Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Relationship 101 - Common Sense

I often find that people are surprised by relationships and their inner workings. Yet, they think, we get along or we don't. It's all about chemistry and soul-mates. Truthfully, there are so many facets, both emotional and spiritual, to good relationships, that I wouldn't depend on luck. In the Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck talked about ego boundaries, right after he said, "life is difficult." Yes Virginia, relationships are very complex. However; I believe that most of the more complex problems can often be broken down into simple elements. Relationships are work even under the best of circumstances. But isn't there and easier way? Yes and no... none is without effort.

Here are, what I think, are some common sense actions we can take in any relationship. It has a bit to do with being proactive.

INITIATE - Be a friend first. Reaching out isn't easy, but it can be worth it. It doesn't matter what the relationship is; spouse, neighbor or church buddy, if we initiate it, it will often be a benefit to both parties. Some of my closer friends didn't approach me, but I have had a few for well over 20 years.

COMMIT - Give your relationship regular contact times no matter how busy you are. You'll be amazed at how many of your friends or relatives, so-called "friends" have been inconsistent or even betrayed the relationship for a "better deal." Be the "better deal."

COMMUNICATE - Call, e-mail, write, drop by, send a card. TODAY!

WATCH - Look for opportunities to do something out of the ordinary. People feel significant when you can meet an emotional or physical need.

RESOLVE - Do everything that you can to resolve conflicts. If you are bad at conflict resolution, learn! There are lots of good books. Remember differences are a blessing and a curse.

SHARE - look for opportunities to give/suggest and listen/receive.

END - End all emotionally intoxicating relationships before they end up in the ditch. Don't settle for less and don't subject yourself to continued abuse. If this happens to be a pattern for you, get some help.

ENJOY - Find ways to enjoy you family and friends that add to the relationship. If you don't like they way someone eats, then take them to a movie and not to dinner... it's just common sense.

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