Tuesday, September 3

"Must Haves" and "Can't Stands" Create Healthy Relationships 9/3/13 356

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.”  Lionel Hampton.  Image
Cumbria: Great Gable by Tim Blessed.  Copyrighted, all rights reserved.  Used by his kind permission.
        We want friends who readily accept us.  

        We thrive when we have relationships that make us feel better. After spending time with them, we are revived.  We have these type of connections when using boundaries.  We want to keep relationships that are good for us. We avoid those that aren't.  

        Boundaries strengthen us. They filter out the unacceptable when relating. 

"Must Haves" and "Can't Stands"

        One source of boundaries is living by our list of "Must Haves" and "Can't Stands."  They winnow relationships.  Applying this list creates good friends. 

         We do not connect with those who drain us.  

         Whether it be joy, energy or hope.  The following list is a garland of garlic to wear around our neck.  It keeps emotional vampires away.  There is more information here, about Draculas who try invading our lives. 

       What does your list of "Must Haves" and "Can't Stands" look like? If we aim at nothing, that's exactly what we get.  How will you know if someone violates your boundaries if you don't know what they are?

        Some "Must Haves" that make friendships healthy: 

    1. Mutuality and equality. 

    Relationships need to be a two-way street.  If it isn't, that's a deal breaker.  Reciprocity has to be there.  I avoid relationships where I am an audience of one, where the other person only talks about himself.  I have to struggle to get a word in. 
    2. It is good having reciprocity with the vulnerability shared.  If we put ourselves "out there," they do, too.  To bond, it's important knowing their thoughts, needs and feelings, too. 
       One sign of intimacy: talking about what troubles us.  If we can't do that, the intimacy in that relationship is nonexistent. Sex without vulnerability in the relationship is not intimacy.  It is mutual exploitation. 

  3. When relating with people, I hang out with those who stay in the solution.  We'll mention the problem once.  After that, we'll talk about what we can do to counteract the troubling issue. 

       I need relationships that energize me, not enervate me. Complaining doesn't provide growth.  It only makes the problem loom larger and more disturbing.  I relate with those who know what they want.  They take healthy steps towards the life they envision. 
  "We get what we tolerate."
      Every time we use healthy principles to tackle challenges, we create a better today.  We look at our options.  We consider what we need to do to achieve and maintain serenity.  It's hard having strong character if we are morose. 

        I relate with those who are optimistic.  I cannot connect with those who have a defeated spirit.  I befriend those who are goal oriented. Those who surrender to the demon of depression I avoid. 

4. I do not relate with emotional vampires. They are also known as narcissists, grumps or are constantly "poor me" victims. 

      Yes, it's fine, feeling negative feelings.  Grieving is important.  But, we must move beyond our consternation.  We want to take healthy steps that propel us towards our vision.  

      This is acceptance with recovery.  We are gracious.  Towards ourselves.  As we move forward, we apply positive alternatives. 

      We develop more choices when we bond with God.  This is also true when we derive support from our community of good friends.  They are our Balcony People. Which leads me to........

 5. I relate with people who value community, not those who isolate.

      Do you want the most out of life?  

      It happens when living in community with vibrant others.  We don't heal in isolation.  When left to ourselves, we usually perseverate.  We become OCD in our thinking. We stay in our head.  Unfortuanately, when we do that we are not living. 

      When I think, I am distancing myself from an experience.  When I feel, I am the experience. 

       We need emotional and psychological distance when confronting a challenge. It helps improve perspective. Discerning friends offer that.

       I have them.  However, growing a community takes time.  Mine is the result of cultiva-ting  relationships for years.  Good friendships require time and grace and discernment and commitment.  Excellent friends are the result of careful tending. 

      One gripe of mine, in cyber communities, Facebook in particular, we cheapen the word "friend."  Mine would die for me.  Would those on our Facebook list do that?

      No, they wouldn't and shouldn't.  What are termed as such,  don't have that depth of love, committment and mutual vulnerability. 

       According to this quote on the left, if we want in-depth friend-ships, we need to be one. We model what we want from our compan-ions. 

How About You? 
What are some "must haves" and "can't stands" that you want to apply in your life?  


Theresa Elander said...

Let's see. A few "must haves" and "can't stands."

I must have honesty and integrity.
I must have trust.
I must have respect.

I can't stand arrogance.
I can't stand double standards.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

I must have positivity.
I must have humor.
I must have exercise and fun in nature.
I must have reciprocity, equality, and mutuality.
I must have something to look forward to in life that involves joy, intimacy, passion, and a zest/zeal for adventurous living...gusto!

I can't stand dishonesty, duplicity, vagueness.
I can't stand negativity; the cup is half empty!
I can't stand wallowing in victim-hood, nor being codependent and/or an enabler of others.

On this Tuesday night, I am grateful for;

1. Stop and think - easy does it, and The Serenity Prayer...

2. That I don't need to react or panic in the face of a crisis or challenge. That I can choose to think, breathe, reason things out...put "it" on hold for a night (or two) while I pray, reflect and ponder how best to respond.

3. That i can say my no's as gently as I say my yes's, and that my no can be a complete sentence. That I can learn how to maintain healthy boundaries that protect me from (myself and others...) overextending, burning out, and then resenting the innocent "other" for what I allowed to happen!

4. That I am finally able to heed Maya Angelou's sage advice...“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This is even, or perhaps especially applicable to some of our "adult" sons...

Pablo said...


Thanks for dropping by and sharing the essentials in your relationships!

Along with honesty and integrity, I'd include consistency and reliability, that would fit in with your "can't stand" of double standards.

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

I like your list of can't stands and must haves. I'm with you, life isn't much fun if there isn't gusto!

Carl, I'm impressed. You are taking care of yourself by maintaining balance. I'm in agreement with you, this is an essential quality if we want to enjoy all that life has to offer.

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