In relationships of any sort, sharing is a skill that must be learned. In childhood, most of us are told we must share, but we’re not often asked how we’d like to do it. Once we grow up, we’ve already created patterns of behavior and belief around sharing.
We have decided what it means to share, and how it should be done. We have already attached meanings to sharing with others, and to how or if others share with us. When we think of sharing, we may first think of sharing ideas, dreams, or values. Or we may first think of sharing material possessions. Interestingly, we may have different values or ideas regarding sharing of ideas, and sharing of possessions.
Some people use sharing as a way to gain advantage, while others use it as a way to feel good about themselves. For example, some “givers” give out of the desire to get the “feel-good” rush that helping others offers. Others give out of a desire for recognition, or as a way to establish dominance in a given situation.
Some people have an easier time giving than receiving, and others have an easier time receiving than giving.
What are your patterns of giving and receiving? Because these are the basis of your desire and ability to share and be shared with.
Do you give easily enough? Do you give too easily? Are you willing to receive? What are your motivations for giving? Are you willing also to ask?
Since sharing isn’t just about support, it’s worth looking at as many of the aspects of sharing as you can, in order to find patterns. As you begin noticing your patterns, you can more easily balance your ideals and the function of sharing in your life.
How do you share in your friendships, your workplace, your family, your intimate relationships? How do you share information, time, or finances?
Once you see your patterns, beliefs, and motivations regarding sharing emerge, it becomes easy to change the areas that don’t work for you, and celebrate the ones that do.
Lasara Firefox Allen, MPNLP, is a best-selling author, educator, activist, and coach. Wife to her True Love, and mother to two amazing young women, Lasara believes in living the life you want to create. Lasara is available for coaching and spiritual guidance.