We are surrounded by images, TV shows, social media, apps and magazines depicting relationships or relationship advice.
Has all of this warped what we see as a healthy, normal relationship?
How does this affect our personal and professional lives?
Full disclosure, I love a good bit of trashy TV. It’s just needed sometimes. But programs such as Made in Chelsea, TOWIE, Love Island and Ex on the Beach (to name a few, and yes I do love most of those) do have an influence on modern dating, how we perceive the current dating world and expectations both personal and professional.
I mean, do we worry we are putting all of our metaphorical eggs in someone’s metaphorical basket?
Drama is the bread and butter of the faux-reality world. Does this make us think that drama is needed in our lives? The danger here is that we start to associate (or mistake!) drama with passion.
Passion is great. Drama is draining.
Let’s take a closer look at how cheating is shown.
Cheating now seems to be on a sliding scale that gets longer and longer with every technological advance.
Go back a few years and cheating was done in real life: a kiss, a drunken one night stand, an affair.
Now, there are endless new ways to cross into infidelity with sliding into someone’s DMs, sexting and Snapchat. It’s exhausting!
Back to reality (TV), in countless episodes of these shows, someone cheats on their partner (whom they have previously stated how much they love). The reaction from the heartbroken lover is generally one involving a lot of tears, a massive argument (potential drink-thrown-in-face senario) and then comes the interesting part…The heartbroken partner takes back the cheating partner.
On a rare occasion within these shows, the heartbroken partner does end things permanently and walks away, but this revelation normally only happens after a lengthy weigh up of how many times the cheating partner has previously cheated on them before. One time is generally not seen as enough.
Recently on Ex on the Beach, a girl revealed that her ex cheated on her with 150 girls (she knows as he kept a book. Yes really *eyerollssohard*). Only after this, and a 3 year relationship with him, did she walk away. 150 girls! I mean seriously…who has that kind of time (and lack of morals) anyway!?
Does this view of cheating change how we deal with our own lives? Do we now find it more acceptable if our relaxation time is spent watching these scenes play out time and time again?
What counts as cheating for you and when would you walk away?
The truth is, it can be hard to truly know our boundaries until we are faced with them. Faced with that heartbreak, decision and feelings. Do we subliminally revert to what we see day to day in our lives and the media as our benchmark?
Not only can this affect our relationships, but what we expect in our work life as well. If we are constantly testing our moral and ethical boundaries in our personal life then it’s a hop, skip and jump to cross the same boundaries in our professional life.
If we cheat on those we claim love, does it make it easier to cheat at work?
If our tolerance (and expectation) for being treated poorly in our love life increases, then are we more likely to put up with being treated badly at work? Is it then easier to cross those lines or not say anything if we see someone else doing something they shouldn’t?
I do not want to go on a whole moral crusade here but it’s an interesting point to consider. What are you ethical boundaries in work and play. These things are not always black and white, but it’s those pesky little grey areas where we can find ourselves sliding down a slippery slope of ambiguity.
It is a psychological fact that we can all do something we would consider to be wrong. It’s human nature and we can not rely on only being an inherently good person. I mean look at some of the great psychological studies such as Milgram’s electric shock obedience to authority or Zimbardo’s prison experiment.
The more we are bombarded with ambiguity and the more we believe other people act that way, the easier it is to cross our own boundaries. We are the ones that see ourselves in the mirror. We are the ones that face ourselves. It would be foolish to say these things have no influence on us, they do. The media does. But the extent and what influence they have is up to us. We need to know ourselves first.
These shows are entertainment, and much needed at times, but we need to be mindful of how much we let them influence our lives. How many truly healthy relationships are portrayed? Very few! In truth, would we still watch if everyone was happy, content and drama-free? Probably not. They provide escapism. There’s nothing wrong with that but we need to make sure we don’t blur the line between reality and reality TV.
A healthy relationship (professional or personal) is one built on trust, communication, honesty, respect, help and love.
That isn’t boring.
Drama-free relationships are not dull.
Nice people are not tiresom.
Nice can still have banter. Nice can challenge you (supportively!). Nice can build you up. Nice can give you butterflies. Nice can help you grow.
At the end of the day, do we want a partner where we feel compelled to check their DMs when they’re in the shower or do we want a true life partner who make us feel like fiesty Queen we are.
We deserve that with the people we choose to share our lives with and the place we choose to work. Other people deserve that from us too.
Go be your sassy self and bring a little less drama into your day.
If you need some help getting to your full sassy potential or are experiencing problems at work then get in touch to see how &hope can help you.