Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Relationships Are An Integral Part of a Happy LIfe

Everyone needs a good friend.  Someone that you can vent to if things are tough.  Someone to celebrate with.  Someone that is always there for you.  Life is very lonely if you never build relationships.

At the same time, an adult maintains multiple relationships.  If you are a married parent with a child in school, lets take a mother, you have the:
  • Mother - child relationship
  • Husband - wife relationship
  • PTA Mom - school relationship
  • Friend relationships
  • If you work, you have the relationship with your boss or employees
All of these relationships are different.  You deal with each of these in a different way, because you have differing responsibilities.  There are several steps to strong relationships.  They don't just happen. 

The baseball diamond below depicts the steps that we must follow for a successful relationship.  Remember, in a baseball game there are rules on how you score a run.  You must go in a particular sequence--from Home Plate to First Base, First Base to Second Base, Second Base to Third Base, Third to Home Plate and you score a run.  You cannot skip any steps in building a relationship either.  So refer to the following diagram as you read on.

First, you must show someone that you care for them.  The other person must see that you have a genuine interest for them.  You must be sincere in your efforts to build a relationship.  That means that it is NOT about you.  You will ask them something about their life, their interests and listen intently to their response.  Maybe, you compliment them because they are wearing something that looks good, or is something that you would wear yourself.

Second, you must build a trust.  You do this by sharing something about you with them.  If they see that are being vulnerable, the relationship will grow.  When you are willing to share something about yourself, you are risking the possibility that they will use that vulnerability against you, but a true friend would never do that.  You must take chances in a relationship.  You will share your inner thoughts, a weakness you struggle with, or something that is important to you or troubling you.  Those are things you don't share with everyone, but you do with a friend.

If both of you are being vulnerable, then you will begin to support each other.  That support comes in the form of challenging one another to be better at things, or it may be encouraging someone to be strong in a difficult time.  That support feels great.  You know that you have someone that you can count on when times get tough, or when you want to celebrate.

Keep in mind that in a new relationship, you must be willing to take the first steps in showing care, trust, and support.  This takes time.  It won't happen in one, short visit.  A relationship is something that you must work at building.  The reward is that you will be connected with that person through thick and thin, through heartache and euphoria.  You will want to be there for that person and they will always be there for you.

Building and supporting your team is exactly the same.  In order for someone to see that you will be their mentor, they must understand that you really care for them.  They must know that they can trust you, and that you will always support them.  The same goes for every human relationship that you find yourself being a part of.

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