Most people relate in an unbalanced way that does not help either person. What do I mean? People get in roles and ruts in how they relate with others. Some people are always demanding and expect other people to quickly do what they want, in exactly the way they want it and in the time span they deem appropriate. Their demandingness does not waiver according to their mate’s circumstances nor to the importance of the task. These people are equally demanding in all scenarios. Other people are always acquiescing, expecting themselves to cater to other people regardless of their own particular circumstances, wants and needs. These people will majorly inconvenience themselves to meet the requests of another person – relative, mate, co-worker or friend. So, people pursue and settle for these out-of-kilter relationships in which metaphorically, one person says, “jump,” and the other person responds, “How high?”

So, how does one create balance in a relationship? First of all become introspective enough to figure out if you are a demander or an acquiescer in each relationship you have. Not all of your relationships will be the same. Second, always listen to the other’s viewpoint and feelings. But also always listen to and give your own viewpoint and feelings. Be empathetic to yourself and to the other person. Third, develop a strategy for assisting one another at an appropriate time and in the most appropriate way, depending on the circumstances in your relationship at any given time. Be flexible with the other person and expect flexibility on his or her part toward you. In the field of medicine, we call this “doing triage,” deciding what a patient needs first, second, and so on when he presents for emergency medical care. If a doctor always treats you first for a breathing problem when you may have a broken hip, the doctor is not helping you. Similarly, if your mate wants to talk about getting a new stove when you are telling him or her you just lost your job, your mate is not triaging the situation empathetically or with flexibility.

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