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Inspiring Thoughts from EAC

Balanced Emotions – A Spectrum Scale

balance

By Cynthia May, MA, LLP, EAC Clinical Specialist – We all have many positive and admirable characteristics that enrich our close relationships.  But did you know that the overuse of a positive quality can become negative?  It can become destructive and crippling. And of course, the opposite, is true as well.  Under-use of a positive quality in a relationship can be detrimental.

In her book, Addictive Relationships – Reclaiming Your Boundaries, author Joy Miller PhD, LCPC, MAC, explains that personal qualities are on a spectrum – with the healthy inner balance being somewhat in the middle.  Without balancing within the spectrum, our lives can become self-destructive, traveling in a more compulsive path.  We then can potentially destroy our own relationships all by ourselves.  Becoming unbalanced affects all our relationships.

Here is an example:

Caring is a balanced quality.  The extreme overuse is Caretaking – taking control and feeling responsible for someone’s life, emotions, personal growth.   Equally destructive is the extreme under-use of Caring, which is Apathy – creating the disintegration of a relationship.  This is how dependency or compulsive relationships are created.

Let’s look at a spectrum of healthy qualities, along with where the extremes can take you.

1                   2                    3                  4                     5                  6                 7               8                9              10

Apathy ………………………………………………..  Caring…………………………………………………….   Caretaking

Irresponsible……………………………………….  Responsible…………………………………………….  Over-responsible

Justify………………………………………………….  Encourage………………………………………………   Nag

Rejection …………………………………………….  Accept ……………………………………………………  Control

Withhold ……………………………………………. Communicate …………………………………………  Dominate

Alienate ………………………………………………  Understand …………………………………………….  Possessive

Naïve  …………………………………………………   Honest  …………………………………………………..  Manipulative

Boundless …………………………………………..  Flexible  ………………………………………………….  Rigid

Our balancing and centering take consistent vigilance, experimentation, listening to our inner voice and patience. To do this we need to give ourselves permission to look through the eyes of an observer, like through a camera taking a video to watch our own behavior.  Are you willing to look?

If so, I encourage you to take this self-reflective assessment.

If you would like to talk about your results or have questions about balancing your emotions or other life issues, please contact EAC.  We’re here to help!

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