Balancing Your Relationship

After developing your listening skills and becoming efficient in how YOU listen to others, you will begin to have relationships with others. Your life journey depends greatly on how these relationships turn out. Are YOU dominating the relationships or are YOU being dominated? Your answer to this last question will determine the way you see yourself and the way others see you. Your perception of yourself and that of others is a “sin qua non” of the success of your life journey. In order to evolve and develop your relationships, (and you need to do this) there is the necessity for you to have a balanced relationship. The way and manner you communicate in a relationship is determined and controlled by your interpersonal relationship. Relationships are, however, built on harmony, trust, faith and balance. The ability of those involved in a relationship to look at each other as equal partners and stakeholders in the relationships enhances interpersonal communication.

Balance in relationship rests on acceptance, and the ability of making sure that what you receive in a relationship is what you give. There are cases where one of the partners in a relationship contributes more than the other but it is clear that where balance exists in relationships, the higher the ability of the relationship to succeed and develop. When a relationship stabilizes and what one gives is what one receives or a little more than you give, the relationship can then move towards growth. The level of sharing and harmony determines the level of communication within a relationship. In addition, whenever the partner who receives more than he gives to the relationship becomes satisfied or satiated, he will always dump or drop the giving partner. Good and well maintained relationships that germinate, develop and grow, do so because one of the partners do not turn himself or herself into a foot mat for the other partners to wipe his or her feet on. A balanced relationship enhances interpersonal communication but an uneven relationship leads to frustration, acrimony most times and disregard of the weak partner’s needs and wants. The dominating and ‘creditor’ partner becomes pompous and arrogant as the unequal relationship grows. This continues until he/she is not able to listen to the weak partner at all or when he listens, he ignores or disregards what the other is saying.

In some cases the above scenario does not happen. Instead, the dependent partner does not wake up to the fact that he is being dominated. The moment the dominating partner becomes more dominating and cruel, the more the dependent partner blames himself for the situation. If the partner who is in a position of master then tries to withdraw because he is satiated, the dependent may become withdrawn communication wise and in most cases become depressed. The depression can lead to suicide. In some cases the dependent partner summons courage and in the process destroys both himself and the dominating partner. The point above is that when interpersonal relationship becomes skewed the first thing that is sacrificed is interpersonal communication.

In an uneven relationship, the individual who is docile, passive or non-assertive will initially communicate a lot. He will use nonverbal and verbal communication trying to get the attention and the approval of the partner whom he is dependent upon. Whenever the master (because the dependent partner is more or less a slave) withdraws attention or rebukes him, the dependent partner withdraws, become depressed or become more fawning in his reaction. If the dominating partner carries the domination to the extreme or takes too much out of the relationship, this may take the dependent partner to wake up and realise himself. In some other cases, it is a situation or traumatic experience that makes the cheated partner or the person at the receiving end to recognise he is being cheated. The first reaction of the dependent is to talk more, later withdraw, reflect and finally start to reduce communication with the dominating partner.

Before such relationship breaks, there would have been a gradual breakdown of communication. The partner who gives more in the relationship will always feel relieved while the one who has been receiving will become baffled and surprised that the weak partner can be strong enough to put an end to the relationship. A balanced relationship therefore engenders good interpersonal communication. Good interpersonal communication enhances interpersonal relationship. If interpersonal communications are well handled and nurtured, there is a greater growth in the interpersonal relationship and vice versa. A family, corporate organisation or nation where good interpersonal relationships exist grows, develops and maintains harmony. The basic principles of living need to be upheld in most communities and societies. These principles of living are however enhanced by the nature and state of relationships existing in the community or society. In cases where there are deviations from such basic principles of living, relationships within such community or society become skewed. Such deviations then needs to be highlighted, dealt with and made to be uninviting to the community members. This in turn will go a long way in enthroning balance in the community and engendering productive relationships. Productive, balanced and positive relationships within a community contributes greatly to enhanced and positive self-concept and self-esteem.




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