One reason your relationships tend to fail is that you start out well enough, but then slowly, without realizing it, you start to give away your power. This process is insidious and before you know it, instead of having a healthy give and take, the relationship has lost its balance. When you give your power away it erodes your self-esteem and you start to feel a sense of unease and resentment. This affects how you show up as half of a couple and can’t help but create tension and dissatisfaction.
Giving up your power never feels good, though it may feel comfortable. It’s a habit you may be repeating without your awareness.
How you’re giving your power away in relationships
- You avoid conflict: No one enjoys conflict in a relationship, but all too often a woman will ask me, “How do I confront him with this?” I then ask her why she’s using the word “confront?” Why not consider how you may have an adult discussion about a problem. If you frame it in your mind as a confrontation, of course you’ll want to avoid that. If you think you’re someone who avoids conflicts, you might want to learn some new skills on how to appropriately present your needs.
- You’re afraid of what others will think: If you find yourself not quite being honest to your friends and family about the state of your relationship, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. You’re at risk of starting to believe your “lies” and not facing the truth about what is hurting you. You may be embarrassed or you may be afraid they’ll be mad at you — so you fake what you’re feeling to avoid their judgment. When you conduct your life worried about what others think, you will never be true to yourself and always feel unfulfilled in love.
- You compare yourself to others: Comparing yourself to others will only cause you misery and pain. Anytime you look outside yourself for validation you will be disappointed. If you see a loving couple out in public, you might compare by asking yourself, “Maybe he doesn’t love me enough, why doesn’t do that with me?” A better response is to let them inspire you to be more like that yourself. One response adds more love to your life while the other replaces it with a complaints.
- You diminish yourself to please someone else: As women we are more powerful than we know. Women who feel their power will sometimes be attracted to “weaker” men. At first the imbalance of power feels good but it soon becomes frustrating. But to show your displeasure will make the man feel bad just for being who he is. So you resign yourself and put a barrel over your “light” so you don’t show him up. This happens in many subtle ways, by aquiescing to his needs and feelings and discounting your own.
Giving your power away hurts you the most
Take a good look at how you’re showing up in your relationships. If any of these examples feel like you, do the work you need to stop giving your power away in love and then hopefully find a healthy balance that works for you in your relationships.