It takes two to make a relationship.
I thought about that today. In order to have a relationship, there must be at least two parties at all times and when something changes in said relationship, both parties are considered to be responsible for said change. While I believe that to still be true, I’ve come to learn that it does not take two people in order to make one person act.
In a more specific scenario… In previous relationships and even in the beginning of this one, I always thought it was my fault that the other person didn’t want to do XYZ. That the other person wouldn’t love me enough because I could do this or that. That if the other person wanted to leave, cheat, lie, etc, it was because I was inadequate, that I had somehow caused him to do or act in a certain way.
But those are not true. Those thoughts are not true. While my behavior may affect another person, while my behavior may encourage someone to act a certain way, I am not making that person act. I am not making the decision for him to react, to behave, to do anything. If he cheats, lies, whatever, that is not on me. He chose to cheat. He chose to lie. He chose to act in a way that was detrimental to our growth.
So in the end, while it takes two to make a relationship, it doesn’t take two for someone to be an asshole. Or leave. Or do whatever else.
If there’s anything that I am learning in the course of my work, it’s that we must take control of our actions and our behaviors. We cannot expect someone else or the environment to change for us if we are unwilling to take a look within ourselves to make our own changes. There is always going to be an asshole out there and how we respond to that makes a difference.
TL;DR – You are not the cause of someone else’s bad behavior. They are.
This past week has given me a great challenge to identify and solidify my values. Some people are really great with their morals and convictions but then something else comes along. Sometimes, what becomes really difficult is to choose between two very different opportunities. I was given that option this week and through a lot of introspection, reflection, and processing with others, I came to several conclusions.
One, I love comfort and while change can be exciting and worthwhile, sometimes, it’s okay to want to stay in some place comfortable.
Because two, even if it is comfortable, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for growth and challenges. They can be found anywhere and to be in a space where those options are unlimited is amazing.
Three, quality people are hard to find. Quality people who get your quirky jokes, have a love for cats, and support you and your growth, are hard to find.
Four, I judge myself and project on others way more than I should.
Five, it’s important to figure out what my values are because that will determine how motivated I shall be.
Six, asking for advice is not as scary as it sounds, even from people who you may not think to ask.
There are probably more, but that’s a pretty good list for now. And it’s quite possible that my values may change in a few years. Things happen and that can always shift my perspective on life. But for now, this is the one I’m working with and I’m pretty happy with that.
Today one of my supervisors said that to me while I was doubting my abilities to provide the best client care for a monolingual Vietnamese client. And in that moment, I truly understood that this negative self talk, this instant reaction to minimize my accomplishments really, really needs to go and in order to do that, I have to remember that superstars weren’t always superstars – they were me. And one day, I will be my own superstar.
It won’t be easy – the cessation of my self-deprecating views, but it’s a start. I was thinking about the different ways through which I can measure my growth and while I may still need to figure out what that will look like, I realized that it’s like growing taller. Most days, you won’t notice it, but when you start to make marks, use a baseline from the last change, that’s when you will realize that you’ve grown. So in this time for me, I can to figure out what I can use to measure my own growth. Will it be in the form of a blog? Will there be an assessment tool? Or simply just the memory that once upon a time, I didn’t know the answer to one plus one.