Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 24 The Relationship Bank

October 15, 2017

By Paula O’Sullivan

Relationship Bank

Photo courtesy of pexels.com

I wish I’d been aware of the concept of a relationship bank account in my early years of relationships, it would have saved everyone concerned so much pain.

It was after reading Steven Covey’s book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ that I raised my awareness. I had been accused on many occasions over the years of ‘keeping score’, but in all honesty, I could see that things weren’t balanced. I was giving way more in my relationships and feeling more than a tad resentful. But there isn’t any blame in my mind now, I see that I didn’t have the confidence or the sense of worthiness to actually ask for what I wanted. I was caught up in my childhood conditioning of how I thought things were meant to be, based on the ways I saw relationships playing out around me. See my article ‘It’s a Generational Thing – Part 20’.

Healthy relationships aim to meet each other’s needs. If you consider the concept of ‘Evolve or Die’, all things must continue to grow, or they die. Ideas evolve or grow into plans and actions, or else they die as unfulfilled wishes. In the same way, relationships and friendships evolve with the building of trust, honesty, communication, clear expectations, integrity, little kindnesses, courtesies, and sincerity. A healthy relationship is about giving and receiving. If we don’t have these little things, we can develop anger, resentment, bitterness, mistrust and conflict. We must put more deposits into the relationship bank to enable it to flourish, and aim to make fewer withdrawals. If you’re wondering why you would bother, then ask yourself why you are staying in that relationship to begin with. Check out my article called ‘Meeting Your Unmet Needs – Part 22’.

So how do we make a deposit? How do we make our relationships better and happier? How do we evolve?

Understanding

It’s really essential that we try to understand the other person’s point of view. Most of us are trying to get our view understood first. We are all reacting based on our own experiences, which may be different from another person’s. If we ask questions to find out how the other person feels, we will maybe understand their perspective and perhaps see how our actions may or may not have contributed. Most of us have a basic need to be listened to, to feel that what we are expressing is valid. You’ll make a serious withdrawal if you invalidate what someone says they are feeling, because it’s real for them. Sometimes we have subconscious scripts playing in our minds based on how unworthy we feel etc. and this can colour our perceptions, but if you want your relationship to blossom, it’s worth taking the time to listen to each other and try to understand where they might be coming from.

Expectations

Most of our thoughts and feelings of hurt and frustration happen when someone’s behaviour doesn’t meet our expectations. The most difficult thing for most of us, is to actually ask the other person what they expect from us, and to tell them what we expect from them. We prefer to mind read instead – it’s much less confrontational – there’s much less chance of being rejected! But this can drive you batshit crazy, because you start making up a lot of stories in your head, which may not be the full truth of the situation at all! When expectations aren’t met, people fall out, become distant, argue a lot and sometimes have affairs and or leave.

Here’s a rather open-minded question based on a perspective I reached from my own personal experiences with this. If you’re not meeting someone’s needs and they have an affair, who’s cheating who? Just something to ponder on.

Keeping your promises

Do what you say you will do. Say what you mean, and mean what you say, if you want to keep a healthy relationship balance. This will build trust, and trust is hugely important. It’s also very imperative that you keep your promises to yourself also, otherwise, you’ll probably spend the rest of your life mentally beating yourself up, and metaphysically you’ll start attracting those people who will emotionally abuse you. I know, because this is what happened to me until I changed things.

Appreciation

Mutual appreciation, admiration and gratitude are real relationship builders. It’s the little daily genuine compliments, concern, kindnesses, courtesies, the wanting the very best for the other, that creates a healthy relationship balance.

 Honesty

Admit and apologize sincerely when you fuck up. We all do it at some stage, we’re busy, we’re careless, we have our pride, we don’t ask for what we want. If you break the trust you have between you, it’s like smashing a plate and glueing it back together. The cracks will still be there, you’ve weakened your relationship, and you’ve made a withdrawal. If you were depositing regularly your relationship might survive this, if you weren’t, it may not.

Part 25 – Victim or Victor – Dropping the Stories.

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Life Coach / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 18

November 6, 2015

Interdependent

Interdependence

By Paula O’ Sullivan

Most of us interact in only two ways in our relationships, either through a state of dependence or independence. We have not learnt that everything we seek is inside of us already. We are not aware of our inner power. We seek happiness outside of ourselves, in relationships, or in the accumulation of material possessions etc. Dependence on others or things to completely satisfy our needs can leave us very vulnerable, as our expectations invariably won’t get met a lot of the time. Independence means we don’t really seek out the help of others, we become kind of disconnected from each other, as we strive to meet our own needs only. But there is another way of being, it’s called interdependence.

