The Glass of Water Metaphor: Managing Mental and Relational Availability

Roxanne Bélanger
Written by Roxanne Bélanger /

You are probably wondering why I want to talk about a glass of water with you today.

The glass of water is a metaphor I like to use during appointments to talk about your mental and relational availability. Too often, we don’t listen to ourselves enough, which can result in conflicts, impatience, a drop in desire and many other things that are not that easy to manage.

We all have an internal glass of water. The amount of water it holds represents many things:

  • Your availability for getting in touch with others;
  • Your emotional and relational receptivity;
  • Your feeling of well-being in regard to your personal needs;
  • Your ability to listen to others;
  • Your emotional level;
  • Your physical and mental fatigue;
  • Your desire to connect with others;
  • Your energy level;
  • Etc.

You can therefore understand that the water level in the glass can fluctuate. It is sometimes full, sometimes half full, and sometimes, completely empty... The goal is to frequently observe the amount of water in your glass.

Once properly analyzed, you have to make sure to take care of your glass. This is essential! Nobody can function without water.

Here are some ideas to help you when your glass of water is getting empty!

  1. Take a moment to understand why you are feeling this way;
  2. Find a quick way to raise your water level. You could, for example, do breathing exercises, take a nap, spend some time alone, play a game, etc.;
  3. Take a moment to check if your water level is now acceptable.

The important thing is that you listen to yourself and realize that at that precise moment, you can’t be 100% available. Persisting in wanting to participate in an argument or a more difficult conversation or in wanting to satisfy others’ needs increases the risks of things not turning out as you would have liked.

Our mental and relational availability is the basis for developing healthy and effective communication strategies. Your glass of water is not only useful in your romantic relationship, but in ALL areas of your life. At work, at school, with your children, etc.

Take the time needed to properly analyze your internal glass of water during the holiday season 🙏🏻, because we know that it’s not always an obvious thing to do and that this time of the year is not necessarily relaxing!

About the author

Roxanne Bélanger
Roxanne Bélanger
Director of Operations and Services, B.Ed, MBA

With over 18 years of experience, Roxanne is a seasoned leader in education and operations. Currently overseeing operations and services at Optania, she has held key leadership roles, including chief executive officer and product specialist. Her career showcases a strong dedication to business management and a deep passion for education.

Roxanne's background as a teacher in special education and orthopedagogy provides her with a unique and valuable perspective in her current positions. This dual expertise has earned her respect in both the education and business sectors.

See all Roxanne Bélanger's posts

Ready to meet with a counsellor?

We’re here to help you identify the professionals who can best meet your needs.

Find a professional →