How much does it cost to be in a relationship with you?
What value do you bring to your personal and professional relationships? Knowing your worth allows you to develop a healthy ego and self-esteem, which can go a long way toward developing and maintaining supportive, mutually beneficial relationships. The best part about realizing your worth is understanding that you don’t have to be a doormat or jerk to make others realize your value. So, grab a pen and paper then find a quiet, comfortable place to sit.
Assessing Relational Value
A relationship is, ideally, a mutually beneficial relationship based on some form of respect and genuine appreciation for the other person. While assessing relational value isn’t an exact science, people tend to look for six qualities:
1. Patience The ability to hear another’s point of view while reserving judgment for later.
2. Honesty The ability to share your thoughts and feelings in tactful ways so others are able to hear and digest what you’ve said.
3. Empathy The ability to understand and imagine what it must be like to be in another person’s situation.
4. Boundaries The ability to set limits for yourself and respect the limits of others.
5. Mirroring The ability to identify what good or positive qualities others possess.
6. Communication The ability to honestly articulate your thoughts and feelings in a clear, cohesive manner.
What’s Your Value?
The more these qualities are present in a relationship, the more value that relationship holds. Ergo, the more you’re able to perform the above functions in your relationships, the more valuable you – and a relationship with you – become. On the other hand, the less able you are to perform these functions, the less value you possess for those in a relationship with you.
All things being equal, each of these qualities are just as important as the others. If you’re consistent with:
Two qualities Your value is minimal. You are typical and a relationship with you is no more or less valuable than with anyone else. DOWNSIDE: You may notice that most of your relationships are short or fizzle after some time has passed.
Four qualities Your value is moderate. You make people feel special and seem to draw others to you. DOWNSIDE: You may notice that people either take you for granted, drain your emotional reserve or cling to you. While others may not know it consciously, you’re important to them and they usually don’t realize how important you are to them until you’re gone. This is because you unconsciously help them perform a function they may be unable to perform themselves. The value you bring to your relationships is one-sided and tend to benefit others while having a low payout for you. Now it’s time to find relationships mutually beneficial.
Five or more qualities Your value is high. You’re respected and people are aware of how valuable you are to them. DOWNSIDE: There are none! Chances are very low that someone will take you for granted; chances are also high that people will let not the relationship go without regret or remorse. CHA-CHING! You’re worth your weight in gold.
A Plan for Improvement
Now that you have a sense of your relational value, it’s time to plan for how to increase or maintain your value. If you have five to six qualities, you’re in great shape!
If you have three to four qualities, you may want to find a therapist or coach to help you get to the next level of relationship development as well as support your emotional well-being. Your emotional well-being is the most important part of your improvement plan, because this is a growing phase that’s typically uncomfortable. You may want to look at developing better emotional boundaries and self-care.
If you have two or fewer qualities, you may want to strongly consider getting a therapist or coach to work with you on your relational challenges. There may be deep-seated issues that are preventing you from developing the qualities needed to have healthy, long-term relationships. The first thing to consider working on in is your personal truth.
Illustration above by Rosemary Fanti.