Improve Your Relationships: Put Your Score Card Away
Relationships are precious. They must be cared for like fine jewelry. Trying to keep score on who does what can kill a relationship. Keeping track of your disappointments and what the other does in return when you do something creates nothing but resentment and hostility in both romance and friendships.
All healthy relationships are a give and take. While you can expect some reciprocation for your actions a relationship is never straight 50-50. I remember my uncle saying one day, “Sometimes it’s 50-50. Other times it’s 20-80 or 80-20. Then there are those times someone is giving everything and the other nothing.” In healthy relationships it evens out over time as you become more of a giver at times and more of a receiver at other times.
Of course, as my uncle said, there are those times you’re giving 100% and the other person can’t give an equal amount. You find that in illness, infirmity or crisis such as job loss or grief.
When you and the other person give 100% of yourself to each other that is when true partnerships are made. In this article I talk about why you should put away your relationship “score card” and then strategies you can use to break the habit. This will stop making a relationship a competition and build up more trust between the two of you.
First, let’s look at why you should stop keeping that score card in your mind.
1. Keeping score weakens your relationship
Healthy relationships depend on both of you being committed to the other’s happiness. You should give because you want your partner to be happy and not because you want something in return. If you find yourself in a relationship in which you’re doing all the giving or all the receiving, then something is out of balance and needs to be addressed. Don’t do this is a “score keeping” way. Do this by expressing your feelings.
2. You’ll create self-reliance when you stop
It may seem counter-intuitive, but creating stronger ties creates independence. You enjoy the support your partner brings while at the same time take more responsibility for yourself. When you’re keeping tabs of who gives what you place a barrier between the two of you which pushes you apart from each other.
Remember, being in a relationship doesn’t mean you always enjoy the same things. You will always be two different people. As you grow and develop you may have new interests which the other doesn’t have. Find ways to share and enjoy each other. Communicate the fun.
3. Giving freely creates happiness
Being resentful disrupts how you see the world as well as your partner/friend. When you move away from keeping score you’ll see the world with different eyes and notice all the reasons you have to be happy. You’ll notice things your friend or partner does you never noticed before.
4. Time to grow up
Keeping score like this is something left over from childhood. Finding new ways to interact with people will show you far more rewarding ways to relate to others.
How to Stop Keeping Score
Some people have been keeping a scorecard for so long they don’t know how to stop. Here are a few tips.
1. Be More Grateful
Appreciation is the cure for keeping score. The more you focus on the good in your friends and family, the less you see the bad. Doing this may even show you the good things they’ve been doing that you missed because you were looking at the bad. Set your intention to notice all the little and big things the other does which are kind and generous.
You know the expression “making a mountain out of a mole hill”? Keeping score can blow small things out of proportion. Yes, you want a give and take in your relationship, but are there other things your friend or partner does which make up for what you perceive as an imbalance in the score card?
Satisfaction in a relationship often comes from giving, rather than receiving. Contribute more yourself and do so unconditionally. When you do give, offer a prayer or thought of gratitude that you are able to do so. See how different it is when compared to attaching strings to gifts. You’ll be delighted to see how the pattern grows and develops into something even more beautiful in your relationships.
4. Be Forgiving
Both you and your partner will make mistakes. That’s just part of being human. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings, ask and give forgiveness and then move on to the next experience.
5. Respect your Differences
An interesting thing about keeping score is that you play by different rules than your friends. They may value punctuality while you feel that meeting times are flexible. They will mark against you for being late even though you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong. This makes your score card unequal. Talk to each other about what is most important and adjust accordingly.
6. Be Direct
Asking someone directly for what you want is far more effective than hoping others will be able to read your mind. Let the people you love know when you need their help. Also be willing to help them out when they need it. Ask them what they need if you don’t know. Don’t try to read their mind. You might tap into the wrong mind!
7. Negotiate the Differences
While most give-and-take in marriages comes naturally (hopefully) there will be times you need to make a formal agreement with your partner. Create a list of the things neither of you particularly enjoys. This is a better way to approach the problem than arguing weekly about who does what this time around.
8. Be United
A great relationship is one where you think about how you and your partner can move forward together, not one where you focus entirely on your own personal gain. You do so much better as a team. When a challenge comes along tackle it with your partner.
9. Move On if You Must
Unfortunately not every relationship works. If you think that the relationship has become too one sided it may be time to move on. Don’t forget that you deserve love and respect. You can move forward and find better relationships for yourself after wishing everyone else well.
Remember that one aspect of a relationship is mutual happiness, not about keeping score and keeping things balanced. All romances and friendships are better when you are generous to each other. You want it to be natural, but here’s a hint: If your friend loves to receive cards, flowers, or other gifts and that is not something you think of, schedule it. Sometimes people need to be reminded to be thoughtful and it’s best to be the one to remind yourself.
Relationships are a game where the only way to win is to not keep score.
Let’s Talk Healing
Even if your relationship is 50-50 there are hurts and disappointments. It’s the emotional wounds which lead to the score keeping. The one who does most of the giving is the one who is more likely to become tired and discouraged in the relationship. The one not giving has his or her own wounds s/he’s coping with.
The simple 5-Step Soul Healing Prayer can assist you in overcoming the pain of these wounds. With healing you can quit keeping score, bring clarity to your mind and move forward in your relationships.
If you don’t yet have the Soul Healing Prayer, you may get it by clicking on the heart. It will take you to a page where you put in your name and email address. The Soul Healing Prayer will be sent to you in your email. Of course, you may simply listen to the video where I explain the prayer to you. Have paper and pencil ready to copy down the five steps.
To receive notices of when blog posts are added, click the blue button and fill out the form.