Do the people in your life energize or deplete you?
Today we are talking about some of the common reasons we can be depleted of energy via our relationships and how you can analyze them and make changes to help bring more energy back to you.
We live in a mutual world where we spend our days giving and sharing with others. Sometimes these relationships are reciprocal displaying an even amount of giving in both directions. But some of our relationships are more one directional, with energies and time being directed mostly from one person to the other, with very little in return.
This is not a bad thing, and is considered appropriate for many of our relationships: Parent-Child, Professional-Client, Teacher-Student. In many of these relationships the ‘debt’ is repaid in other forms, like knowing we are raising happy children, or an income at the end of the day. However, we are increasingly seeing people present for ‘treatment’ who have never considered how energies flow in their relationships.
They love and care for their children; meet the employers needs at work; support their partner in his/her work or recreational activities; provide assistance to elderly relatives; volunteer in community groups; and more.
They are seeking treatment for their depression or in some cases their relationship issues – as resentment has started to build toward their partner. This is an all too common story and is often met with a simple question
“You are engaged in all of this giving and nurturing of others, who nurtures you?”
The standard response is …. silence! How does one expect a car to continue to run when no one ever refuels it? How does one expect a person to survive and thrive when all of their energy is directed outwards?
These cases are common story:
- “oh no I cant relax, not without alcohol”
- “a book? well I read to the children”
- “no I don’t have hobbies, I don’t have time for a hobby”
- “I couldn’t ask anyone else to watch the kids for me to just relax”
So the journey into self care begins. Given the skill that this person has at nurturing others, where better to start than with some self care, self nurturing, self appreciation! But this too is uncomfortable territory for “the energiser”, who has found comfort in the old chair of giving; moving to the new chair of receiving feels wrong. Which brings us to… “20 years from now, your daughter/son comes to you with the same dilemma, what do you tell them to do?” or “what would you tell friend in the same position as you?” and some movement towards to the new begins.
For those among you who can recognize this story please consider making some changes.
If you receive the benefits from this person, then start giving back – even though this may take a little force. If you are the giver, it is time to consider one thing every day that you can do for yourself…. it could take two minutes or two hours, but you need to refuel or you will not be any good to anyone. If you wont do it for yourself, do it for them.
Take your morning coffee/tea outside an enjoy 5 minutes of fresh air and sunshine; sit down at a table to enjoy your breakfast or lunch, rather than eating on the run or at your desk; cook what you’d prefer just once a month! Or if this will cause WW3 cook a separate meal for yourself and give them leftovers; find a hobby
- learn to play the guitar,
- make cards,
- bush walk;
- have a bath (without the kids) and soak for at least 20 minutes in silence or with your favourite music playing.
Write a list of all your friends and family, draw red lines to those who you predominantly GIVE your energy to, and blue lines to those who energise you.
Then sit back and examine the colours…. a healthy flow should be reasonably even… is yours? Make plans with your blue people, and reduce your time with the red people – at least for a while. And don’t double book yourself with two red-friends. Telephone a blue friend, just for an energising chat. Show your partner the chart, and explain what you need from him/her to support your refueling… if your partner is a woman talk about needing nurturing… if a man, explain the need for regular refueling 🙂 (gender stereotype there i know). Be kind to yourself, and know that you deserve it; and enjoy every benefit!
Does this ring true for you and has this article helped? Would love your thoughts, please leave me a comment below.