#50: Relationships: Is It a Match?
Relationships: Is It a Match?
In true Sunday fashion, I’ve chosen a topic that has repeatedly presented itself to me over the past week. I will start with a story (you’re welcome!)
I dated this guy for like a minute last year (okay, it was a little over a month). On what turned out to be our last date, we were having dinner, and he was telling me about one situation after the next… including things that hadn’t even happened yet… and they were all dramatic situations with negative outcomes. My mind actually got a little tired, and I was kind of confused: how is it possible that absolutely EVERYTHING is bad?
I was waiting for a shift, a re-frame…
maybe, “It was a rough week, but tomorrow should look up,” or SOMETHING. I got nothing.
Then, as he finished telling me his stories, it occurred to me that this was a pattern I hadn’t noticed before… painting the red flags green is a specialty of mine, for those of you who have not read my book (why haven’t you read it?!). Trying to help, I made a couple of gentle suggestions as to how to look at the positive side of one or two of the situations, or at least not to assign a negative outcome in advance of something actually happening. He wouldn’t listen. He insisted, “It’s always one thing or another; I’m always just planning for the next catastrophe.” After a brief moment, I said,
“You know what I just realized? You’re always expecting the catastrophe, and I’m always expecting the miracle.”
I knew at that point there was no way we would be a good match. It is one thing to have a bad day or a bad week, to feel stressed or upset, and of course to have someone to talk to about it. That is part of a healthy relationship. You say it out loud, get it out of your system, feel supported, and end up feeling a bit better. There’s a positive shift. However, when one person is chronically negative and refuses to be supported, and the other person is chronically positive and keeps trying to help… there is a mismatch.
It is important to match in your relationships. What I mean is that you should complement each other (not to be confused with complimenting, which is really nice too!). You don’t have to be exactly the same – not only is that impossible, but it’s also boring – however:
You will flourish most around others who bring out the best in you, and vice versa.
Even with vast differences, if you bring out the best in each other, that is a match. It is complementary. If you’re at complete odds… not so much a match. When thinking on this, remember to consider the type of relationship. Romantic relationships should be viewed a bit more cautiously because your lives will end up being very intertwined, while there is more flexibility in friendships, acquaintances, etc. because you don’t necessarily live together or share finances, families, or future life goals.
This topic could take an entire book to explore (hmmm… maybe book #3?!); but for now, I encourage you to take a look at your relationships. These include romantic relationships, family, friends, co-workers… really anyone you spend a significant amount of time with.
Do you lift each other up? Is there a sense of balance and reciprocity? How do you handle energy shifts?
You don’t necessarily have to make drastic changes – you could do something as simple as putting a time limit on a phone call, adjusting your expectations, or sending a silent blessing to someone who is having a rough day. There are little ways to protect your own energy and mindset even when in the presence of others who are on a different page.
Just a few thoughts for your Sunday afternoon!
Until next week, Be Well and Be Good!
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