Without consent we are just guessing
Consent is the agreement reached by two or more people. This may involve a certain amount of negotiation; for each person to realise what they want, to communicate and listen to find a mutual agreement. Without consensual agreement we are fumbling around in the dark. This can include guessing what the other person may want or be available for. If we have an intuition in relating, we can check this out by asking the other whether our inkling is correct, and get clarity rather than just guessing. Why is consent useful? We all have needs and wants as social beings. Without consensual agreement we will probably try to get our needs met in some other way. Examples include expecting, manipulating or trying to force what we want.
With consent we know where we stand
Reaching a consensual agreement can be fun! I invite you to think for a moment of an occasion in your life when this happened. You may recall a time when you wanted something, yet to ask felt quite vulnerable. You may have needed courage to express this because you didn’t know how the other would respond. Do you remember the feeling of being heard and accepted? Reaching agreement with another or others can bring understanding and intimacy between people. When each party express their viewpoint and feels heard and considered there is a calming affect or co-regulation on each person’s nervous system. This is irrespective of any person getting what they asked for. The clarity of knowing where we stand can bring relief, understanding and calm. Additionally, we may even get what we ask for!