This is from the “Daily OM” website. It certainly is great when relationship are balanced and I agree with the author of this that if a relationship is worth it, it is worth discussing unbalanced relationships. Most of us love to give and its healthy to receive as well. Also, no fun having to take someone’s energy “dump” all the time. I had a practice for a while that I would let close family and friends “dump” for just 5 minutes and anything else I set up another time that would be good for both of us to chat so I could have my energy up to handle the “dump”. Seems I don’t have to use this as much, but it really helped me have some boundaries for myself.
September 2, 2011
A Question of Balance
Relationships can become out of balance and one-sided if we don’t occasionally check in with each other.
One of the most beautiful qualities of an intimate relationship is the give and take of energy that occurs between two people. In the best-case scenario, both people share the talking and listening, and the giving and receiving of support, equally. Occasionally, within any relationship, the balance shifts and one person needs to listen more, or give more. Generally, over a long period of time, even this exception will take on a balanced rhythm; we all go through times when we take more and times when we give more.
However, there are also relationships in which the balance has always felt one-sided. You may have a friend whom you like, but you have begun to notice that the conversation is always about their life and their problems and never about yours. You may also have a friend who seems to require an inordinate amount of support from you but who is unable or unwilling to give much in return. Over time, these relationships can be draining and unsatisfying. One option is simply to end the relationship, or let it fade out naturally. Another option is to communicate to your friend that you would like to create a more equal balance in which your concerns also get some airtime. They may be taken aback at first, but if they are able to hear you, your friendship will become that much more sincere. They may even thank you for revealing a pattern that is probably sabotaging more than one relationship in their life.
A third option is to simply accept the relationship as it is. There are many one-sided relationships that actually work. One example of this is a mentor relationship in which you are learning from someone. Another example is a relationship in which you are helping someone who is sick, disabled, or otherwise needy. In these instances, you can simply be grateful that you are able to help and be helped, trusting that the balance of give and take will even out in the big picture of your life.