We each play a part in relationships, and their success or failure. We each bring our own ways of being and personalities. Sometimes these can grate on the other, and that is when we can bring out the worst in each other. At other times one person’s personality can bring out the best in the other.
For example, if one person has the view in life of the glass being half empty, they can bring down the mood in the other, so that both feel low. Whereas someone else may not get sucked into the low mood person and in fact can have a positive effect on them.
I want to tell you about Bobby the Robin
This little bird played a big part in my young life.
My mother suffered ill health and often struggled. As a result, she needed to feel in control of not only her life but also those around her – especially me as her child. If I was naughty it would make her life more difficult, and so she was quite controlling. I remember as a 4-year-old at school, she told me that the robin we regularly saw in our garden, who we named ‘Bobby’ followed me to school, watching and reporting back to my mother if I misbehaved. I then became the good child – at the same time quite anxious, in case I did something wrong to cause her to become ill.
It doesn’t mean my mother was a bad person, she just had to control her environment in order to cope. But the effect it had on me was that I became subservient, and always wanted to please people.
The effect it had in a relationship
So when I had a partner who needed to control things in their life to function, I unconsciously did as they wanted. Behaving like the ‘good child’. So he became quite bullying and I became anxious, which caused problems in the relationship, which eventually ended as it became unsustainable for either of us.
We had each had other relationships which had not triggered that behaviour in either of us. Sadly we each brought out the worst in each other at times.