I have a question in reference to Service-to-Self and Service-to-Others type of relationships. My son and I have spent hours this evening talking about this and we are trying to figure out if there is line that must be drawn or gets drawn in these types of relationships. Both he and I are very much Service-to-Others type of people and his partner is Service-to-Self. He has been with her for 4 years and has tried everything to "spark" her spirit and is at a point of not knowing which way to turn. We know that people can change but does there come a time when one needs to let go of the present task and move on to continue being the person you are truly meant to be? I have seen people literally die from trying to make another person happy and it’s something that I still don't understand. I also know that there are people out there awaiting for a Service-to-Others type of person to find them and help them get on that track of peace and happiness. If you could help me to understand this I would be so grateful and appreciative of it.
A person operating in the Service-to-Other has several paths they can choose to take. They can of course simply give into every demand made by others, be a rug-rat, be a servant without questioning the motives of the others, and thus become exhausted being a mere extension of another who most likely would be highly Service-to-Self. Unless the Service-to-Other individual learns to push back, and employs this right, they will ultimately find themselves a servant of those in the Service-to-Self, as these individuals push all other competitors aside, grasping at assets for themselves, to be under their control.
Thus, in this setting, the Service-to-Other individual would be merely an extension of Service-to-Self motives. Those who are highly Service-to-Self in fact attempt to enslave the Service-to-Other, ensnaring them into such a relationship, because those in the Service-to-Other are attentive, perceptive, and self-sacrificing. An individual who has not yet decided their orientation will be less reliable, and likely to complain and procrastinate. Since those in the Service-to-Self are adroit at masking their motives, or adroit at putting on the façade of someone in pain, in need, it is not uncommon for those in the Service-to-Other to find themselves in a relationship with a highly Service-to-Self individual.
This master/slave relationship may not be apparent at first, but if suspected there are tests that can be done. Request assistance from the Service-to-Self individual, in a setting where your request is entirely reasonable. Those in the Service-to-Self have such an aversion to the master/slave relationship switching about, even to a small degree, that this request will be rejected out of hand. The question now becomes what to do. If this is a friendship, a romantic relationship, a partnership in business, the answer is clear. Sever all dealings with the Service-to-Self person.
If the highly Service-to-Self individual has control over others, and can harm them, then a firm stance replaces severing relationships. For instance, if the Service-to-Self person is pregnant, or has the dependent children, then a closely monitored relationship of visitations and inspections to prevent child abuse or custody battles might ensue. Most often, the Service-to-Self person will not be interested in responsibilities unless great wealth or control of others can ensue. Cut away those advantages, and dependents can be rescued from the grasp of the Service-to-Self, who will freely abandon them.