What is the basis of a successful relationship? The vast percentage of the quality of our relationships depend on our character, qualities and prevailing mood. So, to really create good relationships we need first to look to ourselves and our own inner capacity, qualities and attitudes. We also need to look at how we approach relationships? Often we forget that they are “two-way” and approach them as we would a task. We each come with our own agenda or idea and either ‘you’ go along with me or you’re out. We forget about relating to each other with dignity, respect and humanity.
What is the alternative? We need to move from positional to intentional relationships. Intentional relationships go deeper and are about the intentions behind what we are saying or doing. We first need to be clear about what our own intentions are, and then be prepared to ask, ‘What is your reason for saying this?’ When we meet on the intentional level we open up the possibility of building bridges, of understanding each other.
- Be authentic. Be yourself, and not everything for everyone. Do you do what you say and think? Do you do what you know is right or what is easy? If we aren’t being authentic we experience inner unease and this reduces our ability to tolerate, be patient and access our good qualities.
- Be clear about your aims in life and don’t make others responsible for meeting them or for how you feel. Otherwise, resentment seeps into our relationships.
- Create your own personal space, maintain your boundaries and manage expectations. To create personal space meditation is essential, as meditation builds our mental, emotional and spiritual muscles. Know your inner world of thoughts and feelings, the room behind the eyes. What is its landscape?
- Challenge your perceptions. Things are not always as they seem so make sure you are all on the same page. Don’t assume; suspend your judgements, listen, acknowledge and clarify. If we say ‘Yes, but…’ most likely we haven’t been really listening. When we listen to others, others are much more likely to listen to us.
- Be assertive not aggressive or passive. This means to stand up for yourself whilst maintaining your respect for others and their point of view.
- Just reacting? This is a sign that we need to step back and reconnect with our personal space. Step back, recreate your personal space, tune in and be clear about your intention and what you want to communicate, and then invite the other(s) to explain their intention(s). Why is this important to them?
Successful relationships are 70% harmony and 30% efficiency. We tend to turn these percentages the other way around and the result is we destroy both efficiency and harmony. When we focus on 70% harmony we get more than 30% efficiency.