The Importance Of Reciprocal Relationships

Tomorrow two people from our treatment program are going home after completing their stay with us. They both did very well and we all feel hopeful that they are headed in the right direction with their recovery. These times are when this work, as intense as it is, seems worth the effort. These two were very active in their work with us and we gave them lots of ideas, support and encouragement. Reciprocal relationships of this sort work well for the clients and feel positive for the staff. The more we all work hard and give, the more we all get back.

Where in your life is there an even give and take? Hopefully in your relationship with your spouse/partner there is equal sharing and love. Hopefully at work, you give good effort to your employer and you get paid well for doing so. Hopefully with friends there is equal listening and caring. This fair exchange is the way it should be.

What doesn’t feel good is when you give much more, work harder, are a good listener and you don’t get back what you need. This out of balance situation then can become resentment. Resentment means you start feeling wronged and you close down to the situations that are not working for you. This is often the reason relationships come apart, or jobs sour for the employee who feels used, or friendships come apart because the caring and real listening is too one-sided. You have all experienced imbalance in relating to others and you know that cannot go on for long because after awhile self-doubt creeps in and you find yourself wondering how come you ended up in this situation.

The best way to avoid these situations is to keep the communications open. If your partner is not meeting your needs than a conversation needs to happen, not from a blaming point of view but to share what is working and what needs to be worked on. The less judging the better and the more seeking of solutions to resolve issues and soon you will find that both of your needs are being met.

If work is taking advantage of you then it may be time to talk to your supervisor about your concerns. Good employers understand that well-trained, hard working employees are very hard to replace. If they care, then they will look for ways to work with you. Unfortunately the profit-motive-model of business too often considers employees to be expendable if the bottom line can be improved. Working for places like this will probably not feel that positive to you. Keep an eye open for new opportunities where you are valued.

Friendships are a great joy if they are reciprocal. If both care for each other, listen and give support, bring positive energy to the relationship then there is a friend you can count on. Some people however are much better takers than givers, they talk lots and never seem to have time to ask how you are doing. Friends that are a negative and complainers also are not able to give in ways that feel good.

Sometime in your own movement toward health, you have to leave some relationships and situations behind because they are not working for you. This does not mean you abandon people lightly but instead you make choices for your own good. People and situations who use and take advantage of you are not your problem so let them go. Your life and doing what is best for you is what you must do. That may sound like a closed down heart but instead it is showing real heart for you and sets you free to give to those that care enough to care.

It may be most helpful to see that all people are looking out for what is best for them, what else could they do. You need not take the actions or intentions of others personally. Instead find those who are healthy to be around, who are kind and caring, and who can enjoy both giving and receiving. These are people well worth spending time with and mutually beneficial.

Last nights golf league was so much fun. Have a wonderful day.