I keep thinking that with each post, they’ll get easier to write. This hasn’t been the case, because with each post comes a new hurdle to overcome. The hurdle this time involves how to appropriately incorporate other people. The more people that are involved, the more muddy the waters get, especially when talking about the topics discussed in this blog. The waters get muddy when incorporating others in what’s written here, but they also get quite muddy when getting into trouble. Sometimes, the involvement of other people can make or break your troubleventure, which is why this important variable is the topic of step two.
Have a Partner in Crime
There are very few circumstances in which we find ourselves stumbling upon troublesome situations without first having someone there to open us up to them. More often than not, we have a friend, a loved one, a significant other, or even just a coworker or acquaintance who invites us into the world of trouble. Such situations could include things like alcohol, drugs, even sex, or simply engaging in behaviors or activities that we didn’t previously think to do.
It’s unfortunate that some people are opened up to trouble by someone that shouldn’t be trusted, but it happens. There is one sort of defense against these types of people or situations. It’s not foolproof, but it does get better with time and experience. If you’re someone who has been on enough troubleventures, whether flying solo or with a partner, then you’ve probably learned over time who can be trusted and who can’t. Speaking from experience, I can say without a doubt that your gut, your first impression or instinct about someone, is not something you should ignore. If your gut is throwing up red flags, flailing its arms in the air like a crazy person, and screaming at you to rethink something, listen to it. Your gut, first and foremost, is the partner in crime that you should trust the most. I always listen to my gut, and if it’s telling me that someone or something isn’t right, then I hightail it out of there, even if nothing seems to be amiss. For all I know I might’ve dodged a bullet, metaphorically or even literally. You just never know. (Well, sometimes you know.)
Your gut probably won’t be the one you refer to as your ‘partner in crime’, which is okay. Having someone else to have fun with, get into trouble with, and go on troubleventures with, is highly encouraged, if you’re going to do such things. Your gut certainly can’t be your lookout or the getaway driver, should you find yourself in such predicaments. With that being said, just like in step one, there are some general guidelines or rules for finding and having a partner in crime that this pseudo-guide follows:
- Make sure you trust them BEFORE getting into trouble with them. I’m not sure this one can be stressed enough, because it is one of the most important points here. If you don’t know the person well enough, or don’t trust them 100%, then it should not seem at all like a good idea to get into trouble with them. You need to know that if you have their back, they’ll also have yours.
- Partners in crime need to ultimately have each other’s best interests at heart, including health, well-being and safety. This coincides with the trust factor, but still needs to be stated. If your partner in crime is encouraging you to do something that puts your health, well-being, or life at risk (beyond the small risks involved with getting into trouble), when they know it is dangerous or unsafe, do not trust them. You want a partner who encourages you to live another day so you can have fun together, not someone who encourages life-threatening, or unsafe behaviors and activities.
- Learn to be self-aware, and aware of your relationship. This one is important for two reasons. First, being self-aware is something I encourage everyone to do, and it will be discussed in greater detail in a later post. Being self-aware and aware of your relationships will better equip you to know when something isn’t right. Mastering self-awareness is something that takes time and a lot of experience. Be patient though, it’s worth it.
- The relationship between partners in crime should be both give and take, 50/50. This guideline comes more from personal experience, and can be hard to see while in the relationship*. It does involve being self-aware and aware of where your relationship is at with the person, at all times. The damage that’s done in this type of relationship can be devastating, mainly to the person doing all the giving. I was the ‘giver’ in my relationship, and while our experiences together were beyond words, things I’ll likely never experience again, I know that none of it could’ve been possible if I’d expected and demanded for 50/50.
- Being partners in crime, you both need to learn some valuable life lessons, or go through some personal growth, over the course of the relationship. Not only do your experiences together end up teaching you something, so should the relationship itself. A lot can be learned about one’s self, about relationships, or about people in general. The lessons learned, or wisdom gained from the relationship may not be immediately obvious, however. In some cases, those lessons learned may not be realized until well past the end of the relationship.
- Lastly, three’s a crowd, and so is anything more than that. Partners means there are two of you, and when you try including more people, it throws things off balance, so to speak. I am sure others have had successful troubleventures, successful relationships with more than one person when getting into trouble, but the more people you add, the more risk and uncontrollable variables you end up adding to the mix. You rarely ever see anyone in the movies successfully robbing a bank when there’s three, four, or five people involved. Either someone can’t be trusted, or someone screws up, and the bank robbery fails. Getting into trouble in real life is kind of like that, minus the bank robbery.