Polarization occurs as Ms. Giver becomes increasingly other directed, while Mr. Self becomes progressively more self-focused. Each exaggerates their gift, as if to say to the other, “See, this is the right way.” The more polarized they become the more their gifts show their downside or hazzards. Mr.Self's self-focus becomes narcissistic and Ms. Giver’s gift of helping others changes to co-dependency, where she needs to have someone to help in order to feel worthwhile. When both learn to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s gifts they will no longer feel threatened by their differences.
In beginning relationships, gifts are acknowledged and complimented. When gifts are different from ours, we seem to slowly decrease both the quality and frequency of our compliments. Not only can polarization occur, but each will feel invalidated by the other. Gifts are the essence of our personhood and we crave validation. Without validation we are at risk of overdoing our gifts and acting out the hazard side.
Watch out for hazards.
Today is Monday, April 12, 2010. For the next post, Wednesday April 14, let's look at how relationship skills are formed from our gifts.
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Wishing you happy and fullfilling relationships,
Note: If you are worried about confidentiality for Mark, Irene and Amy, worry no more. I changed their names and used stock photos to protect their identity.