In the process of living, social dynamics are inevitable. When two individuals interact, challenges can ensue. These challenges often arise when expectations become apparent as a friendship or relationship develops. These expectations may be connected to a fear of either losing something they have or not getting something they want out of the relationship. Fear can then motivate each person to try to control the other person through manipulation. This may occur because one or both believes this behavior will result in the fulfillment of their expectations. To make matters worse, such a struggle may instigate passive aggressive behaviors by both parties.
Although control and manipulation may temporarily force a solution, the long-term consequence of such a dynamic will undermine the relationship.
In the event that these expectations are not satisfied, resentments may become an insidious cancer that eats away at the relationship. If these resentments are not addressed, a power struggle may become an integral part of the relationship, as each person jockeys to have their expectations met. Passive-aggressive behaviors may then be used to side step being controlled or manipulated. The foundation of the relationship may then begin to crack under the weight of such resentments. Apart from one or both parties using the principle of detachment and personal accountability, the relationship will crumble under the weight of unmet expectations.
“If you can not find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” Marvin Gaye
What I have learned about detachment is that detachment is not meant to keep the other person out, but to keep me in — so I do not lose myself. Personal accountability means that I keep the focus on myself while being responsible for my feelings, needs and wants. In addition to keeping the focus on myself, I need to examine my part in the cycle of unmet expectations. By examining what part I am playing in the relationship, I am able to examine my motives, be honest with myself and with the other person in the relationship. I then need to be accountable to myself by working on my resentments so that they do not undermine the relationship.
“Reality is only seen when the mirror is clean.” Author unknown
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” Abraham Lincoln
With my understanding, I can give each person the dignity for making those choices. Detachment allows me to accept that I have choices too. Subsequently, I no longer need to be held hostage to people and their choices. Detachment allows me to accept where I begin and other people end. I am then free to accept that I am responsible for — my own happiness and contentment. Control and manipulation then no longer need to be factors when making a decision. Personal responsibility creates a win-win outcome with in the relationship. As each party owns the choices, unmet expectations no longer have to destabilize the relationship.
I have found that it is not in my power to change other people. It is my responsibility to change me. Personal responsibility and accountability encourages personal empowerment. Personal responsibility and accountability provides an environment where positive synergy can foster and encourage empowerment within a relationship. Personal responsibility and accountability gives the individual the ability to give, when and where they are able to give; from what they have come to understand and accept about themselves, and about themselves with in the relationship. Personal responsibility and accountability then in turn allows the relationship to breath.
“Sometimes the easiest way to solve a problem is to stop participating in the problem.” Jonathan Mead
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb trees, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
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