Who you are is a combination of how you see yourself and how others see you

You don’t realise it, but you have been recruited for a part in your relationship that you never auditioned for - now you represent for your partner as well.

You enter someone else’s story and you become a character in their plot, just as they become one in yours… the good child, the adoring father, the overly sensitive brother…

And this story, is a co-creation – you don’t create this story on your own, it’s a relationship, it’s a two-way dynamic… because the way I see myself, is influenced by the way others see me too.

This at first seems unfair!

Well, it does to me.

But I can also understand and accept that it is your relationships that provide the ultimate mirror.

In order for me to know me, I really need to know myself… through you!

Often I think that’s where we go wrong. Yes, you need to know yourself. Full stop. But you also need to consider how who you are affects those you are in relationships with.

It’s an interplay of ‘I am the way I am, because of the way you are, but you are the way you are because of the way I am’ and on top of all of that ‘the way you see me and the way I see you affects how we are with each other’ which in effect, affects ‘the way I then am to myself’.


We are shaped by the relationship within which we are… what is it that we create together and bring out in each other.

Have you noticed before that you are able to do X at times, but not at all times?

For example, maybe as a boss you can take charge and delegate and speak your mind even if it’s unpopular… but with your mother, you could never do such things and in the end take on board whatever she asks of you without recrimination.

Husbands and wives who are loving, laughing and playful with their children but only scream and shout at each other.

You are different people with different people

“She’s that kind of person” versus “She’s that kind of person WITH YOU”

Our response to the other person is what shapes that next layer of the story we are co-creating.

So – this is where it gets interesting…

Although we are a result of our dynamic with another, we are not powerless (which was primarily my objection earlier), but in fact, we are more powerful than we realise because if we are able to shift ourselves, do the personal work and are ultimately not where you were before and not the same person anymore – you ultimately shift the dynamic of the relationship.

It’s still a co-creation as their response will inevitably also change the course of the relationship, BUT having one ship re-route their course will ensure that even if the other ship stays their normal course, things are already different.

You can actually reinvent your relationship - your story isn’t over.

Your partner/friend/boss/mother etc says A and you've been saying B for the last 10 years; now you say C and voila, the story changes - which changes the experience - which makes you feel like you have agency over your life, which ultimately changes the relationship and how you see yourself in it.

This is why Demand Relationship versus Relationship Development is so important.

The great news is… we now live in an Identity Economy… “I want to become the best version of myself.”

So have a think, what story do you tell yourself about yourself, your life, your relationships, your friends, your community etc? Do you want to change your story? If so, how will you change yourself first?