Often due to some destructive past influences people in Counselling are often involved with people in their lives who are less than constructive for them. What can happen is that we play out certain roles which we played perhaps for our parents in the past. The idea is often discussed of 'replaying dramas' whereas in the past we were forced to abandon our authentic self in order to fit in with a dysfunctional family system and now continue to replay these same destructive patterns with others in our lives.
Our romantic relationships are identified as in particularly bringing up our deepest core issues. Often we work in Counselling with what this situation is reminding me of from my past. Often the same niggle we have with for example an overbearing and dominating partner can be traced back to our primary caregivers. Healing this original wound can then provide a key foundation to becoming more assertive with our current partner and working towards a constructive way forward or perhaps finding a different relationship.
It is important to remember as adults that people in our lives should be adding something to our lives. Playing the role of a support person for example is very positive in pockets but it is important to reflect back on ones boundaries and look at the role the other person is playing in their life and whether they are in fact adding something or just draining. Friends should always add something and they should never be cruel.
A very simple boundary exercise to become more conscious can be simply to list people in our lives and write what we are and what we are not willing to do. Getting this out there and making it clear and conscious can then help us to be more constructive. If we are unable to act on these boundaries or for some reason feel obligated to be a certain way it is important to reflect on ourselves as to why this may be.
As adults we need to remember that the word 'should' is out. Changing the word to 'could' and therefore looking at what we choose or choose not to do.