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Be careful of getting carried away with trying to get your own way

Posted Jun 21 2013 4:52pm

two people having a tug of war over a relationship

Sometimes we’re so focused on how we see things, what we want, being right and basically having our own way, that we might forget that this is all well and good if we’re on our own but not so good if there’s another person involved. We stop caring about whether what we want is the other person’s agenda (which would make it a joint agenda ) and even though it might feel like what we’re doing is for the ‘greater good’ of the relationship – ‘We’ll both be so much better and happy if I get things to go my way’ – ultimately us both not being on the same page and working together contributes to the overall poor health of the very think that we want – the relationship.

If it feels like you’re battling with somebody for a relationship, if it feels like you’re a bailiff trying to collect enough goods to the value of the ‘relationship debt’ that you think you’re owed due to the costs that you feel that you’ve expended, and if it basically amounts to you trying to get your way over this person, halt.

Not only is this unhealthy but it’s very solo-minded which runs counter to the very thing you’ve become blinded about in trying to achieve it – the relationship. If it’s not a mutual relationship where you have two people stepping up off their own free will with responsibility, accountability, shared values , mutual love, care, trust and respect plus the landmarks including intimacy and consistency , that’s a code red alert .

If you imagine starting your own business with the purpose of achieving certain goals and the employee or partner you’re working with, after a promising start or plenty of talk, doesn’t deliver on their intentions or predictions. At this point you might try to troubleshoot the issue together which might pave the way to open communication, understanding your respective commitments and having a clearer idea of each others needs, expectations and wishes and how that fits with what what you want.

Or, you might opt to badger, coerce, threaten, cry, shout and whatever it takes I’m order to achieve your goals. Maybe you’ll opt instead to cover for the shortfall and effectively try to do both roles. Now you might achieve the overall business goals but is the business itself healthy? Situations like this are exhausting and victories can feel a tad hollow because you’re now running this ship with these issues and going forward, you’ll have your way to a degree but you will have to continue battling the issues and/or covering the shortfall. There’s also the knowledge that one of you isn’t there wholeheartedly and doesn’t have the commitment off of their own steam.

When you’re focused on trying to get your own way, it’s time to ask:

  • Am I happy?
  • Do I want to be reminding somebody to value me?
  • Do I want to ride their arse like Zorro to get him/her to commit or to do as I want?
  • Do I want to be mother or father or even both to a frickin adult?
  • Do I want to reduce myself to throwing tantrums or skulking like a teenager?
  • Do I want to keep discussing the hell out of this and trying to get my point across? This isn’t nuclear physics here!
  • Do I want to keep covering for their ‘shortfall’? Why am I not being responsible for myself while making me responsible their input? What will I have to see and admit if I stop covering up and even micromanaging this relationship?
  • Do I want to run myself into the ground trying to row a boat with one oar?
Is trying to get your way in this way worth it?

There’s a cost attached to going down this path and sometimes when you’re so very focused on ‘your way’, strangely enough you lose sight of you. Not only do you end up with an unhealthy situation but you end up with an unhappy you that’s likely compromising their own values.

Sometimes ‘battle’ feels normal because it’s all you know. It can seem entirely normal to be knee-deep in drama in a hand-to-mouth relationship where it can go from high to low, possibilities to gnawing fear in a matter of hours. It ends up being a fight with many rounds, not a relationship. Getting your own way might matter because you feel like you’ve never gotten your way, or that there’s too much at stake or even that you simply can’t handle ‘no’ and disappointment.

When you’re willing to step up for you as a natural extension of being you, you won’t devote your time to trying to ‘make’ people do things ‘your way’ because you already know that it’s not how you would want to live your life around others nor is it what contributes to helping you live your life happily and authentically.

A relationship is really about two people coming together and hopefully striving and evolving together for and to discover ‘their way’ – the relationship. You can both keep battling over whose way is the ‘right’ way or who owes who what, but as long as you’re both battling, what you’re not doing is living and loving together in a relationship. Find somebody who you can enjoy the journey with and figure out the way together.

Your thoughts?

About the Author:

Natalie Lue is the founder and writer of Baggage Reclaim and author of the books Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl , The Dreamer and the Fantasy Relationship and more . Learn more about her here and you can also follow her on and Twitter - .


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