I recently went on vacation with some close friends and was lucky enough to witness a couple in our group making the best out of some tense moments by uttering two simple acronyms to each other:
(Pronounced: Lembe, which stands for: LET ME BE)
(Pronounced: EeBe, which stands for: YOU BE YOU)
What these gibberish sounding acronyms did in the instances they were uttered was transform the tension of a traditional tug of war over this couple's opposing needs and resulted in a win/win outcome for both people.
The rest of us on the trip were so amazed at the swiftness in which these two lovebirds communicated through difficulty that we all started uttering the acronyms to each other. Surprisingly, what that allowed for was a deeper connection among friends, because we experienced a whole new level of acceptance over oppositional desires.
Encouraging authenticity and individuality in a relationship increases appreciation and fosters the bonds of emotional safety -- which grow only when we unhook from the inherited patterns of co-dependency unconsciously modeled by our primary caregivers. When I speak of co-dependency, I'm referring to the fear that if we don't do things together or agree on the same thing, our connection will be ruptured.
The capacity to feel safe to be honest and take care of oneself, even if individual needs are opposite of a friend or partner, is paramount to a lasting connection and healthy relational evolution.
So the next time you want to stay in and your friend or lover wants you to go out, try uttering 'LMB' (LET ME BE) and see what happens.
They might surprise you by replying: 'YBY.' (YOU BE YOU).