Giving and Taking: The Lose/Lose Philosophy of Relationships

This is a part of a new series that I am doing about the different paradigms of human interaction.

These paradigms are based on Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So far we have done,

Win/Win or No Deal

Today we are talking about the Lose/Lose philosophy.

“When two determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact, the result will be Lose/Lose. Both will lose. Both will become vindictive and want to “get back” or “get even,” blind to the fact that murder is suicide, that revenge is a two-edged sword.”

Here, when you are so focused on making sure that the other person lose that you don’t even care if it affects you, both parties will lose. This philosophy is one that used in revenge, war and serious conflicts. In relationships, of all of the mentalities to have, this is the one you want the least.

A hard situation you may come across in a relationship is when your significant other is miserable. Maybe something happened to them that made them really unhappy. He or she may be so miserable or angry that they don’t care about anyone else’s happiness because they would rather wallow in their own misery – or even worse, make people feel the same misery that they do. Depending on the circumstance, that can be a sign of dependency and lack to inner guidance. They may need the failure or misery of others in order to make them feel better (remember, it all depends on the circumstance. I would hope that you can use your better judgement to realize what circumstances may make this situation different).

You can’t let that happen. You stick to your mentality and try to help them bounce back. If they respond negatively – either to try to bring you down with them, doesn’t want you around or if they just don’t want to hear it – then maybe the best thing to do is to give him or her space and have him or her gather her thoughts properly, assuring them that you are there for them. The last thing you want to do is keep this Lose/Lose mentality for any period of time in a relationship.

Needless to say, it’s very detrimental to the future to you two staying together.

Four down, two to go. Let me know your thoughts about this series and how it could possibly be better to help you.

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