Tamara and I had a chance to go to Chicago for a conference a few weeks ago, and while there we heard Pia Mellody speak. Mellody is a true pioneer in the therapy field and has written many books that we recommend to clients on a regular basis. In her latest book, "The Intimacy Factor", Mellody dedicates a chapter to her "24 Relationship Maxims". These relationship standards and truths are a great guide for everyone to follow while on a journey to a healthy relationship. This week Imagine Hope will be sharing these truths with you to use in your relationships! Pia Mellody's Relationship Maxims 1-6
1. You cannot "nice" someone into a relationship- Being real in a relationship and being nice are very different. Being nice is a mask and does not offer truth and intimacy, it is nonrelational.
2. You can't be distant and caring. When you care for someone, you are there for that person- Show up and pay attention otherwise distance will result. Care most often requires hands-on involvement.
3. If you are judgmental, your value system may be too big- People with a big value system tend to look at people who see things differently as "bad" rather than different. They put themselves in a "one-up" position in order to look down on all the "wrong" people. At the end we are left with a big value system and a small number of friends.
4. Our own experience of shame makes it possible to be relational- When you accept your own humanness and imperfection, you are less likely to judge and be more humble. Humility is recognizing both our strengths and weaknesses.
5. We choose our behavior. The world chooses our consequences- We cannot control how our actions will be received by others. We surrender the right to decide that when in a relationship.
6. Date only the people you admire enough to criticize- "Dating should be about finding out who our potential partner is. But when we date and find someone we really like, rather than putting in the time to find out who he or she really is, we spend our time ignoring that. We focus only on the parts of our date that we find pleasant. and try to dismiss the rest. As the relationships ages, the opposite happens, and we focus on what we don't like and ignore what we do" (p. 136)
* the above is adapted or directly quoted from "The Intimacy Factor" by Pia Mellody pages 135-136
Keep reading this week to see more of Mellody's Relationship Maxims!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.