Relational and Self-Imposed Growing Pains

Relational and Self-Imposed Growing Pains

There may come a time in your life when you began to actually put time and effort into learning more about yourself, why you think the way you do, why you process information the way you do, why you act and react to certain things a specific way.

This is your path toward becoming self-aware. This is great. Although, it may not seem great if you’re in a relationship and your partner isn’t also working toward their own personal growth.

You’re growing as a person and they’re not. They’re content with who they are and the way their life is, while you’re working on being a better person and improving the quality of your life. I believe this is what happens when people say, “I’m not sure what happened. It seemed we just grew apart.” You grew and they didn’t. Or vice versa; your partner grew and you didn’t like who they were becoming. You didn’t want things to change; from your perspective things were fine.

The journey toward self-awareness is a troublesome one, an extremely challenging one. People are quick to say, “I’m not perfect.” While not accepting they have issues. There are some who do acknowledge their shortcomings, began to work on improving them, realize it’s a lot of hard work, and then stop. It’s easier to stay the same than to hold themselves accountable to change. Growth is hard and it hurts. I tell those going through emotional and psychological growth they’ll go through “Growing Pains.”

You may be in a relationship with someone who acknowledges things they need to work on to become a better person. You encourage them. You emotionally support them. You make allowances for when they seemingly are at a standstill. You begin feeling as if the person isn’t committed to maneuvering through their “growing pains.” You talk to them about it, they say they want to work on themselves, they promise they will, and they don’t.

I’ve come to believe a person may say anything while not realizing it’s their actions that tell the truth. A person may not be capable due to their mental state to make the changes they say they want to. Or, they may simply not want to. I believe a person who isn’t willing or capable of striving through growing pains is also NOT going to be able or willing to put in the work to help a friendship or relationship grow into a more effective, productive, and healthy place.

Work on self is hard. Building and maintaining a healthy friendship and relationship is hard. Becoming a better person for yourself, will carry over into you being better in everything else you do. If you don’t work on being a better you, your relationships and friendships can only go so far. Your life reflects who you are: good, bad, or indifferent.

Someone who doesn’t want to work on themselves isn’t, in my opinion, going to want to work on improving a relationship when things get bumpy. No commitment to self is a sign of no genuine commitment to another person, whether a friendship or relationship.

I look forward to reading your thoughts and experiences regarding the challenges of personal growth. Has there been a time you were on a path to growth and felt like giving up? Did you give up? Did you push through the rough patch? What was a motivating factor in your commitment to continue moving forward? What has been your experience with knowing or being with someone who was content with the friendship or relationship while you saw room for improvement? 

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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