Scoring Points


All relationships are based on give and take. When things are going well, partners naturally want to give to each other almost unconditionally. But if we give and then notice we are not receiving enough in return, we may reach a place where we realize that we have been keeping score all along.

In business and superficial relating, the need to keep the score even is apparent, but in closer relationships we may feel keeping score is not appropriate. If brought to our attention, score keeping may seem petty and selfish. The reality is that people keep score even in intimate relationships, but often do it unconsciously. This card invites you to become more aware of how scoring points operates – and how you can use it to create more fulfillment and joy in your relationships.

In healthy relationships, we have to get back what we are giving, or we will start to feel resentful after a while. This does not mean we should bicker over every last iota, but overall, there should be a sense of balance. If you always give more than you receive, you’ll inevitably feel resentful. If you always receive more than you give, you may feel you don’t need to give as much, and this surely will cause problems!

It is the job of each partner to make sure that the overall balance between giving and receiving is equal. If a partner complains or seems resentful because they feel they’re giving more, the solution is to do things to let them know you care. At such times, actions speak louder than words! Resentment is a sign that one partner has scored too few points relative to the other. The way to heal resentment is not by trying to explain it away. Rather, simply do something concrete, constructive, and supportive for your partner. A partner’s resentment means that it’s time for you to score some more points!

Knowing how points are scored can help you keep things balanced. In scoring points, there are big things and little things. A partner often feels if they do one big thing, it should be worth many, many points. But it doesn’t necessarily work that way. A small act usually scores one point. Surprisingly, a grand act may also score just one point! You may think you have been doing a lot, but you may not have been scoring that many points in your partner’s eyes. An example of this is found in marriage when one partner puts all their energy into work and providing, believing that they are scoring big points. But the other partner may feel shortchanged, because for them all this activity only scores one point!

Remember the saying, “It’s the little things that count.” Little things – like hugs, sharing mundane chores, showing appreciation, doing things together, giving compliments, communicating with respect, or giving small gifts – are just as important as the big things! Sometimes simply forgiving or letting a partner off the hook for making a mistake will score a lot of points. Doing the little things can easily score ten to a hundred times more points than just doing one big thing.

The card SCORING POINTS tells you to be aware of the many ways that you can score points with a partner. Start by asking your partner what will score points in their eyes! When both partners stay alert about scoring points with each other, they create a relationship that is truly rich and rewarding.