure and disappointment when we can predict the outcome? Remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different outcome. That’s what many of my patients continue doing. The Charlie Browns in the world tend to be hopeful, gullible, trusting, and fearful. The Lucys in the world tend to be bullies, vindictive, aggressive, and selfish. Many marriages consist of a Lucy and Charlie Brown, one giver and one taker. The objective in therapy is to help the couple achieve a balanced relationship and build trust on consistency in words and actions. Lucy deceived Charlie Brown every time he attempted to kick the football. She humiliated and rejected him, but he kept coming back hoping things would be different. The moral of the story is that if you don’t change your approach don’t expect the other person to change theirs. Change yourself and see what happens, you may be surprised.
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