“I feel like I give, and give, and get nothing back. What can I do?”
Dr Allegra says….
What would life be like if there was less yelling on a regular basis if there was less frustration, more ease, greater amounts of happiness, and deeper levels of being able to listen and connect?
What if arguing wasn’t a default way to communicate?
How would your relationships change if this life was a possibility for you?
Relationships can be the best and worst thing about being human.
BUT YOU HAVE OPTIONS!!!
This is the second post debunking relationship myths.
Check out the first myth here where I talk more about my personal relationship with my husband and our journey.
You can find myth #2 here.
MYTH #3: You have to give to get
To a certain extent, of course, relationships are an interplay. That’s just what they are. But, we twist this into, “Well, I did this for you, so why didn’t you do that for me?” It doesn’t work that way. We need to find ways to give in relationships that, simultaneously, nourish that person and nourish ourselves.
If you give and give and give and give, you deplete yourself, then where are you? You have completely driven that well to a level of dryness where you can no longer nourish yourself or anyone else. Then, no one benefits. This is a really, really important concept of which to be mindful. When you give, you have to just allow yourself to give without any expectation of specific return.
I experienced a version of this where, for a Christmas gift, I spent a lot of time and energy into finding this gift that I thought was perfect for the person. I gave it to them, and thought, “Oh, my gosh, this is so great.” And, they responded, “Oh…um, thanks.”
We have to accept the fact that when you give you don’t always get anything back. You have to do it because you want to, not with the expectation of return. This includes gifts, physical or emotional, that you put a lot of time and energy into. You might think that this is perfect for them, and that they need this, but they may not feel the same way. But, that shouldn’t negate the gift. Can you allow yourself to feel the joy of giving without having a parade thrown in your honor as a “thank you”?
There is also a flip side to that. If there’s a relationship, in which one person is too unwilling to receive or give, that makes for a one-sided relationship.
It’s important to let the other people in your life know what you expect and what you will not allow. This is not being mean. It’s just setting your boundaries and holding it. This is beneficial for other people as well as you. When you set boundaries, they learn how to communicate with you, and you can communicate with them. If they are going to repeatedly stomp all over your boundaries and do things that you have asked them not to in the past. You’ll need to say, “This is unacceptable. Do not do this again.” Yet, if you keep showing up and allowing yourself to be part of this experience, this boundary demolition is on you, as well as them. Personal accountability of relationships is essential. Ultimately, boundaries have nothing to do with anybody else, it’s up to you.
In the next post in this series, I’ll cover another myth about relationships. Your homework for today is to see how you can nourish your relationships by reminding yourself that even the best relationships require patience and kind attention.
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