Relationships are hard work

Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

I’m sure, like me, you have relationships that leave you feeling drained.  The ones you don’t look forward to engaging with whether work, social or family. Relationships is one of the key things that I am trying to work on and improve at, but I know I have a long way to go with them. Some are much more challenging than others.

Karen Gately suggested seven ways that all great relationships have in common and it is worth considering each of these amongst the close relationships we have:

  1. Trust – this takes time to build and is often difficult to regain once lost.  Without it though, you will never feel safe, comfortable, open and close.  It requires us to be willing to listen to some hard truths and learn from them.
  2. Openness – expressing yourself openly and honestly.  Being heard and hearing the other person.  Engaging in honest and respectful conversations that allow you to understand one another and build connection.  It’s about sharing concerns and problems directly to resolve them.
  3. Respect – No one is perfect.  Everyone has a different perspective built on different experiences. Respecting those different values and perspectives will avoid disappointment and frustration.
  4. Teamwork – Everyone needs to do their part.  It takes two to Tango.  Making decisions together, listening to each other’s concerns and ideas with an open mind with build mutual trust and respect.
  5. Joy – having fun, laughter can help keep healthy relationships energised.  We can’t all have a good day every day, but if we are able to help lift each other’s’ spirits it will make people feel loved and accepted.
  6. Kindness – treat each other with care, consideration and compassion.  Speak with warmth and consideration, generosity and friendliness.
  7. Forgiveness – holding on to unresolved resentment, disappointment and frustration can erode trust and drain our spirits.  You need to be able to express how you feel and then let it go.  You need to be able to forgive others’ shortcomings and failings and support one another. 

To me it seems that some of these contradict others.  If I am being honest and open, I may not always be speaking kindly.  I have occasionally been on the receiving end of other people’s tirades both as a manger and in my #bellringing roles, yet I am not allowed to respond the same way.  I have to take the higher ground and put up with being spoken to in ways that other people would call me out on if I spoke to them in the same tone.  Some of that goes with the territory.  Some of it I have to put down to being “the bigger person” but it still hurts, and it’s still frustrating with people operate with double standards.

I do tend to hold on to frustration and resentment, but I am gradually getting better at letting some of that go.  Someone once said to me “light the blue touch paper and stand well back”, when I had to share something that I knew others would get up in arms about.  This person suggested that basically, say what you have to say then move on, how other people react to it is their business, do not get involved in back and forth chat.  As it turned out, a whole bunch of other people pitched in and put the doom-mongers and negative ninnies in their place.

I still have a way to go with some relationships that are a bit broken (as far as I’m concerned anyway, maybe the other person/people don’t feel the same), but I’m choosing one at a time to deal with rather than overwhelm myself with trying to fix everything all at once.  Work in progress.

One thing I thought of whilst writing this blog was perhaps a good place to start when trying to rebuild relationships would be to list all the other person’s good qualities and restart the relationship from there, rather than a place of what you might perceive to be their shortcomings.


One thought on “Relationships are hard work

  1. Yep. This one is hard. I struggle with points 6 & 7. I think it’s all very well aspiring to these points but what if the other party doesn’t give the same effort?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s