Interpersonal 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:
- your professional relationships
- your 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 family.
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). Maybe they never fought. 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:
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”Theodore Roosevelt
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 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.
Relationship Goal #1:
We could be aiming for more understanding in our relationships.
I share the concept of always aim to understand first, then to be understood second. And in fact, one young lady recently shared how by using this concept and sharing it with her partner during a heated disagreement, it allowed them to resolve their differences quicker and easier.
Relationship Goal #2:
Aim for more connection
Relationship Goal #3:
Aim to become a better listener
Relationship Goal #4:
Have a more fun-loving relationship
And these are just a few examples we can set for ourselves.
N.B. If you would like some more relationship advice (counselling an/or therapy) or would like me to help you set some personalised goals, simply contact me on 0458360666 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to chat. Helping people get clarity and build stronger relationship is one of my strengths, so be sure to call to start moving towards your greatest relationships today.
Here is the important thing around all this – these things just won’t 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