Maintain Good Relationships

This information is an excerpt from Chapter 3 in Relationship Power

How to establish and maintain good relationships, the importance of the society grade, and the difference between men and women.

The Ronald Bibace Theory of Personality defines what we all want and therefore is also the key to achieving good relationships. It states:

All human behavior beyond survival seeks to make individuals feel good about themselves.

Implicit in that statement is the desire for people to avoid feeling bad about themselves .

That is why ‘The Ronald Bibace Theory of Personality’ can be thought of as a two sided coin.

One side of which is:

The desire to feel good about oneself

and the other side is:

The desire to avoid feeling bad about oneself

Ronald Bibace

Because of its apparent universal application the Bibace theory of Personality can also be referred to as The Ronald Bibace Universal Theory of Human Behavior.

In order to build strong relationships, it’s important to understand that compared to making the other person in the relationship feel good about him or herself, all other goals are only secondary.

How we make ourselves feel good about ourselves

We feel good about ourselves when we do good things for ourselves and others and thereby experience a strong sense of self-worth and self-esteem. That feeling can also include a sense of ‘feeling good’ if it involves physical pleasure. I call that ‘good source feeling good’.

But feeling good can also arise from doing ‘bad things’. However such feelings will not include ‘feeling good about oneself’. I call that ‘bad source feeling good’.

The critical sense of self-worth and self esteem that we desire usually depends on whether or not we meet the values set by the society in which we live. It also depends on us being aware that we are receiving love. It does not help much if we are actually loved but do not feel it.

Let us examine the difference between a ‘good source feeling good’ and a ‘bad source feeling good’.

Let us suppose we are at a family dinner at which we enjoy pleasant relations with all there. If we eat and drink moderately, the physical pleasure we receive will be in keeping with our society’s values and we will both feel good and feel good about ourselves. That event is a ‘good source’ feeling good.

But what if we overeat and drink to excess, and as a result disgrace ourselves at the dinner? The excess food and drink  will still provide us with short term physical pleasure and thus will make us ‘feel good’ temporarily. However it will never make us feel good about ourselves. That is why excessive food and drink is a bad source feeling good. Such bad source feeling good can never provide us with the critically important feeling good about ourselves we crave1

The Society grade

In school, we are graded for our work. We know what the grade is and where we need to improve based on the grade. In life, we are also graded by the standards of our society. But that grade is not given to us in writing. Indeed it is generally not given to us at all. It is an ‘invisible grade’. That invisible grade plays a very important part in how we feel about ourselves, how well we do in our relationships, and often whom we marry. The grade involves things that are often politically incorrect to discuss. It is real, nevertheless, as well as very important to the sense we have of feeling, or not feeling good about ourselves.

Our competitive society

We are reminded every day that we live in a very competitive society. The media is full of messages telling us to improve our lives by becoming slimmer, more athletic, better looking through nose jobs, breast enhancements, liposuction, hair transplants, etc., We are told to become better dressers, better educated, more potent sexually. We are encouraged to acquire a better skin tone, remove wrinkles, add muscle, and so on.

14 The sad exception is the case of those who function outside society’s rules like criminals and gang members. They can feel good about themselves by doing very bad things that are approved of by their ‘group’ or sub culture.  -Ronald Bibace

We have beauty contests, dance contests, and sports contests of every kind. We even have Presidential approval polls telling us on a daily basis the approval/disapproval level of our President.15 It is the degree to which we meet these society standards that gives us our society grade. Moreover, our ethnicity, sexuality, height, weight, looks, educational levels, and social connections can, and often do, affect the way in which we are “graded” by our societies.

It is this grade that at least in part, controls the way most of us see ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. One of the most important parts of that society’s grade is how well we compare to our own family’s success. A son will usually compare himself to his father, a daughter to her mother.

How we are graded

The society we live in is sending a non-stop, ongoing message, which in part, goes something like this:

• Virtue is better than sin

• Tall is better than short. (There are statistics that show that taller men and women actually make more money than short men and women16.)

• Beautiful is better than ugly.

• Thin is better than fat.

• Educated is better than uneducated.

• Smart is better than stupid.

• Rich is better than poor.

• Strong is better than weak.

15 The Rasmussen poll gives us daily reports on Presidential approval/ disapproval statistics. 16 A 2004 study by psychologist Timothy A. Judge, Ph.D., of the University of Florida, and researcher Daniel M. Cable, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, found that every inch of height amounts to a salary increase of about $789 per year (the study controlled for gender, weight and age). -Relationship Power

• Generous is better than cheap.

• Kind is better than unkind.

• Fidelity in marriage is better than cheating.

• Athletic is better than couch potato.

• Talented is better than untalented.

• Thick hair is better than baldness.

• Humility is better than arrogance.