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How Others Need Us

Roles in Relationships

written by Robert Taibbi February 13, 2020
How Others Need Us

One measure of our lives is not how we see ourselves but how others see us. More specifically, how others need us, and the roles we play in the relationships that we create. We can think of these roles spanning a continuum from the greatest amount of power and control to the weakest. Here are some of the common ones:

White Knight

You to the rescue. Here is where others look to you to hold them up, bail them out, take over when they are overwhelmed, and make things right.

What drives this:

You may take on this role because it is part of your values — the helping of others — but there also may be the allure of being needed.


The relationship is unbalanced. The danger is that you get burned out, that you don’t feel appreciated, or that they eventually outgrow you, leaving you alone and looking for someone else to save.

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