Although some relationships are healthy, there are others that are completely dysfunctional. And when this is the case, they no longer have the ability to transform one’s life and to assist in their personal evolution.
That is unless one leaves the relationship and uses the experience to find out what part they were playing. It will then be possible for one to do the work that they need to do on themselves in order to experience healthier relationships.
There is also the chance that could stay in the relationship and if the other person is willing to change, then the relationship could be transformed. But if they won’t change, then it is going to be best for one to leave the relationship completely, or at least until the other person is willing to play their part.
However, it is not just relationships that can be dysfunctional; it is also possible for the interactions that precede a relationship to be just as dysfunctional. And that’s if they even lead to a relationship’, as they might not happen.
If one is in a relationship that is dysfunctional, then it would be normal to come to the conclusion that it would have also have started that way. And while there may have been moments of dysfunction, these would have been interspersed with moments that were healthy.
For if another person showed their true colours from the outset, they wouldn’t get very far. So the facade they present in the beginning will allow them to entice their prey.
Playing The Games
One may realise what is taking place and soon end their connection to the other person. And then there are going to be other people who are comfortable with the games that the other person is playing.
This doesn’t mean that they won’t show any kind of resistance; what it means is that this resistance is not enough to make them put an end to what is happening or to walk away. In this case, one is going to jump through the hoops provided and lose touch with what is right for them.
And this means that one won’t be treated with respect or appreciation, but as if they have no value. Here, one will 'treat them mean and keep them keen'.
Now, if one was to think about this, their fist response might be to question how it could work and emphasis how people want to be treated with respect and to be appreciated for instance. And this is not something that can be denied; if someone was asked how they like to be treated, they are unlikely to say that they enjoy being treated badly.
However, what one says doesn’t also match up with their behaviour. And as the saying goes ‘actions speak louder than words’. So if we want to understand what someone feels comfortable with, it will be important to observe their behaviour and not what they say they want.
The challenge is that what one consciously wants doesn’t always match up with what is going on at a deeper level (in their body). This conflict then causes them to sabotage what they truly want and to experience what they don’t want.
So what is going on in their head is the ideal and then there is what their body feels comfortable with. And for some people, their body is only going to respond to behaviour that is dysfunctional and unhealthy.
If they were to experience behaviour that was different, it is going to feel uncomfortable and it won’t engage them. One might not even know why they respond to being treated badly, but what they will know is that being treated badly has a positive effect on them.
They might wonder why they put up with it, but time and time again it is what they respond to. This is what creates desire, gets their heart racing and consumes their attention.
There are going to be all kinds of ‘mean’ ways that someone can use to keep another person interested. One may use hot and cold behaviour; one minute they show interest and the next they pull away.
This may even involve using put downs or sarcasm, amongst others things. These are just a few examples and there are many more. When one is with someone who engages in these kinds of games, they are not going to know where they stand, what is actually happening or if the other person is interested in them or not.
Stability doesn’t exist and this is going to play havoc with ones emotions. One minute they could be up and the next they could be down. One could feel addicted to the highs and lows that the other person is providing.
A Deeper Look
So this is not healthy and it is not going to match up with what one says they want. But at the same time, one is unable to resist it. Being treated in these ways feels comfortable and this could be due to what their early childhood relationships were like.
Their present relationships are then mirroring their childhood relationships. And even though these early interactions were not healthy, they were associated and familiar and therefore safe. And until one has grieved what took place all those years ago, they will continue to re-create the same experiences.
Like an addict, they are drawn to what feels familiar and it doesn’t matter how unhealthy it is. One may have had a caregiver who was verbally abusive, emotionally unavailable and/or physically abusive.
So in order for one to no longer feel comfortable with people who behave in these ways, it will be important for them to get in touch with their emotions. Here, they can see if how they feel in their adult relationships reminds them of how they felt during their childhood years.
The emotional experiences of one’s past will have stayed trapped in their body and so they will need to be realised. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.