All relationships need to work for both parties in order to continue and be perceived as worthwhile. We often think of relationships as personal but they form in many venues - personal, business, political - to cite a few.
The most intimate relationships are often the ones where it becomes apparent to all around whether or not the relationship is a two-way street or is clearly one-way.
Years ago I knew a couple where the husband was spoiled rotten. The delightful wife looked after six children and the home and waited on the husband hand and foot. He did earn their living and was entertaining, but that was it. Their relationship ended when he announced one night that he was leaving her for another woman with three children.
All their friends were astonished when he began to babysit his new wife's three children and scrub the floors. Go figure. Evidently one-way streets don't work, even for the person who takes all! (P.S. The first wife put herself through school, became an attorney, and married a wonderful man.)
Business relationships come in as many sizes as do personal relationships and often take on a personal flavor as well. The business relationships that work - no pun intended - are definitely the two-way streets. When each person is carrying his or her own load, resentment is not a factor. When there are freeloaders involved, however, there will be turnover - and anguish until the situation is resolved.
Politicians promise to walk the road with us, lightening our loads, and we vote them into office to do just that. They have a finite number of years to travel our road or they themselves get a one-way ticket home.
It is much easier for those of us who don't
get voted in or out on a regular basis to
forget that relationships need to be two-way.
It is always easy for us to see what we need,
harder to take the other person's needs into account.
If we aren't able to give the other person some unselfish consideration, sooner or later that relationship will end, or change dramatically.
We can take a few moments to consider the relationships that we want to keep and do something to help that cause. Then too, we might want to take a look at what comes our way from relationships where we believe we have been the sole giver. If it isn't a two-way street, are we going the wrong way on our one-way street?
As we race through our days and years, a little pause to examine the relationships in our lives can be the most important thing we forgot to put on our schedule. Taking time to do so can lead, hand in hand, to that road less traveled.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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