Our “I” has many facets. We can be both confident and artistic, jealous and affectionate, calm and caustic. Growing up, we understand that certain aspects of our “I” more attract the attention of others. And that is why we are inclined to develop them, to include them in our “business card”. Especially when it comes to relationships that are important to us. And we use this card all our lives when we need to make a first impression on someone we like, says family therapist Assael Romanelli.
An analogy with a business meeting is perfect: when we meet business partners, we unconsciously show them our personal business cards, and they show theirs. And the relationship will continue only if we like what we saw.
Thus, Romanelli emphasizes, we attract those whose “business cards” fit ours into our lives. That is, those who find it easy to contact with people like us. If your “business card” says that you are a shy person, someone who finds a common language with shy people will easily find a common language with you. Perhaps his card shows that he is a “teacher”, “leader” or “parent.”
At first glance, this strategy seems convenient. But it has a significant drawback. It often happens that you get to know each other and enter into relationships with different “variations on the theme” of the same person over and over again. This is exactly the case when “all three husbands are like a blueprint” or “all my friends love to complain.” That is, your options are simply limited to the patterns of behavior that you are used to demonstrating.
Is your bit card?
Oddly enough, there is no universal set of qualities that would fit in all situations without exception. Remaining flexible, using several “business cards” at the same time is a much more profitable strategy. In many ways, our personal “business cards” work like “glasses” through which we look at the world. They reflect our beliefs and attract people like ours or the type that suits us.
But if you want something fundamentally different to appear in your life, you should change your optics! What do I need to do? Here are a few steps that Assael Romanelli designed. If you have a partner, connect him to the process of creating a new “business card”.
- Understand what the “business card” of your relationship looks like at the moment. Identify five good things about this business card – how it will benefit your connection.
- Let your partner read this material and ask if he knows what your “business card” is in a relationship. If you yourself cannot recognize it, let your loved one help.
- Describe on paper two of your own “business cards” that you use in your relationship. Show them to your partner and try to talk to him about these cards. When and under what circumstances did you get them? What do you get by using them – and what are you missing out on?
- Ask your loved one to share with you how they see their main “calling card” of the relationship. Often there is a certain connection between the “business cards” of two people, they form pairs of the form “parent / child”, “teacher / student”, “leader / follower”, “weak / strong” and so on.
- Ask yourself: What aspects of your business cards are you missing? Each of us has a large supply of different strategies and feelings. But some of them belong to that part of us, which in psychoanalysis is called the Shadow. These are manifestations that we, for some reason, reject, consider unworthy. A passionate lover can “live” inside a modest person, inside an active person – one who wants to relax and accept affection. And we can use these manifestations in drawing up new “business cards”.
- Use new business cards in your relationship. By doing this, you are exposing the shadowy aspects of your personality – and you might like it.
Don’t be surprised if your partner resists changes in your behavior. This is normal: you are changing the system itself! He will probably try to return everything “as it was”, because this is a familiar and understandable story. And nevertheless, developing new qualities in yourself, you and help him to discover new sides of himself. Come up with new “business cards”: this way you will make your life richer and more interesting, and you will also be able to open new facets in existing relationships.