. A perfect balance in any partnership is easier said than achieved
. Most partnerships turn resentful when one is an over functioner.
. An over functioner steps above the brief – takes on more than is needed and healthy and in the long term, burns out and renders the under functioner – useless
. Check if you volunteer to do things for others which they can do themselves, easily
. Strike a balance in your work and personal partnerships with CLEAR defined roles and expectations
. Over functioning for another person leads to mutual resentment
. Function as much as needed, not more, not less in a healthy partnership.
. Mutual respect and clarity of purpose and expectations are key to thriving partnership.
Though we all speak of balance in life and work, in reality we see so many that do not have a sense of what exactly balance is. In partnerships of any kind, where either person does not have the awareness about how much should one should contribute – we often find one over-functioning and another under-functioning.
In fact, this lack of balance often leads to mutual resentment. The risk here being that the person who over functions, burns out fast. Surprisingly, doing a lot even at the cost of self-sacrifice is celebrated by many cultures – look at how dutiful she is, look at how self-sacrificing he is – how many times have we heard of these statements as we have seen people trying to define a person who is taking on more than his or her share of responsibility.
In any situation, someone who over-functions may come across as someone who is extremely responsible and a perfectionist – but the truth is that it often comes from an over-developed sense of duty and a certain sense of need for approval or rather fear of disapproval.
Usually, an over functioner may be dissatisfied with himself – feel chronically unhappy and surprisingly try to do even more. An over-functioning partner would sometimes unknowingly choose an under-functioning partner and then continue to resent the under-functioning partner – while himself or herself doing what they usually do- which is more than what is necessary or even healthy. So how do you know that you are an functioner?
Look at your roles in work and life – do you stick to the brief and deliver as much as you are supposed to in a relationship or in a work-role. Second – Do you try and do stuff for others which they can do for themselves? Third – If you discover that you are an over-functioner – try and understand the underlying fear that drives you to be one. Do you fear that you may lose a relationship, a friendship or even validation or praise or whatever you get from this skewed partnership? Fourth – Once you understand where your over-functioning is coming from, try and see how you have crippled the other in the equation because of your over-functioning.
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