You want your spouse, partners or friends to love you more, but are you up for it?
If you’re like me, you tend to resist when others try to intervene in your life. This resistance is resistance to being loved.
I learned this lesson as an adult.
Until around the age of 35, I did as I pleased, without seeking outside opinions. After all, I knew what was best and no one else could possibly understand what I was going through, right?
If you had a different opinion, I dismissed it. Only when you agreed with me would I listen. If you challenged me, I was out of there, as the challenge was obviously a reflection of your stupidity.
At the time I thought I was exerting my personal power and in a way, I was doing just that. However, I also felt empty, alone and resentful.
Then, I met Hope.
Over these 10 years, my wife, Hope, has taught me that love is an intervention. If you want people to love you, then you must empower them to intervene in your life and be willing to intervene in theirs.
Love between two people is not possible without this form of interdependency.
What does it mean to allow someone to love you? Here are some thoughts…
1. When people love you, they have a voice.
When someone really loves you, they will not be able to avoid having an opinion about what is best for you. This is appropriate. If they care about you, they will want to help, to be involved in the outcomes of your life.
This means that they will add their own ideas into the mix. This is a blessing, not a curse.
If you resist, then you are resisting love. Your need to be right is keeping you in solitary confinement.
2. When someone loves you, you are accountable.
In a love relationship between two adults, you share a life and, therefore, mutual accountability. Several things may factor in, depending on your agreement. Your time, money, work, hobbies and priorities in life are all fair game.
Did you think someone should love you and then have to live on the leftovers of your decisions? It won’t last.
The other people in your life who love you deserve a say in how you spend your resources, as it greatly affects them.
3. When someone loves you, they expect effort.
You need to love in return and this always involves sacrifice. You sacrifice your time, money, emotional energy and sometimes your interests so that the other feels loved, too.
The other person deserves a return on her investment. If she doesn’t get that return, it is not a good investment and time will make that obvious.
If you love this person, the sacrifice will still feel real, but the payoff (the other’s happiness) will make it worthwhile. Can you handle this?
4. When someone loves you, there is no “That’s just how I am. Deal with it!”
You owe the people in your life more than that. This attitude reeks of, “I know I make you miserable, but you’ll just have to live with it because I don’t care that much about you.”
If your partner has complaints about you, regardless of his or her own shortcomings, work on those things. Accommodate.
If the issue is overwhelming to you – if you feel powerless to change, great! What an opportunity to grow as an individual.
Get help if you need it. Chances are, if you are struggling, someone out there understands and can guide you to solutions.
If you keep justifying your weaknesses out of fear or stubbornness, you miss out on the deeper purpose of relationships.
5. No one signed up to raise your inner child.
We all have it – that little child inside that still needs something. No childhood is perfect. The residual needs (attachments) however, are your responsibility now.
When you expect your spouse, friends, parents or even your children to live with your out-of-control childishness, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If the people in your life have grown tired of your emotional immaturity, they have a point. Thankfully, there are very effective ways to re-parent your inner child.
Chances are that you are just as impatient with the immature parts of your personality as everyone else is. You are the only one who shouldn’t be impatient at this point. Everyone else has the right to be.
Learn to work with your repressed needs so that you can heal. Do it for yourself and those who relate with you.
If you are lucky, you’re with people who – in spite of their foibles – care about you enough to continue intervening.
Let them in. If you just can’t do it, then get some help. It will change your entire life for the better.
If you want help applying the principles in this article to your life, consider life coaching with Mike Bundrant. To inquire, click here.
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.