Same old same old. It never changes. As soon as I do (or fail to do!) [whatever], he/she starts all over again with:

“How many times have I asked you to …”


“Why on earth don’t you …”


“If you would only, even just once …”

(And if you’re heartily sick of all three, your relationship might really be in a tough state!)

It’s like hearing the same old tune for the hundredth time, and it’s getting really boring!

Let’s take a fresh look at what may be happening here. You’re probably shifting into some kind of “victim” mode, where nothing you do results in any change, and it seems like it’s all your fault, regardless of the reality. That’s your perspective.

Take a look at it from the other side. Maybe the [whatever] in this case is just plain aggravating to the other person. Such as when I leave my keys in our front door when I’m bringing in the shopping and my wife finds them still dangling from the lock next day when she goes to collect the morning newspaper from wherever the delivery man has chosen to hurl it in from the sidewalk. (How many times have I asked him to put it in the mailbox … ???)

Or maybe there’s the possibility that while the [whatever] is, on the surface, nothing more than a (hopefully) small detail, it’s actually a tipping point for a much deeper frustration, disappointment or aggravation. In which case your “here we go again” is actually an invitation to probe more deeply to discover what’s really going on for the other person. Maybe it’s not just about leaving the keys in the lock, maybe it’s much more about the realization that we’ve been vulnerable to soundless entry into the house during the night, with who-knows-what possible consequences!

My guess, born out of more than a few years’ experience of the human condition is the second option is usually the more likely one. After all, you know that the [whatever] is, on the surface, a pretty minor issue when all is said and done, and you’re already paying more attention to it than you used to, aren’t you? (Aren’t you … ?)

So here’s your challenge for the week. Next time your inner voice says to you “here we go again!” try digging a little deeper to ask yourself “What’s really going on here? What am I missing in the bass notes?”