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Effect on Each Other

Do you know what kind of an effect you have on other people? Are they better off knowing and interacting with you? Or do you leave people worse off and having to recover?

If you leave people better off than you found them, you know how good it feels to make this contribution to others. When you help and support others, you increase your self-esteem. Also, by treating others well, you naturally expect to be treated well by others. Because you expect it, you do in fact get better treatment. It becomes a positive, nurturing cycle.

On the other hand, if you have ever left someone worse off than when you found him or her, you know how bad it feels to take away from others. Leaving people worse off lowers your self-esteem. You lose a bit of self-trust and self-respect. You begin to expect others to treat you poorly as well. It becomes a vicious cycle.

This is not to say that you should never hurt others, or that you should take care of others to the detriment to yourself. Always do what is best for you. But whenever possible, leave people better off than you found them, even if that means leaving them for good.

For example, let's say you are not the tidiest person, and you are house sitting for a friend. You leave a bit of a mess behind, move some things around. When the homeowners return, they have to put their house back in order before they get a chance to rest. This takes time, attention and effort. They may become resentful and angry with you. You have just left them worse off than you found them.

If you had cleaned up after yourself, your actions would have had a different affect on them. They could come home, relax and be grateful to you. What if, in fact, you left their house better than you found it? Say you left some flowers or had dinner waiting for them? How would they feel when they returned? Nurtured, loved, and grateful. Definitely better off.

Think of other people's lives as their houses. If you enter their lives and don't clean up after yourself, they will have to deal with your mess. This robs them of energy. Unfortunately, we can sometimes leave a mess in people's lives without realizing it.

Consider two people on a first date. They have a great time and make plans for a second date. Yet the man is never heard from again. The woman wonders what happened, why she got mixed signals, and if she's done something wrong or wasn't attractive enough. The mess this man left behind for the woman is her lowered self-esteem and unanswered questions.

Consider a different couple in a long-term relationship. The woman suddenly leaves the relationship, never having voiced that anything was wrong. Her partner wonders what went wrong, what he did wrong, and he will wonder and be in pain for a long time. The mess he is left with is pain, fear of abandonment, mistrust of others, and mistrust of himself.

Or let's look at another couple. Let's say the man does not participate as much as the woman would like. She tries to get him to help, spends a lot of energy on trying to change him, and all the while wonders why he does not love her enough to participate more. The mess for the woman is a drain of her energy to compensate for the lack of participation from her partner.

Here are a few other instances of how our actions affect others:

=> Being rude leaves people hurt

=> Cheating leaves a partner feeling betrayed and deeply hurt

=> Lying leaves people doubting themselves

=> Breaking a promise leaves people frustrated and mistrustful of others

If we are not aware of our effect on others, we cause damage. The world has too much disappointment and pain for us to add more.

What would your life be like if you left flowers in other people's houses and cooked them dinner? What would it be like if you left a trail of caring and communication? This may be as simple as making that phone call you don't want to make to tell someone you are not interested in dating them. Or it may be a bit more difficult, like telling your partner what is not working in the relationship and negotiating to make it work. It may be contributing and participating more so you and your partner have a great life. It may be saying you are sorry, or telling the truth when it would be easier to lie.

Whatever you have to do to leave people's lives intact and their energy full is worth doing. It may be a risk, a bit scary or uncomfortable. But it leaves you whole and allows you to move forward in your life. It fills their house with flowers and brings sunshine into yours.

Your Relationship Coach,
Rinatta Paries
www.WhatItTakes.com

This article was originally published by Coach Rinatta Paries in "The Relationship Coach Newsletter," a weekly e-zine for people who want fulfilling relationships. For singles, the newsletter will help you attract your Mr. or Ms. Right. If you're in a relationship, you will learn to create more closeness and intimacy with your mate. To subscribe, go to www.WhatItTakes.com.


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