Healthy relationships can be hard work and they nearly ALWAYS require attention (at least if you want to create happy, healthy and strong connections). And I don’t just mean your romantic relationships. I mean:
- professional relationships
- personal relationships, and
- the relationship you have with yourself
These are what we call…
The 3 Categories of Relationships
Today I want you to ponder this huge, uncomfortable and in your face question:
“Have I set a relationship goal or am I just leaving my relationship to chance?”Brad Everton
This question is so important and one we all should be thinking about.
Let’s get into it!
First, let’s look at professional relationships, which are basically the relationships in our work environment. This includes the interactions we have with our clients, work colleagues, customers or patients, etc.
Second we have our personal relationships. These are the connections with our partner, parents, children, friends or extended family.
Relationship with Yourself
And the third category (which I believe is the most important relationship category of them all) is the relationship with one’s self.
When it comes to relationship skills, I often tell people they are crucial.
And, the key thing we need to keep in mind is that they are not formally taught.
I truly believe they should be.
But the fact is…
We often learn our relationship skills the hard way, which I refer to as the bachelor of hard knocks.
Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were lucky enough to have grown up with 2 parents that absolutely loved each other (and every child equally and uniquely). Maybe they never fought. They always showed the perfect amount of affection. And even better, no one in your circle of influence ever had any disagreements at all.
However, the likelihood of this happening is very slim.
On the other hand, over the years you may have experienced relationships difficulties from things like:
- feeling lonely
- domestic violence
- bullying and harassment in the workplace
- the death of a loved one
These are just some of the examples of challenges in life that can cause us emotional trauma and lasting psychological distress. It’s also often the result of poor relationship skills in one or more of the 3 categories of relationships.
That’s why I believe relationship skills are one of the top 5 most important life skills that we need to be working on, developing and enhancing for the rest of our lives.
Theodore Roosevelt (26th president of the United States) said:
Now, what does that tell us about relationships?
It’s basically saying that it is ALL about our people skills and our relationship management skills. And that’s why they are so incredibly important.
So, back the question I started with was:
“Have you set a relationship goal or are you leaving your relationship to chance?”
The great news is…
I am going to share some examples of positive relationship goals so you can enjoy more success when connecting with others starting right now.
Healthy Relationship Goal #1:
We could be aiming for more understanding in our relationships.
I share the concept of always aiming to understand first, then to be understood second. And in fact, one young lady recently shared how using this concept and sharing it with her partner during a heated disagreement allowed them to resolve their differences quicker and easier.
Healthy Relationship Goal #2:
Aim for more connection. This could be working towards having a deeper connection with yourself. Perhaps you can start meditating every day. Another great way to do this is to understand what makes you tick. Or you can even dig down and understand more about your values, beliefs and morals.
We actually have a personal development program that takes you through a whole process around this for all the important areas of your life called Wellbeing Mastery. If you want to understand and connect deeper with yourself (and others), this is one great way to do it.
Healthy Relationship Goal #3:
Aim to become a better listener. Effective listening is such an important soft skill that we all need to develop and continue to work on for the rest of our lives. Your goal may include listening more carefully to what your co-worker is saying and paraphrasing back to them what they have said so they know you understood them.
Healthy Relationship Goal #4:
Have a more fun-loving relationship. When was the last time you did something spontaneously as a family? Why not break out this weekend and do something you always loved doing before. Or you could just try something new. Maybe go for a bushwalk. Go out for a game of ten-pin bowling. Have a family games night. It’s only limited to your imagination and willingness to do it.
These are just a few examples we can set for ourselves. I suggest you take some time now to jot down a few goals for yourself in each of the different areas.
N.B. If you would like some more relationship advice (counselling/therapy) or would like me to help you set some personalised goals, simply contact me on 0458360666 or through our contact page to arrange a time to chat. Helping people get clarity and build stronger, healthier relationships is one of my strengths. So be sure to call to start moving towards your best relationship today.
Here is the important thing around all this – these things won’t just happen on their own. They will not happen by chance. You must commit to them.
That’s why it is so important to set relationship goals. Because if you don’t plan these things, they won’t develop. And if you are leaving it to chance, then you are running the risk of experiencing some of those negative consequences I talked about earlier for when relationships go wrong.
So, I want you to keep that in mind. I want you to start thinking about your relationships on that level and aiming for something that is going to allow you to create better, happier, more harmonious relationships in your life.
May you have a great day and a fantastic week.
Brad Everton – Registered Psychologist and International Author