The Healthy Way to Think About Mutually Beneficial Relationships

Relationships are hard. Every relationship you have is one where you’ll drag all your insecurities along with you. And to make things worse, whoever you’re in the relationship with will be full of their own baggage as well. There are a slew of common traps that most people fall into, primarily caused by externalizing blame. You can’t be in the habit of blaming everything on others, but you also don’t want to allow yourself to be walked all over. I have a perspective trick that I use to navigate these difficult waters. It’s a technique based in visualization, gratitude, and self respect.

A mutually beneficial relationship is one where both people are better off with each other than they would be without each other. In reality, you can only truly do the math for yourself, you have to rely on the other person to do the math from their side. This seems simple, but it’s actually more nuanced than it might seem from the outset.

In order to make any kind of judgement, you have to compare things. The difference between a healthy and a toxic relationship is not whether those involved are comparing things, but whether they compare the right things. Many people who have a relationship will compare what they are getting out of the relationship to what the other is getting out of the relationship. This is a mistake. Focusing on who is getting more out of things is a recipe for jealousy and resentment. The only real metric to base your perception of the relationship on is what you would be getting if you didn’t have the relationship. Is it a net positive to you. If it is, be happy and appreciate it.

Imagine you are in a relationship with someone you wish well of. Imagine two scenarios, one where you are both getting great outcomes at a very similar level. In the other scenario, you have the same good fortune as the first, but your partner is even more well off. All other things being equal, you should want your partners to do well, even if it means doing better than you. However, if you are in a relationship comparing yourselves to each other, this one-sided wins would be a bad thing rather than good. If you find yourself hoping your partner does poorly, you know you have somehow wandered into a losing mindset.

Life is not a zero sum game. Others doing well doesn’t mean you are doing worse. You should look for relationships where you and your partner both win, and don’t concern yourself with who wins more. Just try to win for both of you. If you are the big winner, try to make sure your partner is winning enough to keep playing with you. You don’t have to make it equal, but you do have to make it worthwhile. If it ever ends up that they would be better off without your relationship, they will likely end it with you and rightly so. Look for the double wins, make sure the outcomes are mutually beneficial, and don’t let your ego compare people to anyone other than themselves. 

Be grateful for the prosperity of those around you, be grateful for the prosperity you receive yourself. None of it is a given. Continue to create mutual wins for others, and pay attention to when they create mutual wins for you. Surround yourselves with these relationships, and you won’t have time to be toxic. You’ll be too busy winning.

Copyright © 2023 Silicon Hemisphere, LLC

Copyright © 2023 Silicon Hemisphere, LLC

Copyright © 2023 Silicon Hemisphere, LLC