Posted by Rachel Mallory

Relationships come up at some point for almost every client that we work with. Often people have questions about what is reasonable and healthy to expect, both from their partner (or parent, or adult child, or friend...) and in their own behaviour. Here's one way to look at it:

Rights and Responsibilities in Relationships

Right: To speak up

Responsibility:To listen

Right:To take

Responsibility:To give

Right: To have problems

Responsibility: To comfort

Right:To work

Responsibility:To do your best

Right:To make mistakes

Responsibility:To correct your mistakes

Right:To laugh

Responsibility:To make others happy

Right: To have friends

Responsibility:To be a friend

Right: To criticise

Responsibility:To praise

Right:To have your efforts rewarded

Responsibility:To reward others’ efforts

Right: To independence

Responsibility:To be dependable

Right: To cry

Responsibility: To dry tears

Right: To be loved

Responsibility: To love others

From Melodie Chenevert, Special Techniques in Assertiveness Training: STAT (St. Louis: C.V. Mosby, 1988, p.64) – as cited in Managing Pain Before it Manages You, Caudill, M.A., New York: Guilford Press, 2002, p. 143.