In this chapter, we shall understand the concept of agreeing without accepting. We start off by reiterating that Kay is a liar. Kay is not interested in making you feel better. Kay is only interested in pulling you down. So, Kay will always lie to you. Always! Kay may tell you that you don’t like your partner’s laughter. Or, that your partner does not love you anymore. So, you have a choice. Either argue with Kay and try to disprove whatever Kay is alleging through your intrusive thoughts or simply agree with Kay without accepting the meaning of the thoughts. What exactly is agreeing without accepting? Are they even different?
Let me give you an example. Suppose you are babysitting your nephew and your nephew wants to play cops and robbers with you. At one point in the game, your nephew holds out two fingers like a pistol and pretends to shoot you. Bang, bang! Since you are playing along, you put your hands to your chest and pretend to be shot. You act as if you have been hurt by your nephew’s imaginary gun.
When you do that, you are agreeing without accepting. You are agreeing to play along and you pretend to be shot. But you don’t accept that you have been shot, you don’t start panicking, and head to the hospital. The understanding that you are playing along in a game enables you to differentiate between agreeing and accepting and you put it into practice without even realizing it.
However, when ROCD strikes the distinction between the two terms seems to become difficult. You not only agree with what Kay is telling you, but you also accept it. Let us say Kay tells you that your partner does not love you anymore. You need to respond to Kay by saying ‘Probably. I don’t care‘. But when you think of saying it, it causes you anxiety. You cannot bring yourself to say it because to your mind, it would mean accepting that your partner does not love you anymore, which is not a pleasant feeling.
But you know that Kay lies to you. If you want to win over Kay, you need to lie back to Kay. So, you say it. You say, ‘Probably. I don’t care’. When you say that, you agree with Kay. But you know you are lying because you do care. Since Kay does not need to know the truth, letting Kay know that you do care would mean you accept Kay’s assessment. So, you agree with Kay’s words but refuse to accept them. Since you have worked to end the debate, you do not need to accept them. Agree, without accepting and strip Kay of any power over you. If you agree and refuse to accept, Kay will have to beat a retreat sooner or later. This way you can systematically decimate Kay’s hold over you.
This completes the section here. In the next section, we shall look at the recovery process in ROCD and what it entails.