The Roles We Play in Relationships

There are the obvious ones: husband, father, son, uncle, friend (or insert any of your own here). But it occurs to me that beyond these are the actual characteristics or scripts I engage in within my relationships, and how these change based on the other person, circumstances, time of life. And I often create these scripts to help balance out the opposite in someone else. I think it helps propel us in a more productive, positive, or healing direction when our roles complement one another.

For example if a friend is super rigid, responsible, anxious, or uptight, I will become the opposite for them because having two anxious people interacting together will generally not be helpful. Or if one is a free spirit, then I feel it is my role to be the voice of reason–to bring it down to earth. But the voice of reason really is not that much fun, not for me or whoever I maybe reasoning with. Much more fun to go where the spirit moves you, and not have to think too much of consequences.

I do this for what I perceive to be the greater good, but I wonder how limiting this can be when feel I have become locked into that persona? Typecast in a way I guess. But the feeling of resentment can start to creep in the more I become locked into a particular role (and that’s never good). The simmering or repressive feeling that I get because I have been playing a particular role, or following a specific script for too long, and that it has defined me. Others can relax and not have to play the heavy because they know I will do it.

It can be avery lonely, heavy, and frustrating place to be. Like the weight of the world (well, the roles anyway) is crushing me. Sounds a little melodramatic I know, but there it is.

I think the key lies somewhere in the balance between selfless and selfish and not allowing it to go too far in either direction. But I find this very hard, particularly when I have played the role for too long, and can’t (or don’t know how to) break free.

1 thought on “The Roles We Play in Relationships

  1. Intense. And totally understand what you’re saying. I’ve had some people tell me I’m rigid, and some look on me as completely irresponsible. I think that the most important thing that I can do for people, and in turn hope that they do for me, is to let them evolve, to change, to grow. I don’t want to trap people in roles that they played when they were different people, and I hope I’m allowed the same freedom. p.s. Please keep being the heavy; you know we’ve got your back!!

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