I have heard this saying, “It’s a two-way street” many times. When I think about it, it pertains to any relationship you may have with someone. Although sometimes it’s a given that a two-way street is the healthiest and most fulfilling route to strive for between you and someone else, I find myself sometimes in a one-way street relationship. What does that look like? One side does more of the talking or listening. One side accommodates to the other person’s preferences more often. One side goes to the other to vent and receive advice while the other side rarely does the same in return. One side asks more and there is less giving on their part. One side does more work to maintain and grow the relationship while the other person doesn’t follow through on their areas for growth or efforts. You get the point. This wisdom hasn’t been on my mind much (and I sure am not experiencing this right now), but I thought I’d write about it because I have found myself in one of these scenarios in the past. Maybe unknowingly I am the person who is making the relationship a one-way street, but more often to my knowledge, I have settled for a one-way street relationship. It’s easy to reach that outcome when I have dated someone who doesn’t fit my criteria, or a friend who I keep hoping will become a better friend, or I get my way all the time so I stay. The problem remaining in one of these unbalanced relationships is dissatisfaction, wasteful of my taste, feeling negative towards the other person, and most of all, stunting my personal growth. Instead, if the relationship is a two-way street, the hope would be that each person lifts the other up, they learn from each other, help one another, and ultimately, grow together.
I need to still do this, but take a moment to think about all the meaningful relationships you have in your life. Even professional ones. Ask yourself if they’re one-way or two-way streets. From there, assess their worth in your life.