Monday, August 2, 2010

Building Relationships

I came to realize that there is a good reason why it is, “building a relationship” and not, "naturally falling into a relationship". The truth is that all relationships, especially in the beginning, have to be built. We may have a natural tendency to like someone over another but once you begin to interact with that person, it becomes a give and take dance, with careful consideration of not stepping on your partners toes. You may think I am only referring to our romantic relationships but I am referring to all of them. Like anything else we build, the amount of time you spend and the effort you make to build a strong foundation, will impact that relationship for its entire life. There are some relationships that are not particularly chosen but more inherited, like a brother, sister, mother, father, daughter or son. Although everyone would love to believe that these relationships should be naturally occurring they are not. In fact these inherited type relationships, can be some of the most difficult you will ever have. Once again, these will not be anymore naturally occurring than the others. You must work at them just as hard, building a strong foundation of trust and mutual respect. This last part may sound a little crazy and would take pages to fully explain, but I am going to try to explain in a few short sentences. If we find that we are not feeling the way we think we should about someone and wish we felt differently, we must decide to "fake it, until we make it". Although our emotions may be saying one thing, we must tell ourselves what we want to believe about that relationship and then reinforce it through our actions. If we can do this for a sustained period of time, the relationship will change. The part that is hard to believe and may even sound a little crazy, is that the other person in the relationship doesn’t have to cooperate for this to work. We do not need the other person to change for our new perception to become our new reality. Here is a good example: We have all had close friends that we felt strongly about. Our relationship with that person was solid and we were should it would never change. During that relationship a simple change may occur, such as a change in schools, a move or change in marital status. Suddenly our relationship changes with that person. We feel and talk differently towards them. This person who was once so close, now starts to fade away and become different. We question how well we really new them. Is it possible that the core of that person changed so drastically? Is it possible that we were so off on what we thought about our original thoughts towards that person? It is more likely that with that one change, our perception changed and then we began feeding our new perception,  until it became our new reality.

It is up to us to decide what we want to feed our minds in regards to our relationships. We can feed our minds junk food and end up building unhealthy relationships. I think we should feed our minds healthy thoughts and in turn end up with healthy relationships that will keep us happy and last a lifetime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post - I have a group of childhood friends that if I truly sat and analyzed our relationships I could say that they were downright mean to me as kids; that we have little in common as adults; and that I don't have time for these relationships. Instead I choose to focus on the positive aspects and "fake it till I make it" sometimes, because I think in the end, there are some very positive aspects to having them in my life.