A great enemy of loving relationships is that old phrase: “taken for granted.” It’s a sure sign of needing relationship help. Many folks who have been in relationship for a while are well-served by stopping to think about whether or not they might be taking their partners for granted.
What does it mean, to take someone for granted?
We assume we know who they are, and what they will think, say or do. Then we fail to give them attention, notice their growth or changes, and underestimate their value or fail to appreciate them. In our primary romantic relationships, it also extends to thinking that, because we are committed to one another, what’s mine is yours and vice versa.
That’s lethal to a relationship. Absolutely lethal.
Recently in one of my anger management classes, I was talking about how people put other people in boxes. How they do that is to think they know all about them, then they draw a box around them and put a check mark beside it to seemingly say “Summed up.” Problem with that is that it doesn’t allow people to grow and change.
In the anger management context, I was telling the class that there will be people who have put them in a box and written “ANGRY PERSON” beside it. As they begin to internalize and demonstrate their new skills at managing their anger, the box-makers will try to stuff them back into the box with phrases such as “You always….” and “You never….” and are reluctant to see or believe their changes. This can be truly frustrating…which is a major cause of anger!
Are you a box-maker? Are you feeling boxed-in? It could be that it’s time for a good conversation with your significant other about allowing one another to change, grow, expand and express. We need to agree to look at each other with new eyes each day. Sure, we know our partners, or at least, think we do, but, when we look with fresh eyes, then we can see growth. That’s a good way to stop the feeling taken for granted problem.
INVITATION: If you need relationship help, we can talk. You can make an appointment directly and we’ll meet in person or through Skype: Reserve Your Space by clicking here. or call The Optimize Center in Escondido, CA at 760.593.4604.