Life

The Power of Love: Embracing the Feeling of Indebtedness in Relationships

Have you ever seen a video like this a while ago, which is about the blogger’s experience in the process of raising cats:

“Love is a constant feeling of indebtedness, not a constant feeling of loss”——

For example, if he doesn’t eat the canned food you buy, you won’t say: Do you know how hard it is for me to make money? Why are you so ignorant? You will only buy a few more flavors, as long as it likes them.

If you love it, you won’t suppress it, and you won’t complain: Why are other kittens all Internet celebrities, and you can’t do anything? It’s a waste of money.

You don’t want it to be in any pain,You don’t think that it is growing by enduring hardship. You want it to be happy and carefree every day.

You won’t stress about being grateful all the time. You will always worry that you are not doing enough. Not enough money to let it eat high-end cat food, not enough time to spend with it… …

This real and simple feeling awakens many people’s most concrete experience of love, and also expresses similar feelings in other relationships.

In the parent-child relationship, some parents love their children just like this, and some children want to repay their parents with the same love when they grow up:

Between partners, from celebrity couples on the screen to the daily lives of lovers in reality, the feeling of indebtedness for love is hidden in all the details:

And those moments in friendship that often make us feel heartbroken:

In fact, in my opinion,it is not so much an uncontrollable emotional experience, but rather a mentality that deserves to be cherished in a relationship.

A love that I often feel I owe to someone,

Often arises from three types of “comparisons”

1. “I always feel that the love I actually give you is less than the love I should give you.”

Because “I wish you well with all my heart and without reservation”.

If you are lucky, you may be like me and have experienced the feeling of being loved like this from your parents or ancestors repeatedly when you were growing up——

I think of my grandma, who would come home early for my birthday every year since I can remember, make me my favorite hand-made noodles, and use my modest pension to prepare a big red envelope and quietly put it under my pillow.

Later, I left my hometown to study, work, and settle in other places, and the opportunities to see my grandmother became less and less. But one year when I went back during the Chinese New Year, I realized that she would still prepare the red envelope for my birthday on time every year, keep it there, and give it to me when she sees me.

What’s even more sad is that she would say half-jokingly: Darling, I know you can make money now, don’t think your mother-in-law gives you too little.

You can really feel that,She wants to give you the best thing she can provide within her ability, without asking for anything in return, and even does it herself Not enough responsibility is given.

And this kind of wholehearted, sincere and silent love is like a request and commitment she makes to herself. She will not make you feel burdened or manipulated.

2. “I want to give more than you do in return or compensation.”

Because, “I can always pay attention to and sympathize with your difficulties in the relationship and how much you value me.”

When you put off other important things for my needs, I will worry about whether you will suffer losses or be wronged;

When we stay up late on video calls, I can’t help but think that if it weren’t for my job, you wouldn’t have to endure the hardship of being separated from each other, let alone have no one to take care of you when you’re sick;

When you personally make a beautiful cake for me on my birthday and prepare unexpected surprises in advance, I will not remember the little things you have done for me in daily life;

And even if I just think of you inadvertently, I will also think of how much effort you have put in with me, and how can I do more to repay you and make you happier…

——This kind of behavior in a relationship can pay more attention to and empathize with the other party’s efforts and difficulties, and interpret it as a sincere expression of the other party’s love. It is also a positive manifestation of selective attention.

Relevant research further shows that in close relationships, if we pay more attention to and care about specific objective information such as others’ efforts, sacrifices, and deep emotional needs, it will help us gain perceived importance, that is, confirmation. The importance of oneself to others makes one more willing to invest in the relationship and thus achieve higher relationship satisfaction (Mak & Marshall, 2004).

3. “It turns out that I need to be loved like this more than you.”

Because,”In the process of loving you, I also raised myself again”.

It also comes from a friend who has two cats. He told me from his personal experience: In his eyes,cats are more than just small companions that can accompany him. Animals are more like myself as a child.

In his growth experience, he never experienced being seriously valued and unconditionally loved by his parents in his native family. More often, he was asked, suppressed and denied.

But after having a cat, he just hopes that the cat can always be itself, grow up healthily and without worries, and does not ask them to be sensible, grateful, or even contented, because they themselves are being treated. The choice became his “child”.

