Who you are in your relationship to others is the determining factor to the quality of your relationships. With this in mind, finding out the role you play and how to adjust that role can create deeper and more satisfying ties to others. In order to have the opportunity to recreate your relationships in ways that are healthier and happier for all involved, determining if you are a parasite or messiah can have immediate and dramatic affects on how you choose to recreate yourself within your relationships.
A parasite is a person that expects other people to take care of them. If you are a parasite, chances are, you ask for assurance often. You probably do not make decisions without consulting at least one other person and when it comes to give and take, you lean on the “taker” side. You may even have a deep fear of giving because you believe you will be taken advantage, taken for granted or used by others. Before you automatically write being a parasite off your list, keep in mind there are times when we all take, we all want help even if we don’t really need it and we all struggle with making decisions. It is when that is the majority of your way of relating to others that you can be at risk for being a parasite.
A messiah is the opposite of being a parasite. They are the helpers and fixers. If you are a messiah, people probably contact you first to help them with any variety of life’s difficulties. You give and may not feel comfortable taking or asking others for help. While you may think of being a messiah as a saintly place, it has its own set of difficulties, such as being seen as bullet proof by others, robbing others of the opportunity to grow because you are either fixing them or refusing their help which will not progress the relationship into deeper levels of intimacy, and pervasive loneliness. You also run the risk of setting yourself up for martyrdom, just as the parasite is at risk of setting themselves up to be victims.
Chances are if you lean heavily towards being a parasite or a messiah, you are all ready aware of the answer. I definitely lean towards being a messiah. I’ve gotten better and continue to stay mindful of that, especially in my closest relationships. Remembering there is no shame in being a parasite or a messiah is also helpful. There are strengths and weaknesses in either role, which is why a healthy balance of both is ideal.
Sometimes it is possible to be a parasite in one relationship and a messiah in another, such as being the “Go to” person at work, and the victim of your family. The most important thing is to be able to take an objective look at it and decide for yourself what role you play in your relationships and how it may be inhibiting deep connections or happy unions with others.
While you may be tempted to start pointing out what others are around you, let them figure that out for themselves. Or, you work on becoming less of a parasite or messiah and they will have to adjust because when you begin to change your ways, they have no choice but to change theirs. If you need help working on adjusting your role within your relationships or how to bring a better balance into your relationships, contact me for suggestions.