“There is no such thing as a “self-made” man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.” George Matthews Adams
Feel free to substitute “woman” for “man” in the quote above. While Wonder Woman is out there somewhere taking the world on, all on her own~ it’s a lonely job. Not to mention a job that requires a very high degree of confidence as the outfit appears to be prone to wardrobe malfunctions.
For those lacking an Amazonian pedigree, its important to have a strong support system in place, one that provides you with encouragement and feedback. This can be one of the greatest benefits of having a healthy long term relationship.
In order to build a strong support system, it is important to understand the role of givers and takers in the world. At various points in our lives we may find ourselves alternating between the giver and the taker, but in order for a personal relationship to survive long term, there needs to be a balance between the two. If your relationship is too one-sided, it just won’t last. A relationship with a parasitic taker will only last as long as the taker continues to receive. Unless a giver is able to rid themselves of a parasitic taker, they are usually sucked dry with nothing left to give.
Long term relationships require more of a “mutualistic” relationship- one in which both sides benefit from the relationship. If your relationship feels off balance, then ask yourself what kind of relationship do you have- parasitic or mutualistic? If you find yourself in a parasitic relationship, then be aware of how it might end. It is better to rid yourself of a parasite now, then to wait until you are too weak to do so. If your relationship is generally mutualistic, but feeling one-sided lately, then it’s important to discuss this with your partner. Communication is key to getting things realigned. Just remember, when addressing shortcoming or failures with your partner, you need to layer the message. Start with a positive, then the issue, and finish with a positive – this is a sandwich approach that most people can handle. Also, don’t forget the research by Dr. Gottman (discussed in my post, Are you a stinker? ) that found the positive to negative ratio had better be five to one if a happy relationship is desired.
While the video above is cute and demonstrates positive feedback, it’s also important to give honest feedback. A friend is someone who not only tells the truth, but finds a way to say it so that it doesn’t do more harm than good. If you have a friend like that, then you wouldn’t need a “Lasso of Truth” or have to go it alone like a true Amazonian. Take the quiz below to see how “mutualistic” your relationship is looking.