Codependent, Independent or Interdependent Relationship… Which One Are You In?

Relationships
Codependent, Independent or Interdependent Relationship… Which One Are You In?
Romantic love can give rise to some of the greatest experiences of pain as well as happiness in our lives. Besides possibly the death of a close family member or friend, there is no misery more profound than that associated with the experience of a breakup or unrequited love. Similarly, there seems to be no deeper felt happiness than that experienced through a connection established from an intimate relationship.

The extent to which the relationships we form become stable and satisfying vs. addictive and destructive is largely determined by our own personal development through a maturity continuum from codependence to independence to interdependence.

In essence, this article will answer four questions:
  • What are the characteristics of the three stages of the maturity continuum?
  • Why are they important with respect to our own individual effectiveness?
  • Why are they important with respect to the effectiveness of the relationships we form with others? - With particular emphasis on romantic relationships.
  • What can I do to progress through the maturity continuum to maximise my personal and interpersonal effectiveness?
Generally, codependent people will seek other codependent people to form codependent relationships, independent people will seek independent people to form independent relationships, and so on. (Opposites may attract in some areas, but not this one). As such, the terms used to refer to both the maturity of an individual and the relationships they form will be used interchangeably.

Co-dependence (0+0=0)

Co-dependent relationships arise when two people form a relationship with each other primarily because neither feels that he or she can “stand alone.” Rather than working on ourselves to cultivate a source of good feelings that is drawn from within (self-esteem) we slip into a state where our sense of self becomes dependant on external (or egoic) factors outside of our locus of control. In this case the need for a partner to provide us with validation, attention or good emotions.

Co-dependent relationships are like 0+0=0. There is virtually no contribution to the relationship from either partner and each partner relies on their counterpart to fill a void from within themselves...
Read More »

How to Be a Good Listener and Use It to POWERFULLY Influence People [Please Use Responsibly]

Relationships
How to Be a Good Listener and Use It to POWERFULLY Influence People [Please Use Responsibly]
There are four basic types of communication: reading, writing, speaking and listening. We spend most of our waking hours engaged in communication in one form or another. We’re all aware of the importance of being able to communicate effectively in our lives. But consider this:

We’ve spent years learning how to read and write and years learning how to speak. But what about listening?
‘‘
We’ve spent years learning how to read and write and years learning how to speak. But what about listening?

What education or training have we had that enables us to really understand another human being from their own frame of reference, rather than from our own? Or to listen with the intent to understand, rather than with the intent to reply?

Instead, we listen by filtering everything through our own paradigms. We rush in to share our life story, to fix things up with advice or with a neat solution that worked for us but may not necessarily pertain to others.

“Oh, I know exactly how you feel!” we say after cutting them short, “I went through the same thing. Let me tell you about my experience…”

Understand First, Then Be Understood

The single most important principle in the field of interpersonal relations is this: ‘understand first, then be understood’. If you want to interact effectively with me or to influence me, you first need to understand me.

It’s the equivalent of a doctor trying to prescribe treatment without taking the time to really understand the problem first to make an accurate diagnosis. In the same way that you wouldn’t have confidence in his prescription, how can you expect me to take what you have to say seriously when you always cut me short?

If you look at any of the problems you currently face in your relationships, they can always be boiled down to a failure to effectively apply this natural law of interpersonal communication in some way...
Read More »

The New Golden Rule of Communication: 'Self Is Always Coming Through'

Relationships
The New Golden Rule of Communication: 'Self Is Always Coming Through'
We’ve all heard the statistic that up to 93% of our communication consists of non-verbal cues. It’s often said that body language, facial expressions and vocal tonality are the most important factors - and that the actual words that we say can count for as little as 7%. However, new discoveries show that these non-verbal cues might also have to take a back seat when it comes to the most important aspect in communication.
‘‘
What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The recent discovery of a group of neurons in the frontal lobes of the brain have shown that humans are capable of literally adopting another person’s point of view. These mirror neurons allow us to sense and experience another person’s actions, feelings and intentions, irrespective of the words or body language being displayed.

Initial Breakthrough with Monkeys

The initial breakthrough in the discovery of mirror neurons came in the 1980s, when neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti, of the University of Parma was exploring the functions of ordinary motor command neurons, using monkeys as subjects. His team monitored the response in the frontal lobes of their brains upon performing a series of tasks, such as reaching for a peanut or banana.

