Appropriate relationships are relationships we know are good for us. They are fun, inspiring and empowering. They align with our values and give us clarity on why other inappropriate relationships never worked.
The word “appropriate” refers to being suitable, fitting or right in any particular circumstance. The wonderful thing is that we each have an internal guidance system that allows us to feel and know what is appropriate for us at any given moment.
With all that said, have you ever noticed that the topic of “appropriate relationship” is often a touchy subject? How some people become reactive when the concept is mentioned? How the concept of appropriate relationship is rarely talked about in ways that would make a difference in people’s lives?
Think about it...
We sense that the relationships we dream of are “out there" somewhere. Quantum physics helps us understand how we create our realities. We get excited about creating relationships that will meet us in the passion of taking full responsibility for our lives. We intend our relationships will appear in their perfect timing as we get more and more clear on what we want.
Unfortunately, even with all our good intentions, we sometimes find ourselves feeling powerless to create the relationships we want. We settle for inappropriate relationships with the hope they will provide us with the following...
- A sense of belonging
- Fulfillment and happiness
- Someone to blame for our lack of fulfillment and happiness.
- Someone to join us in holding back as a way to feel safe.
- Someone who to to control and manipulate us as a way to avoid taking responsibility for ourselves.
- Engagement in playing out the different roles that collective consciousness thinks it needs to keep things together and under control (caretaker, responsible one, victim, the problem, the superior or inferior one etc).
- Ongoing validation that there is something wrong with us to justify why we cannot take responsibility for our lives.
- Someone to settle with who goes along with the the fantasy that our inappropriate relationship is working.
Unfortunately, inappropriate relationships require lying to ourselves, draining our power and ignoring the effect we are having on the people around us. We feel touchy and reactive when we know others are aware what we are doing. We are hesitant to admit that we are holding back out of fear, powerlessness and guilt around using our relationships inappropriately.
THE GOOD NEWS IS: Inappropriate relationships can be dissolved, resolved and evolved. No one involved is bad or wrong. Each person involved can take responsibility for changing the form of any inappropriate relationships they have. They can make the change in a loving and empowering way.
The following exercise can bring clarity and resolution into the nature of appropriate relationships…
- Gather together a group of people who want to participate in learning how to make their relationships better.
- Ask them to huddle as close as they can in the middle of the room
- After being in the huddle for awhile ask them to notice how they feel.
- Ask them to notice any preferences around who they want to be close to or not close to at any given moment.
- Let them know they are free to move around whenever and wherever they want.
- Ask them to bring awareness into what other people are choosing (some people pulling out, some shifting to a different parts of the huddle, some being content where they are etc.).
- Ask them to notice if they have any hesitancy to let people see their preferences.
- Encourage them to be flexible, adjust and move to wherever feels the best.
- Give them time to think about, feel and explore their choices.
- Ask if they notice whether their choices build power or drain their power.
- Assure them that the choices they are making are all okay and part of the process.
- Assure them that the appropriateness of a relationship is flexible and can shift back and forth.
- Ask them if a relationship is not working for them if they think the relationship is working for the other person.
- Ask them to notice that when they let go of an inappropriate relationship they are creating the space for an appropriate one.
- As the exercise is coming to a close, ask them to think about the relationships they have in their lives right now. With everything they have learned who would they choose to work with? Who would they choose as friends? Who would they want to be at their dining room table? Who do they want to be intimate with? Who have they been settling with? Who are they willing to shift into appropriate relationship with? What feelings and beliefs are coming up as they explore this?
- Conclude the exercise with this question,“What is the nature of experiencing the ease, joy and empowerment of appropriate relationships in my life?”
To the power of appropriate relationships,
About the Author
Crystal is an author, coach and facilitator.
Her career began as a registered nurse and midwife.
For the past 35 years, Crystal’s passion has been creating a safe, fun and nurturing space for people to discover what stands between holding back and the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual freedom they are looking for.