Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Rule Of Agreement

"The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES. When you're improvising, this means you are required to agree with whatever your partner has created. So if we're improvising and I say, "Freeze, I have a gun,"and you say, "That's not a gun, It's your finger. You're pointing your finger at me," our improvised scene has ground to a halt. But if I say, "Freeze, I have a gun!" and you say, "The gun I gave you for Christmas! You bastard!" then we have a started a scene because we have AGREED that my finger is in fact a Christmas gun. Now, obviously in real life you're not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to "respect what your partner has created" and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you. As an improviser, I always find it jarring when I meet someone in a real life whose first answer is no. "No, we can't do that", "No that's not in the budget", "No, I will not hold your hand for a dollar." What kind of way is that to live?"
From Tina Fey's book BossyPants

I have this so many times but today... I truly felt it but words are so powerful! I haven't had the greatest morning today! Ever have a discussion that just drains you! That's the kind of morning I have. Not to get into so much detail, like everything relationships are living, growing things and I guess we just going through some growing pains. I am very negative when it comes to our "discussions", to confrontations. I know this... I begin most times from a negative place because I become defensive. This comes from the fact no matter what the situation is, when something goes wrong I blame myself. So no matter what it is I come from like again Shit is my fault! And I get defensive and start with the "no that's not true" and blah blah blah!

Then I got on the train and fired up my Kindle app on my phone and continued reading Tina Fey's book Bossypants. The above passage was the third page I read this morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks! I had to catch my breath when I read it, so I read it twice and then bookmarked! It took me back the discussion I just had and I realized I am not fair to my partner and that just made me feel really bad! I told myself right there that when I am in a discussion to remember those above words!

For example when my partner tells me "You make me feel this way..." I usually say "No I don't, I don't understand why you feel this way" or "Why do you always take things the Wrong way" See that it's all negative and it halts the conversation because now the other person is defensive and shutting down! Now I know better so next time I hear the other person say something like "You make me feel..." I can say "OK, I hear what you are saying, but can you tell me exactly why you feel this way..." See it opens the conversation up so that the discussion doesn't come to a halt and leave us feeling wrong, and like nothing has been accomplished, the only thing that has happened is that you both are left feeling like the other person doesn't even like you!

I realize I have been going about things the wrong way and "agreeing" will open up discussions and hopefully we will be able to get through these growing pains with the least amount of pain possible!

**Disclaimer: My marriage is fine, we not going through major issues, but like ever marriage and long relationships shit happens, I am only saying this because in the past when I write about my relationship I get emails like "OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED" LOL thank you all for your concern but... its just what comes with marriage!!! LOL**


  1. Lmao.... This reminds me of work. I'm quick to always answer w a negative when parents ask how there kids were that day but I've learned through work shops to answer positively then w a question.nits the same thing in my marriage it's going on 16 yrs and the hubby would say something and like u I'd answer back and be completely negative. Always answer w an open ended question it really works I think I learned that in our 12 year of being together....

  2. I totally "get" this. I loved BossyPants and it struck a few chords with me. I feel like I don't fight fair and that is something I am trying to work on. It's a process.

  3. love this girl! I LOVED bossypants (Listended to audible vesion which Tina reads herself, so I think we're friends now!) Didn't apply the improv to real life, but I will now, thx to you!

    1. LOL I would love to hear her read it to me I already think she is my long lost sister!!! LOL