A good jug is fit for purpose. It is an appropriate balance of several different functions:
To hold something that flows
To be open enough to let things flow in
To be stable enough to let things stay inside
To have a handle that is easy to hold
To have a spout that pours at an appropriate rate
You may have guessed where I am going with this.
If you consider that you have a function in relation to other people, I wonder what kind of jug you would be.
Do you have the capacity to hold something inside without spilling it all over others? When people tell you their secrets, are you a good container for those secrets, or do you leak everything everywhere?
Equally, are you open enough so that it is relatively easy for others to interact with you? Can they place inside you certain thoughts, feelings and needs, easily and confidently? Would others know when you are available, how to speak with you, how receptive you are?
Do you have a firm grounding at your base? Can you sit still and quietly for long periods of time? Do you know how to occupy yourself when you are not needed? Do you have a strong enough ‘home position’ that you can be returned to it, and not need too much maintenance?
Are you impossible to handle, or do you fit comfortably other people’s ways of operating? Can you be managed by people of all shapes and sizes, and still be useful? When being used, do you stay balanced and steady, well-focused and controllable
Once tilted, do you splurge your words like an unguided missile? Or maybe you are all clogged up, and can’t speak for a long while. Can you match the moment with the appropriate level of flow, and keep the rest inside you for another time?
Just for today, watch yourself operate.
See how well you listen, and take in others’ thoughts, feelings and needs
See how stable you can remain while helping others
See how balanced you can be, finding a middle way between too much and too little
A jug is perhaps a good thinking analogy for aspects of human relationship.
Attributes that can help others relate to us include being:
Well-adapted to others’ ways of operating
Able to choose words and actions to match the moment