If the digital age has brought us anything, it has been more open communication. What I’ve seen very recently, and has blown up on social media in the mum community especially, is discussions about weaponised incompetence.
When Mad Men marketing campaigns sold Hoovers and tumble dryers, you were pitched the breadwinner and the homemaker dynamic. And it’s taken many generations to shift away from that expectation.
What also came with that is the idea that men have an inability to perform simple homemaking tasks.
This dynamic has been decades in the making, and women are taking to social media to highlight weaponised incompetence.
This is when your partner either pretends to not know how to do something or says they cannot do it because they know it will get done anyway.
This is still a common issue in many relationships.
When you have both strengths and weaknesses in any relationship, you can either:
- Weaponise each others strengths and weaknesses to your own personal advantage, creating a detrimental dynamic
- Use them to your advantage to create a stronger dynamic.
The reason I wanted to offer my insight on the topic is to fully gauge why this is still happening today.
Surely, with the world discussing outdated standards, abuse, sexism, male mental health, we should be past the point of couples finding it difficult to get what they want from their partner?
Well, we still have a long way to go. Even if you believe you have found your soulmate, there can still be bumps in the road if you allow your relationship to go with the current.
This is where habits form such as, in this instance, women taking the lead and having high expectations of housework and therefore would rather do it themselves, or men acknowledging this and convincing themselves that even their attempt will never be good enough.
When you commit to a long-term relationship, you must understand how to use those attributes to strengthen the partnership rather than use them for your personal gain.
You can avoid and even quash weaponised incompetence by:
- Agreeing on expectations of eachothers place in the home
- Clarifying the difference between asking for help and showing incompetence
- Having these conversations regularly, especially when you believe one partner has began to show bad habits again.
A successful relationship comes from transparency and honestly, regularly. Understand how you got to this place and what has been expected of your relationship from each perspective. Does it make you happy? And have you discussed this openly with your partner?
Weaponised Incompetence occurs in a simple breakdown of communication.
I use the word simple because it is easy to forget and it is common in most relationships. What is not so simple is breaking that silence.
If you believe you have fallen into this pattern, start today by opening those lines of communication. Even a small conversation can create a strong springboard for breaking this cycle.