Bull, Patsy, or Daisy?: Understanding Your Role in Your Relationship

Relationships, they are everywhere. We have work relationships, friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships, etc. These relationships require us to deal with several different types of people. How we deal with these people will determine if we are content, happy, sad, lonely, distant, withdrawn, engaged, or even just tired.

What we often fail to acknowledge is that oftentimes the way we saw relationships modeled is the way we tend to handle relationships, or we will attempt to do the complete opposite. For instance, if you grew up in a household where conflict was avoided at all costs, you generally will avoid conflict as well. This could mean you don’t express your own feelings, thoughts, or ideas because someone may have conflicting opinions. If you felt that your mother was often taken advantage of in relationships, you will either do the same or consciously attempt to do the opposite. This behavior can come across as mean or rude, but for you it is a way of survival and not appearing weak.

The Bull and the Patsy

The thing many are not taught is that different relationships call for different methods of handling. You don’t always have to be the bull in the room to get your point of views and thoughts heard. Being the bull intimidates people and causes relationships to be strained because others tend to not want to disagree with you for fear of your reaction. However, let’s flip the coin; you also don’t have to be the patsy, the person who always gives in or takes the “high” road. In safe relationships each party can authentically express their thought and opinions without fear of being treated poorly.


The Daisy

A daisy is a flower that is able to grow in almost any environment. They adapt to the place. The same goes for a good relationship. You must adapt. There are times that your voice should be heard loud and clear, but there are other times that your presence is more important than your words. You may need to bend a little at work in order to get the required results, but with your wayward teenager you may need to stand firm on rules and boundaries. But when that same teenager comes to you in tears, you will have to decide if words are needed or simply a hug.


Some Practical Steps to Follow

Relationships are critical and the way you handle each of them is important. Sometimes we are stuck in routine on how to handle any situation, but I would dare to ask you to make a few modifications. Be the daisy, adaptable, able to thrive in any environment, and strong. When dealing with your relationships, practice the following:


  • Do a self-check; why am I responding in this manner?

  • Take a moment; do I feel my opinion is being threatened?

  • Take appropriate action; do I need to be more assertive in this situation?

  • Decide what is needed; do I need to speak, or do I need to simply be present?


At Mind Works Counseling services in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in helping people just like you who deal with this exact issue, and many others. Let us help you improve your relationships, all of them. Tweaking the way you handle different situations could improve your relationships. You don’t have to do this alone, the team at Mind Works Counseling Services is available and willing to walk with you through all life’s journeys.


Learn more about the Relationship Therapy we offer.


Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.


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