It was only then that he realized that this was the love he had always longed for. It was the existence of cats that gave him the opportunity. In the process of raising them, he also reared himself again, and in the process of giving love, he received a long-lost cure. Thank you kitty a>.

What kind of person,is easier

Driven by a “feeling of indebtedness”?

The three types of mentality that generate a sense of indebtedness from comparisons we discussed earlier represent that a person is more willing to consider the other person in the relationship and is more willing to be the giving party. But let’s be honest, it’s not easy.

So who are more likely to be driven by this, and what personality traits do they have?

Have a warm altruistic personality (Altruistic Personality)

In the Big Five personality, which is familiar to many people, there are two trait dimensions that are strongly related to social ability:Extraversion and agreeableness< /span>. trust, humility, altruism and Selfless and other traits, while the latter is shown as warmth, enthusiasm, optimism, adventure. The former includes

Based on this basis, a hypothetical experiment by Brian W. Haas et al. (2015) further showed that is highly warm (enthusiastic) and altruistic (selfless). People who are more capable of identifying the emotional states of others and engaging in empathy are more accurate.

And people who are better at using empathy in relationships are more willing to be the ones who are willing to give in life (Batson, 2010). That is, they are more likely to practice the altruistic valuing of love.

The so-called altruistic valuing of love is opposite to the utilitarian valuing of love (Rousar III, 1990). Rather than focusing on what the close other person in the relationship can bring to you, it puts more emphasis on how you can bring more potential benefits to the other person. As Fromm said, Mature love is “I am loved because I love others”, rather than “I love others because I am loved”.

A study covering tens of thousands of subjects spanning ten years (1992-2012) also confirmed that individuals with high altruism tendencies and more prosocial behaviors are more likely to have a stable partner (Stavrova & Ehlebracht, 2015).

Have a high degree of communal strength

YesThere is no possibility that when we enjoy giving or sacrificing more for the people we love, it is because the benefits of doing so are more in line with our view of relationships expectations, but also more conducive to our own happiness?

Research shows that this is indeed the case.

In reality, many people pursue an exchange relationship in which both parties give and reciprocate. But there are also some people who pursue a communal relationship in which they give more and do not expect anything in return from the other party.

Those who actively respond to specific partner needs in a shared relationship without expecting anything in return are also described as individuals with communal strength (Kogan et al., 2010). The higher the mutual strength, the more positive emotions and self-evaluations you can experience from the act of giving and sacrifice, and the more likely you are to have a long-term, satisfying intimate relationship.

But please don’t forget:

Love means always feeling indebted, but also consciously feeling precious.

I believe that by this point, you should easily find that “love is always in debt” is not only a valuable mentality when facing intimate relationships, but also represents rare qualities, courageous abilities and emotional wisdom.

It is precisely because of this that it can inject spiral positive energy into a relationship. By continuously strengthening the two-way flow of giving and return in the relationship, it brings positive energy to each other. The experience of love.

But an important premise is:It must be a relationship established between two people who both have this mentality to achieve this ideal result< a i=2>——The most lasting relationship is actually one of mutual debt.

This is also something we want to remind everyone to pay special attention to in real life today. If you are lucky enough to be loved like this, please cherish it and don’t be stingy with gratitude. But if you are the one who “often feels short-changed” in that relationship:

When you have been giving in one direction for a long time but are never seen, recognized and cherished by the other party, it is recommended to consider when enough is enough.

Because there is a high probability that he is an egoist. He will accept all your love and actions as a matter of course. The consequence of this in the long run is that you will also learn the other person’s selfishness from the loss again and again without even realizing it. The original mentality was completely abandoned.

Even if the other person knows how to value your efforts, never forget to be kind to yourself.

The most important thing about loving yourselfis to be able to see and accept your own limitations, and to make contributions and sacrifices within your own capabilities . Only in this way will it be more conducive to continued investment in love and long-term stability of the relationship. And more importantly, you and your loved ones will feel less bitterness in the relationship and experience more joy and lightness!

Finally, I would like to share with you a sentence that I like recently to end today’s discussion:

“I treat you sincerely, but I am not attached to you. Live in fate, not in relationships. All worldly phenomena are changeable and are established based on the heart. If you know how to follow fate, you will not suffer.”

I hope that all those who still yearn to love and be loved can find meaning in feeling indebted and gain freedom in feeling noble.

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