In Part 1, we considered why having the right partner in a loving relationship can be such an incredible part of having a Full Life. We then looked at four personal qualities in a potential partner that increase the chances of creating a powerful, empowering and mutually fulfilling relationship.
In Part 2 we’ll look at another six.
5. Emotionally Open and Mature
A relationship involves emotions, so being able share feelings honestly is very important. It ensures that no energy is wasted with one person trying to breach walls the other has a hard time letting down. Certainly, trust needs to be earned, but as time goes on you should see a gradual opening up. Otherwise you may just be wasting time and your emotions.
Some people fear showing affection and love. They have so many tests for their partner to pass before they give love that the relationship gets bogged down in wasted time and unnecessary drama. Part of it may be related to low self-esteem. But part of it may be inability to open up emotionally due to psychological factors, past trauma or history. It is a long time before they feel safe enough to do so. Unfortunately, before this happens the other is usually so drained and unfulfilled that they leave for something better. Read more
Experiences, learning and contribution are important facets of a full Life. They create self-fulfillment because you could have (or do) them without anyone else. But self-fulfillment alone won’t give you a full Life.
Equally essential are the relationships we build and strengthen over time with other people, our personal interactions with them, and the way we change and grow because of them.
Of all these, the most important may be the loving, long-term committed relationship with a special other.
In part 1 we saw that when you start to contribute to other people’s Lives, you sometimes run into unexpected unpleasantness. Such unpleasantness can make giving a horrible experience, which is not what we want. We looked at one of these energy drains – the user. I suggested ways you might deal with this problem.
Today we’ll look at another caveat you should consider – unexpected hostility.
II. Beware Backlash
One thing that you might encounter as you practise giving – especially if you’ve moved beyond immediate family and close friends to acquaintances and strangers – is unexpected backlash. This is negative reaction that can be especially disheartening (provided your motives are pure) simply because we are not conditioned to expecting it in return for acts of kindness (AOKs).
Some people are genuinely suspicious, and hey, it’s understandable. It’s not always a nice world out there. When someone – especially one we don’t know well or at all – does something nice, it’s normal to be suspicious. Too many people are ‘spoiling the market’ of giving. An acquaintance offers you a kind word as a funnel to sending you to an MLM meeting. A player offers a girl a compliment as a setup to getting her to put out. A stranger offers to help carry your grocery shopping and then runs away with them.
So it’s no wonder people are suspicious.
Does this mean stop giving? Read more