A young woman came to see me about her relationships. She needed to change her behaviour as she had recently married. Apparently her husband was constantly telling her that she was childish, having tantrums, and sulking. This lady was not ‘being’ the person he thought she should be.
When she told me this, alarm bells rang. From her description, the relationship with her husband was a careful relationship. This is a relationship where you cannot be yourself. You ‘tip-toe’ around watching what you say and do. It is where you allow the other person to impose their values on you. This means that you have to demean yourself. You cannot be who you are!
This is a recipe for disaster in all relationships as you will eventually get fed up and rebel. Hence her temper tantrums. All relationships should be equal. When you impose your values on someone you have a careless relationship. When you allow someone to impose their values on you you create a careful relationship. Let me explain this in more detail:
A careful relationship is where ‘one’ person is minding their words, actions. This person ‘tolerates’ behaviours and attitudes from their partner, they would not do normally. Allows the other person to decide or over-ride their choices or preferences. The ‘careful’ partner is more invested in the relationship lasting, so they are careful not to upset their partner and try to keep the peace.
A careless relationship is where the partner is very happy with the status quo. Everything is good, they do what they want, when they want. They know, either consciously or subconsciously, that they have the ‘upper hand’ in the relationship. They are ‘careless’ about their partners’ feelings as they know ‘they’ won’t leave.
These types of relationships lead to disharmony and conflict because as said before the person who has to demean themselves is fighting against it.
It is innate in us to be who we are. It is also one of the hardest things to be. When we try to be who we are not we will eventually rebel and disharmony occur. The world is in balance and when we accept who we are then we are in balance. So how do we find out who we are?
The answer is that to be who we are we need to know what our top five values are. Our lives and ourselves are demonstrated by our top values. The biggest problem is that we are not aware of what they are. Even though we spend our lives fulfilling our top values we don’t know what they are.
A value is something that we perceive is missing or is a void in our lives. The more it is missing or the greater the void the more important it is. We each have a unique set of values and when we live our lives in accordance with our top values we are who we are.
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