Think about someone that you have difficulty with. It could be a family member, co-worker, friend. There may be value in keeping the relationship, or they are in your orbit by way of circumstance – in any case, there are times when you struggle to maintain your composure or feel drained of your energy around them. When you reflect on your last few interchanges, ask yourself, “In their presence do I feel inferior or superior?”
Generally speaking, we will lean one way or the other. We may feel inferior if that person tends to be controlling or dominant. Feeling inferior can occur if we feel pulled to justify or explain ourselves. We may feel superior if we feel compelled to always give advice. Superiority can also come when we see ourselves as more ‘put together’ or successful than the other.
One or the other, the feelings of inferiority and superiority come from fear. Fear that we are not good enough, that we don’t measure up. Fear that our insecurities will be revealed.
We are better served to recognize if this is happening and instead move to recognizing the equal in another. Below all the layers, we are the same being. When our ego is gently pushed aside, we are able to see that the space for equality has no room for fear, but rather leads with unconditional positive regard.
There will always be relationships in which boundaries need to be in place and sometimes space needs to be taken, but we can do so with kindness and a respect for the equal in another.
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Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@seanstratton