I remember a time when I was stressed out. I couldn’t seem to catch up. I found myself caught up in a lot of tasks that weren’t my responsibility. I couldn’t sleep well. And worse is all, I wasn’t comfortable enough to ask for help because I didn’t want to appear weak. I was constantly saying “I seem to be the only one that cares”; and then found myself declining help when a couple people offered._
Have you been in that type of situation?
The moment in which you feel so disconnected from the world that you can’t seem to find someone to share your struggles with. The moment you feel isolated as if you are stranded on a deserted island with no means to contact the world.
This situation is what Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book The Power of The Other, describes as corner 1 or the ‘no connection’ relationship.
Like a smartphone without signal.
A corner 1 relationship is a situation in which we have absolutely nowhere to be vulnerable, connect to a network of people for energy, support, blow off steam, or anything like it.1 It sucks.
What’s most intriguing about corner 1 is how the feelings of isolation can develop even though I was interacting with people all the time. I was so focused on the ‘no one cares’ part that I couldn’t see a way to reach out or allow others into my world.
Corner 1 is a nasty place to be in and, unfortunately, it can happen to anyone.
How do you get out of this situation?
The book gives a few ideas but I’ll share what I did: take a leap of faith and examine the evidence.
Take a leap of faith. I use this phrase because I had to somewhat blindly reach out to other people and hope they would listen without judgment. Remember, I truly believed I was alone against the world.
Examine the evidence. I had to put my feelings aside and objectively reflect on the situation. I had to identify what role I played and how others had been around but I didn’t take advantage of it.
Getting out of corner 1 may not be an easy thing to do, but sooner or later the choice is go crazy or face the circumstances. I chose the latter.
Have you experienced corner 1 relationships? How have dealt with them?
- Paraphrased from the book, page 36. ↩