If you need your relationships to make you ok, you’ll never be ok.
In a previous blog post, I talked about the dangers of giving too much in relationships. While being too giving in relationships is dangerous, being too needy is a problem as well. We all know someone who defines themselves by their relationships, and most of us have done it ourselves at times. When the relationship is going well, life is going well. The skies are blue, the birds are singing, and everything is perfect! When the relationship breaks down however, life breaks down. It’s hard to get out of bed, and everything seems gray. It’s normal to be down when a relationship fails, it’s not healthy to feel as if you have nothing valuable left in your life.
There are some things you can only do for yourself.
It’s easy when you care deeply about someone to think very highly of their opinion. You admire that person or you wouldn’t be dating them or be their friend. The danger comes when you defer all of your thoughts and decisions to that person. Even if you think they are really smart, you shouldn’t share all of the same opinions. You need to be able to think for yourself. There are parts of you that won’t grow unless you take time to think through things for yourself. So, don't just adopt the viewpoints of others.
If you need someone for everything, you will eventually blame someone for everything.
When you go along with what your friends decide in situations instead of thinking things through and deciding for yourself, you will also blame your friends when those decisions go wrong. It’s a toxic cycle. In life, we are guaranteed to make mistakes. If we are humble, we can grow from those bad decisions. If you depend on others to make decisions for you, you will never learn by making the normal mistakes that the rest of us make. Few things hinder growth more than blaming others for the things that aren’t working in your life.
If you define yourself by them, you’ll never find you.
You matter. You have unique insights. You are a combination of talents and experiences that is unlike anyone else. When you live off of the approval of your friends or family, however, you will slowly stop being you, and start trying to be the person they think you should be. It’s important to listen to and learn from the people around us. That doesn’t mean that we should mindlessly become what others want us to be. The two most dangerous people in the world are those who listen to and follow every voice they hear and those who refuse to listen to or follow any voice.
Relationships are wonderful and life-giving, but you can only fully enjoy them, if you learn to be yourself first. If you are not happy with who you are before you have a relationship, you will never be happy with yourself in a relationship.