“Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Modern psychology has identified a number of relationship dysfunctions they call relational disorders. Basically they occur when, through the stain of previous relationships, a person has trouble relating to others. Some people often find themselves in a relationship that is very volatile and dysfunctional. When they do, the result can be irrational emotions, distorted perceptions, and even physical illness. In other words DRAMA!
I know a story of a woman in a dysfunctional relationship who every year she was getting a major operation. When she left the relationship she stopped getting sick. So the question to ask wasn’t what, but who was the matter with her.
There are some relationships that are so dysfunctional that they can literally cause us to be spiritually, mentally, and physically sick. Some relationships can be so toxic that it can corrode our financial, social and intellectual standing.
The Word of God is clear about the power of association concerning our relationships. If you associate with wise men you will be wise (Pro 13:20), if you associate with angry men you will be angry (Pro 22:24-25), and if you associate with fools, well…. (Pro 13:20)
5 Types of Relationships
There are basically five categories of people you relate to in your life in reference to who you are:
Adders People who after you interact with them they leave you feeling better about yourself or your situation. It could be through positive words or maybe just a radiating smile.
Subtractors These are people who always have some issue or drama brewing in their life and usually they try to pull you in it. It’s normal to walk away from these people feeling like you just lost something.
Multipliers These are people that expand your capacity to believe. Their positive interaction stimulates you to see life bigger than you are actually living it causing you to dream and pursue those dreams.
Dividers These are people who diminish your capacity to believe. Their perception of life makes you see things from a sullen perspective. Often their “reality check” causes you to give up on dreams and settle for the good enough.
Zeros These are acquaintances or place holders in your life that neither add nor subtract from the sum total of who you are. They are fine in your life until you try to lean on them for something they can’t give you. Remember, anything times zero leaves zero.
Three Ways to Handle Relationships
Take the time to inventory your relationships and determine whether the relationship is making you better or bitter. Classify your relationships and handle them in one or a combination of three ways.
Cultivate relationships with the multipliers and adders in your life. Find the time to develop and glean from their experiences and stimulate your imagination through their association.
Regulate relationships with the subtractors and zeros. Don’t allow them to pull something from you that you cannot afford to give, and don’t expect something from them that is beyond their capacity to produce. Finally, if possible
Eliminate those dividers in your life. Identification and avoidance of the dream killers in your life is the first step to finding out who is the matter with you.
I am Andrew Freed and you are an Overcomer in Christ.