Two drops Bergamot Oil
Two drops Coriander Oil
One drop Lemongrass Oil
One drop Cedarwood Oil
Social dynamics can be so confusing.
When we aren’t sure where we stand with the people in our lives or, more importantly, aren’t sure within ourselves where they stand with us, it is easy to feel unstable and unsafe in life.
We need clarity in our relationships—or at least achieve a certain amount of clarity in order to feel safe. Once we have that clarity and arrange our social relationships to reflect that clarity, once we are no longer confused and self-betraying in our relationships, we can feel safe, bring our best selves to the table, and move forward in life with more energy and a clearer sense of direction!
So how do we gain clarity, within ourselves, as to our relationships?
Here we propose an activity and an essential oil blend to help you dig deep and sort things out. Note that this emotional exercise is not for the faint of heart. Delving into these emotions can be vulnerable. And once revealed, the consequences can be messy and difficult to navigate.
Especially if you are anxious, take this exercise slowly.
Step 1: Understand Qualifications for Trust
There are two measures by which we gauge trustworthiness: goodwill and competence.
Goodwill: Based on your experience with a person and instincts regarding them, how much goodwill would you say they have for you?
Do they have a general, passive goodwill towards you (maybe they’re not actively supporting you right now, but you trust they’d offer you support, empathy, help moving a couch, etc, if they were made aware of your need)? An active goodwill (often collaborating with you or coming up with ideas on how to help you)? Or do you feel that they are neutral towards you?
Do their desires for you match with your own? Do they go against you? If they do, do they do it out of a genuine desire for your happiness or out of a desire for something else?
Competence: How much do you trust this person’s abilities? Do they show a capacity to understand you? Your feelings (your pain and joy)? Your needs? Are they emotionally strong enough to hold space for you and your feelings instead of always trying to manage you? Are they a good listener? A good advice giver? Do they have skills that make them a valuable and helpful person to have in your life?
Step 2: Prepare your materials & space
Cut out or otherwise acquire some small, short slips of paper.
On one piece of paper write your own name. On the other slips of paper write the names of the most prominent people in your life, this may include family members, close friends, co-workers, etc. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many names, just write down the 3-7 people who have the most emotional influence on you.
Take these slips of paper to a clear space where you can lay them out. A clear table or counter top may serve the purpose. Or you might use a clear patch of floor.
Step 3: Organize
Place the slip of paper with your name on it at the top of your clear space. This is your life! And the goal here is to map out the circles of trust in your life.
The space just underneath your name is for those who you trust the most. Those who have shown the greatest degree of goodwill towards you in your life and have shown great competence.
A person’s “combined score” of goodwill and competence determines how close to your name their name will be placed on your map. Someone with low good will and low competence would be placed much farther away from you, perhaps at the bottom of the space.
Two people, one with high goodwill but medium competence and another with high competence but medium goodwill might end up tied—and equal distance away from the slip of paper with your name on it.
Take each of the names that you have written down, one by one, think about their goodwill, think about their competence, and then follow your instincts (your instincts count for a lot!) to place them on your map.
Step 4: Compare to Life
If you are emotionally overwhelmed at this point, take a break. You can come back to this later. Go and feel your feelings in a safe space, refuel, do something relaxing or fun for a while to destress.
When you are able to continue forward, look at the “trust map” you have created. Compare what you see to the amount of emotional trust you extend in real life.
Is there anyone on this map that you give too much power to in your life and in your heart given the amount of trust they have earned? Anyone you are over-sharing with? Is there anyone who is surprisingly high up on your trust map who you haven’t given enough credit to?
Is there anyone on the map whose position on it ended up surprising you?
How can you change your social behavior (what boundaries can you set, activities and people can you prioritize, rights of emotional intimacy can you keep) to better reflect this trust map?
Step 5: Be Honest, But Not Totally Inflexible
This trust map is not set in stone. It will change.
As time goes by, as you have important conversations with the important people in your life, and as people accept (or find and take on their own) opportunities to prove their good will and competence, this map may change! As you grow and change, coming to value different competencies in your life, this map may change.
The point of this exercise is not to cast ultimate judgment on people. It is not to find people in your life to punish. It is to clarify your own feelings so you can stand by them. With honesty, you can actively help the social dynamics in your life heal and evolve positively.
You can’t control the people in your life. You can’t control whether they choose to be honest with you or whether they choose to grow and change. But you can do your part. And your trust map will help give you a starting point.