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This piece around the giving and receiving of attention in our relationships, can be a real point of pain for people. It’s hard to know sometimes when we’re giving too much or if we’re not giving enough in our relationships.
And I’m talking about all relationships, not just romantic ones. I mean, whether we’re with our family, or whether we’re focused on our career, whether we’re focused on romantic relationships, we want to feel loved and supported by the people we care about.
And it can sometimes feel tough to figure out just the right balance around that.
I’m going to give you some suggestions for how to change your mindset around it, so you can have more freedom around this idea of giving and receiving attention.
1a. Know your default.
I look at your default around the giving and receiving of attention at two primary times:
What is your default when you’re feeling good, and well resourced, rested, and at your best?
And what’s your default when you don’t feel so great, when you’re not at your best, when you’re tapped out, stressed, or exhausted? What becomes your default then?
I think it’s important to understand yourself in both those areas. Are you more of a giver or receiver by nature when you’re feeling good, and when you’re feeling not so good?
1b. Communicate about your default to your loved ones.
Be transparent about how you navigate giving and receiving attention when you feel good and when you don’t, so your loved ones can be on the lookout for which way you’re trending, which will create deeper intimacy and understanding between you.
And ask them about their defaults, too!
2. Make sure to fill your own cup.
Most of us tend to focus on picking apart this question of who is giving how much, and is it enough when we don’t feel well resourced.
It’s a function of the mind when it goes into stress to start picking things apart and assessing things in this way. So watch out for that and fill your own cup first.
The other reason why it’s important to fill your own cup first, is that you want to come to your relationships well-resourced, so that they can be a source of joy and pleasure for you and you’re not trying to pull from the relationship some baseline of energy that you should be funding yourself.
3. Watch out for using attention as currency.
A lot of people set their relationships up this way, where it’s like, “Well, I’ll give you this if you give me that.” Or, “I’ll text you if you text me back.”
This kind of tit-for-tat energy, where you’re trading attention as currency does not create gorgeous, loving, generous, generous, generative relationships.
It creates relationships that are stuck on the level of commerce, which is ultimately not fun or rewarding for anyone.
Again, recognize that you tend to do the nickel-and-diming thing when you’re not filling your own cup. So go back to step two, work to fill your own cup, and you’ll find this kind of nitpicky issue around who’s giving and getting what will disappear because then both of you are filling your own cup and coming to the relationship well-resourced, with plenty to give one another.
4. Watch out for your habitual patterns.
If you notice a particular pattern showing up again and again in your relationships, like you attract takers, or you attract givers who smother you, and it’s hard for you to receive that much attention.
Whatever the pattern is, watch out for it, and begin to unpack where that might have come from.
Is there a way that you learned to get love as a child that you’re repeating now?
Is there a way you learned to control people as a child that you’re repeating now?
The more aware you can be about these underlying dynamics and the more you take responsibility for showing up resourced, rested, and responsible for your own state as much as possible, the better your relationships will feel.
Watch the full training HERE.
The relationship you desire is possible! If you’re partnered, click HERE to discover what missing pieces are stopping you from having the connection and passion you desire.
If you’re single and/or dating, click HERE to to take an honest look at where you are now and where you need to grow in order to attract the love you want.