How others need us – relationship development and transformation Relationship

A measure of our life is not how we see ourselves, but how others see us. More specifically, how others need us and what roles we play in the EU Relationships we create, We can imagine these roles that span a continuum from the greatest power and control to the weakest. Here are some of the most common:

White knight

To the rescue. Here, others expect you to hold them up, save them, take them over when they’re overwhelmed, and fix things up.

What drives this:

You can take on this role because it is part of your values ​​- the help of others – but it can also be appealing to be needed.


The relationship is unbalanced. The danger is that you will be burned out, that you will not feel valued, or that they will eventually outgrow you, leave you alone, and look for someone else who can save you.

The reliable helper

You are the type that everyone always meets to be on this church committee, to manage the cake sales for the PTA and to be the assistant coach for the children’s soccer team.

What drives this:

Unlike the white knights, you don’t save anyone, but how they can help can be part of your values ​​and the feeling of being used can attract you. It can also be difficult to say no and set limits, and you may not like someone who is mad at you.


Burnout and regular resentment because you do the heavy lifting when others don’t, or because everyone takes you for granted.

Answer man (or woman): The decision maker

Others turn to you to maintain your knowledge, leadership, and ability to be the last word in big decisions.

What drives this:

There are different variations. In the most positive version, others respect you and see you as wise men based on your experience and / or age. Or others come to you because they see you as a drill sergeant who is in control and in a tight ship and are afraid to make independent decisions. Or, in a milder version, you’re not afraid, but your attitude and direction have trained others to be dependent on you.


You get control at the expense of responsibility and often do essentially everything. Like the others, you may be burned out, angry, or upset when others leave because they’re tired of your control and / or outgrown you.


It’s easy to talk to and open to you, and people share their secrets and problems with you. They offer less wisdom than honest and healing listening.

What drives this:

Empathy comes with your personality. As with others, helping others is part of your values. You value intimacy.


As with white knights, relationships can be unbalanced and intimacy can be one-sided. You give, but maybe you don’t get, or at least you don’t get much.

Balanced intimacy

There is give and take, help and help are relatively balanced, and intimacy is bilateral.

What drives this:

The desire for balance, the ability to be sensitive to others, but to set limits; There is no strong need to be responsible, to be in control, to be important.



Not required

Now we’re reaching the other end of the spectrum: people don’t seem to need you.

What drives this:

People don’t see you as reliable or think you are too busy with your own problems or those in need. Or you seem to be building emotional walls and setting firm boundaries, creating a sense of self-sufficiency and detachment that prevents others from approaching you.


You too are in unbalanced relationships, in which you find yourself, but do not give back much, which leads to resentment and burnout for others, while your dependence on others makes you fear that they will withdraw. And by taking self-sufficiency, you can avoid burning out or resentment of the other roles, but at the expense of isolation and a lack of true intimacy.

Can you be in more than one role?

Naturally. For example, you are undoubtedly the decision maker for your children, especially when they are young. You can jump in and be the white knight when there is a crisis with a sibling or parent. You may be responsible for a company with inexperienced employees. However, we’re looking at larger patterns. Looking back at your past and current relationships, what roles do you seem to be in? Do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages? Is it time for a change?

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