Monday, September 15, 2014

Better Relationships Through Balance

Photo credit: DiZel from

You might notice that one of the underlying themes in much of my writing is balance. When our bodies are healthy, they are said to be "in balance." Experiencing homeostasis. The blood Ph level is hovering somewhere around 7.35. Body temperature right near 98.6 degrees F. Blood pressure rates vary a little bit more, but with all of these indicators, anything more than a slight shift can cause great disturbance.

The same can be said about human relationships. Whether we’re talking romantic relationships, friendships, family, or even relationships with co-workers, if you focus too much on the other person's flaws or weak points, you miss everything you are adding to the equation. On the opposite end, if you focus too much on your own flaws, you can miss or downplay questionable or negative behavior the other person might be displaying. You might even take responsibility for their bad behavior, thinking that "you did something to deserve it." And definitely, no matter what, too much focus on your own flaws will make you a pretty unpleasant person to be with. Always apologizing. Always thinking you did something wrong. Always feeling like you're never good enough. None of that is attractive.

So, balance. Self reflection is an essential ingredient, but so is being able to drop that and pay attention to the other person. Learning to detect red flags in another, like the person who seems a little too keen to impress you, is an invaluable skill. However, so is recognizing the subtle and not so subtle good qualities in a person.

Better relationships with others starts with being able to balance internal awareness with external awareness. From this place, we’re more able to share, create healthy boundaries, and love well.