In a relationship were each person is at the same level, one person is not going to see themselves as being above the other. This is not to say that each person is at the same level materially, for instance, but this is not going to affect the amount of respect they have for each other.
As a result of this, this is not going to be a relationship were any kind of abuse takes place. If one person is not doing very well in a certain area of their life or if they are going through a bad patch, they are not going to be looked down upon.
The other person may ask them if they can do anything to help or simply be there to listen to them. Through this, they are not placing themselves above the other person; they are just being present.
If one person’s life is on the rise or they have recently achieved something significant, there will be no need for the other person to place them on a pedestal. Even if this causes them to experience jealousy or to reflect on their own life for a short time, the whole dynamic of the relationship won’t need to alter.
What this will come down to is that each person is on their own path and no matter what they are going through at any given moment, they have both come into the world in the same way and they will go out in the same way. In each moment, one person may come across as superior or inferior but this is simply the result of the minds tendency to label what it sees.
And while this is what can happen externally, their internal world is also likely to match up. This is not to say that they won’t have moments where they feel superior or inferior; what it means it that they are not going to identify with these inner states.
So if one’s friend is going through a ‘bad’ patch, for instance, they are not going to view the other person as incapable. And if one’s friend is going through a ‘good’ patch, for instance, they are not going to come to the conclusion that the other person is better than them.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that this is what can happen when two people have a conscious relationship. And as has been mentioned above, feelings of superiority and inferiority may arise, but the difference is that each person is not going to allow these feelings to define what happens in their relationship.
It would be easy to say that such feelings don’t arise in a relationship where two people are ‘conscious’, but then this would create the idea that human beings can be perfect. The difference here is that each person will be open to what arises on one hand and willing to work through what arises on the other.
Out of Touch
However, when one is not aware of what is taking place within them, they can end up being attracted to people who act as though they are inferior. Yet, if one is in touch with what is taking place within then, they can end up being attracted to people who act as though they are superior.
This is because if one feels inferior, they can either go to the opposite extreme or they can end up being overwhelmed by how they feel. When one goes to the other end of the spectrum, they are likely to come across as though they are better than others, and if they get caught up in how they feel, they can come across as though they are less-than others.
If one feels superior to others, they are going to feel the need to have people around them who feel inferior as this will validate their sense of superiority. In this case, the people around them will give them the kind of feedback they desire.
When one feels inferior, they are going to be drawn to people who act superior and this is because they will validate how they see themselves. The people they have in their life will treat them in a way that matches up with their self-image.
The Same Level
However, appearances are deceiving, and while each person appears to be in a different position, they are both coming from the same place at a deeper level. The person who feels superior is attracted to the person who feels inferior because they remind them of what they have disconnected from.
Whereas, the person who feels inferior looks up to the person who feels superior because it gives them someone to identify with, and through this, they are able to experience a sense of worth. Yet, all the time the relationship stays the same, it is not going to be possible for them to realise their value and for the other person to come back down to earth.
So unless each person is willing to not only face how they feel but to work through it, they will continue to play out the same dynamic. When one has the need to act superior or comes across as inferior, it is likely to mean that they are carrying toxic shame.
This is not an inner experience that is easy to face, and this is why one can end up doing everything they can to avoid it. When this takes place, it is normal for one to come across as though they are more-than human.
In order for one move beyond this, it will be important for them to get in touch with how they feel and to work through it. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.