Relationships that you have are important in so many ways, yet a lot of us are still getting the basics wrong. Why is that? Do you hope it’ll all be OK but don’t do anything different to get the end result you want? There’s no judgement but if you want to feel connected, valued, happy and fulfilled you have to take back your power to get it!
I’m sure you’ve got lots of fantastic relationships in your life with people you love and adore. Having people that make us feel good, support and love us is paramount to our wellbeing. It connects us and if we’re with the right people we feel part of something.
Here are some of my winning tactics for relationship basics:
Know where you start and they begin
You are two individuals with lives before you met, knowing who you are is so important, having your values, knowing what they are and if your relationships respects or disregards them. If you’ve lived with someone that’s had an addiction, then it’s likely you may not be clear on your values and beliefs, actually a lot of people don’t know clearly what theirs are. It’s worth considering what’s important to you in your life and specifically your relationships. What do you believe and is that true of your relationships? Does that matter to you?
What this section is about is to know your independence of the other person. I appreciate with some people you can feel “as one”, but you are two people with different personalities, characteristics, values, beliefs and experiences. Compromising yourself so you’ll be liked, loved and accepted only disrespects yourself. You’re worthy of the right people in your life.
I think it’s particularly important to mention children here, I don’t have kids but I do listen to a lot of people I know with them. They put all their time, effort and energy into them without any thought for themselves. I appreciate you’re responsible for them, but sometimes this is taken out of context and you give up far more of yourself than you need to. Doing things for them that they can easily do themselves, which you do out of habit. This doesn’t help them in the long term and in the short term it’s additional work for you.
As someone that’s been affected by someone’s addiction, I understand the need to please others, to do whatever they need to a point but be mindful to what end. Especially if you’re going without and giving up things you want for yourself. It’s so easy to say “Oh I don’t mind”, “I like doing it”. I get that, but it’s OK to sometimes let go.
Own your stuff and leave them to theirs
Sometimes we can feel like we’re responsible for how someone else feels, I agree we may have done something that offends someone or hurts them. We have to accept the consequences for that, but we aren’t responsible for how it affects the other person. Some people may react with anger and frustration, others may take it on the chin and not be that bothered by what you say or do.
Also interactions you have with someone need to be monitored, be mindful of what others may put on you. How others can project their feelings, difficulties, pressures etc. Who’s problem is it? If it’s theirs, show empathy and demonstrate understanding but allow them to come up with their own solutions. It isn’t for you to do that, no one is likely to help you with yours.
Often we can feel frustrated and annoyed with others, we may not like how they behave, something we think they should or shouldn’t have done or said. Generally if we don’t like something for whatever reason, that is something we have to own and take responsibility for. It’s a tough one I know, I struggled with it for a long time. But think about this, does the other person care about the thing that’s bothering you? Is it something they dislike? If not, then the only person it affects is you, you are the one that can control that. So owning what is your stuff is important if you want to overcome it.
It’s when we think it’s the other person, then expect them to change it that things do south. We can battle with all sorts of things “if he loves me he’ll do xyz”.
Also it can often be a great learning for you, you can look at the situation and see what is making you react the way you are, what’s it triggering in you? Does this relate to anything from your past? Is there something you admire or want that the other person has? The answers are always there if you’re patient and open.
This is a great one and we all do it! (see what I did there). Making generalised statements using words like “all” is very common. For example, there maybe people that don’t make assumptions out there in the world.
In your relationships, whoever that’s with. We can think we’re mind readers, of course we may know someone really well, but you don’t always know how they’ll react. We can take away things from a conversation that aren’t accurate at all. I’ve tested this with people a lot, assuming my interpretation of “I’ll be a while” to someone else’s are VERY different. The answer to this is to get clarity, be mindful of your words and thoughts and ASK!
Listen, Hear and Reflect
We can often be too keen to talk and rarely spend enough time listening. You maybe keen to say what you need to say, maybe you fear that you’ll forget it. Making sure the other person in your relationships feels heard is important. Listen and really hear what they’re saying, a lot of the time these days we’re multi-tasking and not very well half the time. Watching TV, having a chat and playing on our phones.
How do you feel when someone’s really paid you 100% attention and heard what you said,? you’ve felt they really listened. I know I feel great, valued and connected with the person. So I’m sure that those you talk to want the same thing.
Sometimes in our relationships we can have anger and resentment and no where near enough empathy. We see things from our own perspective and we don’t consider the other person’s view. We just express our uncomfortableness, disappointments, frustrations, anger etc but there is usually a reason people do the things they do. Whether we agree with them or not.
I’m sure you can think of a time when you’ve made a decision, said or done something that you felt another person hasn’t liked or understood. Maybe difficulties have arisen which you struggled to overcome because they didn’t get you? If they had empathy to your situation, how would you have felt? What difference would it have made?
Issues can build over time so offering empathy to someone can be hard if you’re still angry with them. Take a leap of faith! I have an amazing NLP technique that allows you to see a situation from another person’s perspective. Just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to receive it.
No need to do it alone!
I’ve recently created a new online course covering Relationships, it goes into a lot more detail that I have here. It will be ready to launch on 19th March!