"Only equals make friends, every other relationship is contrived & off balance." - Maya Angelou
A relationship is always formed between equals. When I say equals, what I precisely mean is that both the persons/parties forming the relationship hold equal importance, value and have the same relationship goals. An imbalance in one, will ruin the relationship or lead to a very short-lived one. Even if you try to drag it for a while, it will collapse eventually. Before getting into any relationship, be it personal or professional, know yourself & your worth. Do ascertain your value. Make a clear interpretation of your likes, dislikes, purpose, boundaries, interests, expectations, limitations etc. Once you know your value, you can then form a relationship of equals by building relationship with those who truly deserve you/your expertise.
Never get into something that doesn't feel right for you but you think you will make it right. That doesn't work. Never compromise on your core and stick to anything in the name of kindness, commitment or your goodness. Your first commitment is to yourself. You need to first protect yourself from all the hurt, harm & manipulation.
This world is full of people waiting for you to embrace your goodness only if you polarize yourself from the wrong ones & free yourself from the shackles of undeserving relationships. Only thing you need to do is to find the right kind who would value you, be happy & grateful to have you in their lives and vice versa.This is applicable both in personal & professional life.
How do you realize that you are not in a relationship of equals? Here are some points for your consideration which I had experienced personally & professionally:
1. The moment when you get a feeling that you are not being valued for who you are, you are taken for granted & used for some ulterior motives. Don't ignore that feeling. Our essence, our being always gives us cue only if we pay heed to it.
2. When you are the one giving and emptying your cup with nothing to receive back.
3. When being in that relationship you drain your energy.
4. You start feeling less important and you don't feel good about yourself. Only thing you start noticing or made to notice are your flaws/limitations.
5. When you do more than what you are accepted & acknowledged for.
6. When you don't feel happy from the inside.
7. When there is nothing to be hopeful about & nothing to look forward to.
When you realize that you are not being treated as equals, that's the time to stand up for yourself. You can gently articulate how you feel & give the other person/party time to reflect upon. You can then draw boundaries and take actions accordingly. Still if nothing changes, you need to move out completely even if that may be hurtful for a while. You need liberation & you need to set yourself free. This is the time to be grateful for the fact that you found out that this isn't a relationship of equals. Pain for a while is better than pain for a long time. After all, these are part of your experiences in this journey called life. Never let another person demean your self-worth. You are valuable, lovable, precious and made for the person that truly deserves you. You don't have to fit in for another's best interest. If you don't take care of yourself, no one else will. If a person cannot see your value, it is their loss not yours. Another person's inability doesn't lessen your worth & being. Value yourself, love yourself. Raise the bar, never lower it to fit in.
This same concept is applicable in your professional life too. Choose an organization, a role with which you have the relationship of equals. Never compromise and choke yourself. If you do, it will one day burst out in an uglier form than you anticipated. Sooner you realize and take action, better it is for you.
Leaving you with this thought: "If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value." And when you don't value yourself, you will always be attracted to people who don't value you either. So, make the right choice now.
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals