“Is It Worth It”
In almost any relationship there is some imbalance. This is unfortunate. Someone is a bit more dependant on the other. Of course each is dependant on the other in some respect. The leader is dependent on his or her subjects for support. But in a one on one relationship it can be very uneven and open to abuse; a parent-child relationship, a marriage, a mentor-mentee relationship, or a work relationship.
In these one on one relationships we often have to make a judgment call when we are in the dependant position. We often, that is, do not do not like how we are being treated. Now it may not always be so clear who has the power, as in a marriage. We may simply have a hard time deciding what we can and cannot accept.
My major point is that we need to make the decision on our own terms and not make a deal with the devil in terms of the other person changing. Yes people can change but the odds are they will not. They may in the long run but if they do we may be a catalyst for that only by leaving not by staying in especially an overtly abusive relationship.
The question is “Where are you going?” and “How are you going to get there?” There are many twists and turns to this. I am not saying “be selfish.” I am not saying we do not need others or that we or others do not need help. I am saying we can be as much of the problem as the abuser unless we know what we want. No, I did not let them, the abusers, off the hook I put us on the hook. We will stay in bad situations for many reasons, many bad reasons. One great reason we stay in relationships is, of course, our own fear based on not knowing what else to do and we end up trying to force a relationship or change the other person.
Often, the problem is seen with people and relationships involving people with great abilities; bosses, teachers, leaders. You have the opportunity to meet them and work with them. But for the most part it is a fact of life that in order to get where they are many if not most of them have had to make some great compromises with life that involve treating people in not so nice ways. Watch any twenty video biographies of famous people and maybe one comes out as a “normal” person who treated most people well.
So, if you associate with someone like this or with a relative or boss it is the same “pact” with the devil. “Is the abuse worth it?” They are going where they are going and they are not going to change for me or for you. I am not going to be the “exception” or the “special” friend. That is most important thing to understand is that people will very often make you feel “special”, that you are different. “I will not treat you like I treat others.” But the truth is if you see them treat others as you would not like to be treated I pretty much guarantee you, you will be treated the same.
http://www.squidoo.com/thinking-feeling-doing (Summary of Principles used in these posts.)
Tomkins, Silvan S.: Affect Imagery Consciousness NY: SPringer Publishing Company, 1963.
Shame and Pride : Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self by Donald L. Nathanson Paperback (March 1994)
W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 0393311090