Without them, we feel "incredible im-mense pain," as one client told me this week. We may feel like a failure, like this
We need relationships for emotional healing and spiritual growth.Many complain about the lack of people with whom they can relate. The problem isn't that there aren't Safe People around. Many are simply unable to choose Safe People. They do not know how to distinguish them from others. They have a broken people picker. Bad habits get in the way:
They need us.
So we think. But it is not a mature connection. It is a rescu-ing connection. We want to avoid people who cannot meet our needs. We do not want relationships ridden with problems. Mutual-ity is key for satisfying relationships. If it isn't, stay away from that person.
Reci-procity is lacking. Often we are prone to these type of rela-tionships. We ex-perienced this pattern early in life. We respond-ed to needy relatives.
people we were unable to satisfy. It did not matter how hard we tried. What we did was not enough. They always cried out for more. Ask your-self, are you in a rescuing rela-tionship? Is this person there for you when you are hurt-ing? Or is relating with this person a one-way street, all going their direction?
If it is not reciprocal, is that a fair relationship? You know my opinion.
I did that with a relative on the phone. It was his birthday. After the usual pleasantries, I asked this question. He hung up on me.
Another person's behavior is a statement about them, their values and priorities. This relative's hanging up on me was not a statement about me.
Those who rescue do not contribute to their growth or that of those who are rescued.Today I will stop trying to control my relationships. I will participate at a reasonable level. I let the other person do the same. I can let go. I know the relationship will find its own life. Or it won't. I don't have to do all the work. I only need to do my share. Melody Beattie
Because a rescuer needs an unsafe person to rescue, rescuing always leads to unsafe people in one's life.
Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend, Safe People p 102.