The relationship you have with everyone else is based on your relationship with you.
The goal is to create a functional “committee” out of the mental struggle. When this is achieved, it is then possible to feel upset about something, sympathize with the part of your mind that's upset, and still be thinking calmly about the solution to the problem. Amazing!
Knowing how to talk to yourself about your problems is a true blessing. How often have each of us wished for “someone to talk to” about something? How often have we been willing to be that “someone” for another person? Just as an experiment, try getting your capacity to listen and support together with your need to be heard and supported. You'll find out it works!
I know, it sounds, well, weird. That's the dysfunction in the society talking. It's not weird , it's healthy. Knowing I can and will ‘be there’ for myself is at the heart of self-esteem. As you understand how to respond to yourself, you’ll create a role model for healthy relationships with others: friends, family, lovers, and colleagues. You’ll also recognize the others who are willing to relate to you in a healthy manner, and be capable of relating to them in the same way.
As you become totally honest with yourself, you’ll learn to catch many of the nasty relationship surprises before they happen. You’ll instinctively know when you’re being lied to, and it won't work on you. You’ll clearly see the difference between love and dependency, and choose to love and be loved. You’ll be able to recognize and stay out of relationship drama, because you’ll know that healthy people can be honest, ask for what they want, and accept “no” for an answer.
The more self-supporting and functional you become, the less you lean too heavily on anyone else. Relationships become mutual, with a balance between supporting yourself and others. No one needs to avoid you because you do not demand what others are not prepared to give. You can get what you need from yourself, and enjoy what others want to freely give.
Does it sound good? To create this change, begin by rebuilding the critical, negative voice in your head, until it is giving you the kind of support you always wanted, like a friend who loves and supports you. Take other people off the hook, and you'll be free to have a new kind of relationships. As you see others more objectively, and less from the perspective of your needs, you'll see them differently, and love and forgiveness will become available, for yourself and for them.
From It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction © 2004 Tina B. Tessina (New Page) ISBN 1_56414_548_4 © Tina B.Tessina, 2008
This article was originally published at Tina B. Tessina. Reprinted with permission from the author.