Friday, February 5, 2016

Thoughts on Relationships

While no person should "change" "who you are" for another person, compromise is the foundation of any relationship - romantic or not.

The best way to retain "who you are" and still compromise is to know your worth and be willing to walk away if you are the only one willing to compromise or if "changing who you are" becomes a requirement to "please" the other person.

This requires both knowing yourself and having boundaries.

Too many people, especially women, have problems with each, regardless of their educational level or career advancement. I have worked with women who appear to ooze confidence in their career and yet are in the most unhealthy, even abusive, romantic relationships. The most popular girl in my high school - the beauty queen, the top cheerleader, the student counsel leader - married an abuser straight out of high school.

Neither beauty nor intelligence will protect a women. Only self-worth will do it.

Who Are You?
You need to get to know yourself, first.

What do you want? (life, relationship, career, kids, etc.)
What do you desire? (adventure, excitement, fame, routine, material possessions, career, etc.)
What does your "perfect" future look like? (size of home, city/country, urban/rural, married/single, income level, material possessions, level/type of religious practice, in-laws type/proximity, number of kids/if any, travel/stationary, etc.)

While these things may change over time - due to growth, experiences, situations, opportunities - it is always a good idea to start where you are. But to start there, you need to know where you are.

If you have not taken the time to know anything about you, how can anyone else? How can you share yourself if you do not even know yourself? How can you decide if your future spouse has similar ideas or aspirations than you if you do not even have an idea of your own?

Know Your Worth
Knowing your worth includes self-esteem. If you do not believe you are of value, no one else will. That will almost always result in being used, abused, and possibly discarded by others. It often attracts manipulators, narcissists, and abusers too.

You must really think about how you want to be treated as well as what you will not accept as treatment.

Contrary to popular belief, having the confidence to set boundaries and walk away is very attractive to men and women because it demonstrates confidence. While all men cannot handle a very confident woman, men usually do find confidence desirable. Similarly, women are much more attracted to confident men because it makes them feel they can depend on him - at least as a partner or when she is feeling overwhelmed.

You must be willing to walk away if the treatment is below your expectation. While communication can often change the behavior, that is not always the case. Likewise, the level of the behavior (common courtesy v. disrespect v. abuse) should very quickly determine whether communication is even an option or how much continued communication on the same issue is worth it.

Narcissists and Abusers

Narcissists and abusers never show themselves as such in the beginning. They are always pleasant, even caring, in the beginning. Once they have gained your interest, then they begin slowly "picking" at your self-esteem as a means to break you down so they can control you.

Knowing your self-worth, already deciding how you want to be treated, being willing to have the conversations, will go a long way in helping you set boundaries and avoid becoming a victim.


If you have low self-worth, or have never considered your worth, you will be susceptible to Narcissists' and Abusers' games because you will initially make excuses for their "minor" offenses. The "minor" offenses in the beginning is where you must draw the line - such as communicating how the actions make you feel, usually a negative feeling. If you cannot even have the conversation with the other person, due to you or them, that is a red flag.

Deedra is originally from Arkansas; an attorney in Scottsdale, Arizona; a diversity expert and motivational speaker with The Ambassador Project; and has a blog at where she shares her perspectives based on questions and experiences. Follow Deedra on Twitter @askdeedra

No comments:

Post a Comment