Ever been in a three-legged race and your partner has a broken leg? I haven’t either but I imagine you wouldn’t get very far! This is what happens when we tie ourselves to the wrong people. It makes progress in any direction slow and cumbersome. And while I’m all for helping people and propping them up, at some point we need to recognize when they are bringing us down.
In past Weekly Wellnesses we’ve discussed the importance of choosing the right squad and personal growth within a partnership, but this week we wanted to look at how to choose the right partner from jump! And by partner, we mean husband or wife, business partner, or even that “go-to” person who you share a significant amount of time with. Why is this important? You'd be surprised at how much of that person's energy/ mood/ vibe, whatever you want to call it, affects your own.
Back in the day, your girl loved crazy. For some reason I found myself attracted to the wild and erratic energy from both friends and lovers. And while exciting at the time, those relationships generally added unnecessary drama, and in the end, only slowed my personal growth.
For me these relationships proved to be a bizarre form of entertainment and distraction, kind of like watching bad television. You watch it, you know it provides zero value, but you do it anyway. The biggest problem here is, hours can go by and you don't even realize it. Apply this to our close partnerships and we're talking years of life with little outside of mild entertainment to show for it. Learn from my mistakes and choose better! Your future, happy and peaceful self will thank you ;)
So how do we choose wisely? First, and for the reasons described above, you want to make sure you’re choosing to be with someone out of a desire to truly connect and not just out of boredom. There's a saying, "Idle hands are the devil’s play things." I agree. When bored, we have a tendency to accept whatever just because we believe that something is better than nothing.
This leads me to my second point. Something is not always better than nothing. Our time is valuable. If you think back to the three-legged race, I think we'd all choose to stay on the sidelines rather than struggle every inch to some imaginary finish-line (I could deviate here about that fictional finish-line of getting married and/or having kids by a certain age, but I'll save that for another post!).
Finally, whoever suggested that relationships always be a 50/50 share of duties and responsibilities is a hopeful optimist. At some point a relationship suffers from one partner just not being able to give you what you need. This too applies in business, friendship or in the home. Be willing to give 60% to the person you choose. If you’re willing (and without resentment!) and able to give more than you receive at times, it's a relationship that has potential to thrive.
At the end of the day, the goal of any relationship is to make us better - whether we're helping our partner or they are helping us. If we look for this in the connections we make, both people will be better off and the relationship stronger for it. And since you can’t choose your family as the saying goes, choose everyone else wisely.
THE BLACK ZEN TEAM
The key to building any relationship starts with us. Being able to see our own behavior clearly will help guide our interactions with others. Insight into our own patterns starts with silence.