Do you ever feel like you lose yourself in your relationships, or like you defer too much to what your partner wants to do? Or maybe you feel like you over-value the other person, and under-value yourself. In today’s episode, I answer a listener’s question about what to do when you think you may have given up too much of yourself in a relationship. This dynamic can happen in intimate relationships, friendships, and family relationships. Sound familiar? Then this episode for you!
Biggest Takeaways From Episode #33:
- Knowing what to do if you think you may be losing yourself in relationships or deferring too much to your partner takes at least two types of skills: boundaries and an understanding of interdependence.
- Dependence is experienced on a continuum. On one extreme, someone relies too much on another person. On the other extreme, a person is too independent and/or refuses to ask for—or accept—help. The healthy middle is to be interdependent. If you’re on the more dependent end, you will tend to defer to a partner (or other person) and sacrifice yourself in order to get your needs met.
- If you feel like you’re losing yourself in a relationship, start by getting clear about what is important to you and how you want to spend your time. Also write down all the activities you’re doing with your partner that you wouldn’t do on your own.
- As you work on finding balance, expect some hiccups and upsets, especially around setting boundaries.
Highlights from Episode #33:
- Vicki introduces the topic of today’s episode, which addresses a listener’s question, and paraphrases the question itself. [00:48]
- We hear about the dependency continuum, and how it functions in relationships. [03:40]
- Vicki shares an example to illustrate what she means about healthy interdependence. [06:50]
- What does the idea of balancing our time, and paying attention to our needs and wants, have to do with boundaries? [10:27]
- Vicki shares a tool for managing the all-too-common “What sounds good to you?” dynamic when two people are trying to decide what restaurant to go to, or what to do together. [14:22]
- The listener who asked today’s question is essentially deferring to her partner, and wants to be more balanced so she can also honor herself. Vicki offers recommendations. [16:00]
- Vicki shares another technique that may be helpful. [20:50]
- All of this isn’t easy, Vicki points out, and there may be some hiccups along the way. [24:32]
- Vicki makes an observation about the question she’s been addressing today, and talks about love addiction. [27:58]
- Vicki recaps what she’s covered in today’s episode. [32:48]
Links and Resources:
- Vicki Tidwell Palmer
- Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicki Tidwell Palmer
- 5-Step Boundary Solution Clarifier
- Beyond Bitchy Podcast | Episode 9: Introduction to the 5-Step Boundary Solution Process
- Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love by Pia Mellody
- Is It Love or Is It Addiction: The book that changed the way we think about romance and intimacy by Brenda Schaeffer
- Pia Mellody