Authentic Relating - Responsible Clearing

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Authentic Relating

A "responsible clearing" is a dialog tool to help fix a conflict with another person. It's very similar in concept to "a share", but has a very specific format and was created by the Atlas Project. You should use a responsible clearing when you have:

  1. A seriously damaged relationship .... (eg: You and your father are on terrible terms)
  2. Someone that irks you! .... (eg: Your friend keeps calling you "cheap" and it annoys you)

... and everything in between. These are just the two extremes.

The Format of a Responsible Clearing


Responsible Clearing (Prompts):

  1. Acknowledge the relationship and its value.
  2. Share the pattern that you notice you are clearing.
  3. Take responsibility for the pattern.
  4. Make commitments (and requests) to create the relationship.

Unlike a "share" it's up to you if you take these prompts and write something to the person, call them on the phone or tell them in person. Whatever you do it will feel brave, but the important part is that you start with something very loving and move straight into your responsibility - you break out of the victim mentality whereby you think you are in the right and they are in the wrong. You can't possibly improve or mend anything if you trigger someone's defense. Instead you are owning up, and this disarming action gives you a very good chance at mending a badly damaged relationship. If all goes well they will apologize too. You will likely end up in a stronger relationship than before.

May I please take responsibly and clear something up with you?

Example Clearing

  • Example Clearing 1: From a child to a mother who is alcoholic and lost all her kids.
    1. You are my mother and I love you.
    2. This thing is, I'm so used to being disappointed, I would just set you up to fail, just to keep being disappointed.
    3. I am responsible for setting you up to fail.
    4. From here forwards, I am committed to set you up for success, and I request that you work with me to mend our relationship.
  • Example Clearing 2: From one guy to another guy who (I thought) had crossed a couple of boundaries with female friends of mine.
    1. We are fellow dancers, and I feel like in that period you were dating xxx, I grew a little fond of you as we hung at the park. I respect you striving to teach lessons.
    2. Sadly I've fallen into a pattern, that whenever I see you, I get defensive that whoever I bring or connect with, you will try to swoop and make strong advances on.
    3. I am responsible for manifesting scarcity in dating and distrust. I have started to talk to my friends about you upsetting two of my female friends. I'm responsible for painting you as a bad guy, and being right about that, when in fact we might just be wanting the same thing. A wonderful romantic relationship and genuine connection with a girl. We are probably far more similar than we are different..
    4. I'm committed to stop the negative talk in my head about you, and I request that we communicate more about boundaries, plus the possibility of us becoming friends, because I'm sure if I knew more about your backstory and struggles, we'd have a chance to become good friends.
  • NOTE: Swarve & good looking = threatening. Perhaps he's coming from a good place > consent workshop.

More Detail

If this still doesn't make sense here are some additional notes

  • What are clearing conversations?
    • Conversations that are clearing up the air with someone to prevent resentment, anger, frustration and tension. You can take the responsibility of clearing the air with the other individual and going through the steps of the clearing conversations.
  • What is the value of clearing conversations?
    • You can’t control someone’s actions and/or responses. If they don’t know a pattern is upsetting and how you feel about the pattern there will never be resolution.
  • Non–responsible clearing is due to triggers of past trauma and validating how you feel and shifts the blame.
  • Clearing conversations feels more valuable when you hold the viewpoint that the clearing is really for you than for the person you are clearing the air for.
  • Sometimes writing down the clearing conversations before having it beforehand could help remove the emotions (frustration) behind the conversation.
  • These conversations help remove the resentfulness and the possible potential of undoing of the relationship.
  • We should learn to redesign our lives and learn how to get messy and risk those conversations for the sake of your vision. Be the change you want to see. Be grounded in our intentions and actions.

See Also