Relationships, be it personal or business, platonic or intimate, institutionalized or mutual, can never be immune of any mishaps. The very fact of our differences (in terms of background, experience and early conditioning) makes it inevitable any ensuing conflicts or misunderstanding. It has been the foolish presumption of many that relationship could only work on their terms—while totally oblivious to the legitimate concern of others. As a consequence, many unnecessary damages have tainted what could have been a smooth flowing relationship.
Before you continue reading I want to remind you that it is imperative that you first relinquishing your egocentric approach in your relationship with others, otherwise you’ll have a hard time finding that harmony you endeavor. Understand that self-centeredness cause a big hindrance in any effort for a mutually beneficial relationship. If you want to have harmony in your dealings with others, let go of your egotism, assume an open mind and work through to the following factors affecting every relationship.
Differing expectations is the most common source of conflicts in any relationship, and this can be more emphasized among married couples. I remember the early stages of my marriage. When my wife and I had fights, my tendency was to leave because I thought it would appease our heated situation. It was long before she have made known to me that my leaving had made her feel abandoned, thus further escalating our misunderstanding. From this experience I have learned that people think differently—the perception of one may not always be the perception of the other. Later I have learned that each of us needs to establish a common ground of understanding, one in which we let each other know what the other is expecting at certain situations and find a meeting point over which we could agree.
Open communication is extremely effective in deciphering each other’s expectations, for in it each could work on ways that would prevent or neutralize any seeming conflicts that may arise as a result of clashing expectations. But for this to work, each must have the willingness to bend their ego: each must reconsider what they think is right and what they think is wrong, otherwise, mutual understanding will be out of reach. Be wise to know that relationships follow the rule of give and take. Do your part.
People put very high premium on trust, you and I know this. For relationship to grow and flourish, trust must be nurtured always. Avoid doing things that will jeopardize the trust that others have given unto us. Putting our trust on someone carries with it the possibility that we may get hurt or betrayed. This is the reason why it’s hard for us to forgive those who have destroyed our trust, the pain can be oftentimes too unbearable that some of us inherit the character of suspicion, doubt and pessimism. I remember a very close friend of mine whose love had been betrayed. As tears crumpled her beautiful face, she kept on asking why did this happen to her. Her last word before we depart was that she will trust no man anymore. Betrayal of trust has sadly change her perception about the trustworthiness of men with it comes to love. I hope she’ll change her mind in due time— once the pain is gone.
Trust takes time to earn, but takes only a second to break. So be scrupulous in handling it.
Level of understanding
I naturally get irate when my two-year old son would make a mess of the cabinet where his clothes are neatly tucked. But when reason intervenes, and I would tell myself that he’s still young and lacks the understanding to realize his inappropriate behavior. The same principle applies with relationships. One must be able to enforce certain level of understanding that will enable him to tolerate the inadvertent lack of the other. If the other—through good faith— commits an act that hurts the relationship, the affected one should consider the intention—or the situation—behind the act rather than the ensuing undesirable result. I had this friend who is very worrisome when it comes to his finances. Every time we go out to have some fun like going to the movies or exploring new adventures, I always find myself annoyed by his parsimoniousness. At one time though, he incidentally got drunk, and from there he had told me the hardship he had experienced early in life because of poverty. Now I understood and allow him to be as pennywise as he is when it comes to spending.
There are no shortcuts to a smooth relationship. One must learn to see the other in order to know what kind of adjustments one can make to make his relationships with others flourish. Keep in mind that there’s no “I” in a relationship, there’s only “We”. Arriving at a mutual ground of understanding should be our focus whenever we enter into any form of relationship. Remember to always put on your foot on the others’ shoes: it will provide you a map on which to maneuver your every action for the furtherance of a good relationship with others.
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