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Old 10-22-2012, 04:40 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Upstate New York, USA
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A lot of it comes from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the idea that there is a growth continuum from Dependance (and it's associated Codependance) through Independence to Interdependence.

"We all start out life as babies completely dependent on our parents or other person to take care of us. This is a state of weakness and powerlessness.

"As we grow up we work to become independent, moving out of our parent's home, earning money for ourselves, etc. A person at this level is able to do things for himself and does not need anyone else to survive.

"The greatest human achievements come from people working at the third level, interdependence. This is when people work together to achieve a common goal, and is the level of maturity of many people in a mature society or organization. This is how mankind has achieved things together that no single person could do alone. Interdependence is the state of human development of greatest maturity and power."

It's the idea that a group of people can achieve more together than a bunch of independent individuals - synergy - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It involves thinking in terms of "win/win", rather than "win/lose" or "lose/lose" that you so often see; the idea of seeking first to understand, then to be understood, and synergy itself - valuing people's differences in how they see the world, which includes that of relationships. Recognizing that all people see the world not how it is, but how they are. Each has something to bring to the table and can form a more powerful entity than the independent individuals can.

Most of our culture is focused on being independent as a goal. That is definitely the first step - if you don't know who you are, then you can't be a whole individual. I believe that finding that interdependence is powerful - it is the core of what makes my polycule strong. We don't have to be one mind on anything - in fact we work best when we each have our own opinions, but we are each working towards a common set of goals, being able to trust that each person is in it. We are certainly stronger and more stable for it. Life is full of changes for each of us, but the common factor is that the three of us are working together as individuals to make this function.

Seven Habits training was offered to us through my work, and I was highly skeptical, thinking it was just yet another scheme for self-help, but it really pulled together quite well the concepts that I believe in for my relationships. Among others was the idea of a so-called "Abundance Mentality" vs a "Scarcity mentality" the first says that there are plenty of resources to go around for everyone involved (i.e. the poly concept of love) whereas the scarcity mentality says that if one person gets more, another must get less (i.e. the oft-quoted monogamous concept of love).

I think that a lot of the principles in there are important, if not essential, in order to make any romantic relationship work well, and especially a poly relationship.

Oh, the Wikipedia article on it has some wider definitions.

"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb
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