To withhold something is to prevent progress. Say someone asks you for something, a marble perhaps. You’ve had this marble for a long time. You don’t play marbles. It means nothing to you, but you plan to use this marble to negotiate a favor, or deal, in an attempt to manipulate something out of a relationship. Then it could be that you are a scumbag. It’s sad the way this sort of shrewd deal making is not only encouraged, but applauded. It’s these sorts of tactics that keep your soul from evolving into who you were meant to be. Ok, say you’re on the opposite side of the fence and you’re the one asking for the marble. When the person who’s withholding the marble then comes back to you with an offer of “I’ll give it to you if you…” it could be that it’s just a give and take interaction, which is normal. An equal exchange is healthy and it occurs when both parties leave feeling like they’ve gotten good value from this encounter. It’s when the marble holder then decides to capitalize on the interaction and your fondness for marbles, that they decide to up the ante, and ask for more than they’re fair share out of the deal.
Let’s say you’re exiting a relationship, be it romantic, friendship, or business. The day of reckoning has come and it’s now time to settle up, divide the stuff, and move on. Withholding stems from longing. Perhaps you’re exiting the relationship, and the ex doesn’t give you back your favorite t-shirt. It’s a t-shirt. It’s net worth is zero dollars. It means nothing to the ex, but the ex knows it’s important to you, so they’re going to make sure you don’t have it. There’s no way of getting it back without changing your mind about the situation and caving. By doing this, the custodian of the coveted t-shirt has passed the longing on. They are no longer yearning alone. Even though you’re no longer present, you both long for something…together. Sucks, don’t it?
This behavior is learned, usually from the parents, and by the time it gets to you, the marble hoarder/t-shirt keeper gets to you, the behavior is hard-wired.
If you have something that you are withholding that means nothing to you and the only reason you’re holding on to this item it to stifle someone else’s enjoyment or progress, then go ahead and place yourself in the asshole category. Stop striving for winning. Strive for balance.
Chances are, you’ve at some point done this. It’s a basic relationship control mechanism. Let go of the reigns. You cannot control anyone. The only thing you can control is how you deal with it.
If you are being withheld from, prepare yourself to get up from the table, leave the marble behind, and go buy yourself a new t-shirt. It’s just a thing. You were born without it and it’ll be in a trash heap when you die.