They quickly noticed something surprising - as they picked up a peanut to hand to the monkey, the motor command neurons in the monkey would fire. These were the same motor command neurons that would fire when the monkey itself grasped the peanut...
Read More »

Breaking Through Social Conditioning Barriers in Dating

Relationships
Breaking Through Social Conditioning Barriers in Dating
Social conditioning is the concept that many of our beliefs and ideals are not of our own creation, but entirely influenced by society, the media and our upbringing. While social conditioning is necessary for our survival, it also bears many negative consequences.

There are two mediums through which we can learn something new: first-hand experience and second-hand experience. Touching the stove when you were little and getting burned is an example of learning from first-hand experience. Your science teacher explaining that you cannot jump off a tall building and survive is an example of learning through second-hand experience.

For obvious reasons, learning from second hand experiences is very important. Imagine what it would be like trying to find out for yourself that swimming with a Great White shark would result in you losing your head. Or figuring out for yourself which mushrooms are good to eat and which ones are poisonous (or which ones make you think you can fly!)

Not only does second-hand experience protect us from the dangers of learning first hand, but it also saves us a lot of time.
‘‘
Many widely accepted social norms are not in our best interest, contradictory and were often created completely arbitrarily.

Social conditioning, however, commonly results in us putting too much trust in second-hand experiences. Many widely accepted social norms are not in our best interest, contradictory and were often created completely arbitrarily. An overreliance on second hand experience kills innovation and reduces efficiency.

Many people walk through life in a walking daze, working and paying taxes and blindly accepting authority as the truth. Before they know it they’ve spent their entire lives as a slave to society allowing their upbringing, the education system, work, the media and advertising to make all their decisions for them (often completely unconsciously) - instead of evaluating things critically to make their own decisions based on their own independent thinking.

What Are Some of the Ways We Have Been Socially Conditioned in Dating?

Dating is heavily influenced by social conditioning. The movies we watch in particular implant ideas and we accept that is how things work. Many of these ideas are ludicrous!

Here are just a few that come to mind...
Read More »

Scarcity and Abundance Mindsets in Dating and Relationships

Relationships
Scarcity and Abundance Mindsets in Dating and Relationships
In the post Value Always Comes First: What Causes Attraction and Falling in Love, we discussed what it means to be a high value person and how the 3 main characteristics of this person (core confidence, self-expression and giving value) are what influence long-term success in dating and relationships. A quality that ties in closely with giving value worthy of its own article is an idea that we’ve taken from Stephen Coveys’s inspirational book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This is the idea of having an abundance mindset: the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everybody.

An abundance mindset can be present in different areas of one’s life, for example, your attitude towards your finances and money being another area where you can benefit from having an abundance mindset.

At first glance, this paradigm appears very counterintuitive. If someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else right?

Wrong. As is very often the case in dating and in life, those things that yield the biggest results are usually completely counterintuitive. Nail this and your success in dating and relationships will be better than anything you could have ever imagined...
Read More »

Value Always Comes First: What Causes Attraction and Falling In Love?

Relationships
Value Always Comes First: What Causes Attraction and Falling In Love?
The cause of attraction for both men and women is value… not looks, not grooming, not personality, not social status, not an emotional connection, not being ‘hard to get’, not being a good lover, not money, not gifts, not commonalities, not being nice.

Although many of these things (some much more than others) do indeed contribute to creating value, they are each only parts that contribute to a person’s overall value.

What is Value?

Value is anything that enhances, or has the potential to enhance the life of one or more people.

What Does it Mean to be a Person of High Value?

A person of high value has the tendency to induce a feeling in others brought about by their presence, behaviours, or emotional influences. This feeling indicates (consciously or subconsciously) to the other person that they enhance, or have the potential to enhance the life of that person.

This term can relate to family, friendships and business relationships as well as to dating and romantic relationships. But for the purpose of this article, here we will only talk about how value relates to attraction and love...
Read More »
Page 1 of 1
Smart Productivity eBook - by Smart Lifestyle Design
Smart Productivity eBook
  • Enter your name and email below to get Free Instant Access to the single most comprehensive guide available on working smart.

  • Over 5,000 people have enjoyed our eBook and receive a weekly newsletter with exclusive lifestyle design and personal development tips that you can't find here on the blog. Click here for more info...

Copyright © Smart Lifestyle Design 2012 · Terms of Service · Privacy Policy · Affiliate Disclaimer