Feel-Good Relationship and The Infinite Loop

I have been talking about Dr. Henry Cloud’s book The Power of the Other. The book talks about the 4 types of relationships. So far, I have covered corners one and two.

Today, I discuss corner 3:the pseudo good connection.

This one is pretty simple to explain. It is any relationship that I choose just to make me feel good.

  • The bar visited to drown my sorrows.
  • The group of yes-men that make me feel good about everything I do, regardless of the outcome.
  • The boss that always give me positive feedback.
  • The comfort food used to neutralize my sadness.
  • The constant search for new projects whenever I run into challenges with the existing ones.

Corner 3 is where addictions, affairs, and adrenaline junkies are born.

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I think we all know someone that has gone through this experience.

What I found most interesting about the first three (3) corners, is the cycle that can be formed among them. Dr. Cloud calls it the the three corner roundabout.

Here’s an example.

I’m tired of feeling like I don’t fit in with others because I dislike the way my body looks and feels. I feel very out of shape (corner 1). This then progresses to forming a relationship with my critic who spends all their effort judging me and pointing out everything that’s wrong (corner 2). After some time, I find a way to numb the pain and feel good about myself (corner 3). But then, I realize I’m just being superficial and go back to judging myself (corner 2). Ultimately, I decide to just go hang out alone because that’s better (corner 1). And the cycle repeats.

Have you found yourself in these type of cycle?

Corner 3 is a tricky connection to handle. It’s something that helps us feel good but doesn’t really satisfies. It’s superficial. We know better; and yet, it’s very easy to fall in the trap.

The only connection that can makes us whole is corner 4: the true connection. But that’s a discussion for next week.

In the mean time, what are some examples you have for corner 3 connections?

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