“I would give, yet wouldn’t receive reciprocal actions from others. Many of my relationships were very one-sided.”
As I have gotten older (and a bit wiser), one skill I have learned to do is end a relationship that does not serve me or is not beneficial toward my personal advancement. One of the most beautiful elements of growth and maturity is that the things I used to deal with when I was younger I just have no interest in dealing with.
For those that know me, they know that I am truly a giving person. I love to give and help others. Yet, over the years, I began to notice one common element in many of my relationships. I would give, yet wouldn’t receive reciprocal actions from others. Many of my relationships were very one-sided.
When I was younger I didn’t realize that the quality of relationships are more important than quantity. When I finally decided to take a step back a re-evaluate my life several years ago, I realized that many “close” relationships were not of substantial quality. Even more importantly, the relationships did not help me in any way toward my goals and dreams. Some, definitely not all, were either holding me back or making my life harder. In the presence (whether physical or verbal) of these individuals my energy was often depleted and it would takes days to recover from the interaction.
Since it is much easier for me to determine when a relationship is no longer of benefit to me and my future, it is easier to say “ta-ta”to these types of situations. So here are the characteristics that I look for to determine whether a relationship is worth nurturing or not.
- Reciprocity – Is there a mutual exchange between us? Can I count on you for strength and encouragement as you do for me in times of need. This characteristic is closely related to the next one.
- Symbiosis – In biology, I remember learning about symbiosis. It describes how two organisms mutually benefit from their interactions. This is a very important element that I look for. If I find that if only one of us benefits from the relationship then it is not worth nurturing. Here’s a great question to ask to assess this quality – If the individual were to move or die, would I feel a significant sense of loss? If the answer is no, then it’s time to say good bye.
- Care Through Action – Anyone whom demonstrates through action that he/she is supportive of my positive well-being is allowed on my team. Bystanders and spectators are not a part of my team. So, if I start to notice, through action or non-action that you are not interested in being an active participant in my positive growth of development, then I will cut the cord on the “friendship”.
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