Let’s compare the three ways of being in relationships.

Interdependence is a way of being and acting that takes into account your needs and at the same time cares about others’ needs, instead of trying to just please or ignore others’ needs.

Dependence is being guided by what others think or what they ask you to do, it’s about trying to please others without regard for what you want. Sometimes it can also be about what you will get from an interaction, as opposed to what you can give. This can build up great walls of anger and resentment.

Independence is, in a way, ignoring others and our coexistence, it’s about wanting to deal with everything on your own, and in your own way and not acknowledge a need for support.

With Interdependence, we strive for balance in all our interactions. We aim for ‘win /win’, i.e. both parties have their say, both parties get their needs met without compromise, or it’s a ‘no deal’. If we make a sacrifice, then the other party will also make one to balance the arrangement. With dependence and independence, most of us don’t really listen, we base what we hear from others on our own autobiographical experiences. With interdependence we seek first to really understand the wants and needs of others, before we try to be understood ourselves. We begin the dance of creative cooperation between each other.  We begin to value our differences and respect each other’s uniqueness. We aim not to blame when things don’t work out, but seek instead to examine, the causes and effects of all behaviours involved, with each party accepting full responsibility for the part they have played.

Being interdependent with others becomes a balanced energy exchange, with neither party draining the other. Each stays true to their selves, and become involved without the demand that either should sacrifice their values or integrity. It paves the way for open communication and honesty. It creates a safe environment where both parties can become aware of their needs. We realize that we can’t change anyone, we can only change our behaviour, so we treat others as we’d like to be treated, and we won’t tolerate for long, not being treated with respect.  We begin to view ourselves as already whole, balanced and complete, there is nothing to gain from anyone. Our interactions become a mutual giving, to enhance, not to fill a void. We create and maintain healthy boundaries, knowing how to give help, but also knowing when to protect our own energy and health by saying no.

Part 19 – Addicted

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 11

March 2, 2015

The Happiness Ratio

smiley

‘At any moment, you have a choice that leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Letting go, gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness, if in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

There have been many researchers claiming to have found a mathematical formula for finding happiness. Some said the ratio was three positives to every one negative, and others claimed that the ratio was five positives to a negative in order to be happy and flourish. But how can anyone really measure such a thing? We are all responding to things in our own unique way, based on our individual experiences.

Personally I found in times of crises, when I was feeling low and overwhelmed, it was very difficult to find any positives. When we’re feeling low, we have a distorted perception of things, everything seems to be going wrong, and knowing about the ratio doesn’t necessarily help to make it any better.

However as I practiced becoming aware of my thoughts (part 1) and by developing my emotional intelligence (part 9) I discovered that I could change my perception. That as I changed my thoughts about things, the things I thought about changed, in a way. I saw that a situation was just a situation, I could think about it in many ways, which could affect how I felt about it. I could be either miserable or happy.

I found that by cultivating an attitude of gratitude in everything, that I was able to tip the balance. I was able to become happy regardless of what happened. Suddenly my awareness was focused on all that was going right in my life, even though it could easily have seemed like a shambles. I would shift my focus again and again each time. I would just keep asking myself, ‘Tell me one thing that’s going right… great now another… now another’ Then my mind would focus on all that was missing, that it thought I needed to be happy. So I would shift my focus to all that I did have, even though at times it wasn’t much. I’ve been lucky enough to always have clothes to wear, to have a roof over my head, some money, no matter how meagre and some food to eat. So by viewing it from that perspective, I was luckier than some. I could be grateful about that.

And like the quote at the start of the article says, we have a choice in any moment to move closer to our spirit or away from it. Your spirit sees life as an adventure with different opportunities to learn and grow from your experiences.

It is our attachment through our thoughts about things that keeps us from finding happiness. You can find happiness right now, this moment if you wish, by just enveloping yourself in gratitude for all that you do have right now, it turns everything into more than enough. And yes the personality will always want something more, will always want things to be different right now, but you get to choose what you want to put your focus on, and if those things make you feel good, you will have found your happiness ratio.

Part 12  Being Proactive

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


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