Relationships can be easy and hard at the same time. They require a lot of work but honestly, so do all things noteworthy. If you want to have rock hard abs, you will work for it. You want to build a business, work is involved. You want to build that relationship that lasts more than one week, work work work… Let’s not even go into the types of relationships that transcend generations.
When I talk of relationships, I am not limiting it to marriage, or dating although all I will highlight here will go a long way in helping with those kinds of relationships as well.
A relationship is basically the way two or more people or things are connected. For the purpose of this article, we will limit it to the people aspect. This applies to husband and wife, brother and sister, friends, employer and employee, Oga and side chick… all of the above. I will add as a note here that if you follow these tips, you will quickly know the relationships that are not meant to be and you can quickly move on. The following are reasons why relationships tank.
YOU DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT THE PERSON
Like I’ve said, these reasons are not specific to any particular kind of relationship but all kinds. Many people relate with another person or people simply because of what the other person can do for them. This is why people marry for money, work for money, date purely for physical gratification; follow a politician around, etc. They are all in these relationships not because they have a genuine care for that other person but because of what they can get out of it. Relationships like this are bound to fail the test of time.
YOU TRY TO CHANGE THE PERSON
Whether or not you succeed in ‘changing a person’, you don’t get to enjoy it for long because that person in one way or another will not be the same person you met and liked. The desire to change a person is actually born out of a feeling of inadequacy within one’s self (yes I know it sounds deep).
Here’s an instance. I meet loads of ladies who want to stop their spouses from smoking cigarettes and my question is “was he smoking when you met him?” if they answer to this is “yes”, the next question is “Aren’t there loads of guys like me who don’t smoke cigarettes?” again the answer is “yes” and then I ask a third question “Is it by force to be with this person?” and in most cases the answer is “No”.
If you find that you keep having this need to make another person conform to you then there is something you need to work on. Research shows that the happier you are with yourself and your life, the less you need to meddle in other people’s choices and way of life. That is something to think about.
INABILITY TO FORGIVE/TOLERATE
We all come from different walks of life and like it or not, we all have our ‘differences’. An ability to forgive and tolerate others will make it easier for others to forgive and tolerate your little flaws as well and there s no lasting relationship that could have lasted if forgiveness was not a major part of it. You have to get to that place where you can forgive a person without their having to ask for that forgiveness. If a person says ‘I don’t forgive’ then such a person should also prep for a fairly lonely life.
Here’s an instance: If you are married and you still hold something against your spouse, you two can stay married (officially) but you will know that you are not in a healthy relationship and you would feel lonely all the same. Can I get an Amen?
FOCUSING ON NEGATIVES
Personally, I have a hard time dealing with people who cannot control their anger but that doesn’t mean I cannot interact with them. If I meet a person who has anger issues, I try to see if they have an good sides which can override the anger and if I can have more positives to work with, then we can try out that relationship (this again is not specific to a romantic relationship but to all relationships).
If there are people who have zero flaws, they are few and finding them would be a very tedious task. However when we do relate with the people in our lives, we should endeavor to find their positive traits and make sure we bring out those positives as much as we can.
LACK OF COMMUNICATION
Communication is not just about words but words are a huge part of what communication is about. In a relationship, you must communicate your thoughts, feelings, whereabouts, situations etc. to the other person or people involved else there can be no forward movement.
Even when all is not going smoothly, tell the other person and keep them informed. If you are in an office and you cannot meet a deadline due to an issue, let someone know. Are you not comfortable with a particular task, let the relevant parties know. Are you about to make a decision? Tell somebody. If you are leaving the house to go get some drinks, inform whoever is around.
The “me” of before would keep a lot of things to himself but that is only leading to that lonely future we talked about earlier. Remember this; anyone who cannot handle the truth as it is should not be in your life. So communicate with the people who you relate with.
Relationships can be looked at in a certain way and that is this: In every relationship, you are actually sharing a bit of yourself with another so the question is this; “What exactly am I sharing with this person and what is this person sharing with me?” That way you quickly know weather you are blessing or infecting a person’s life and if the other person is blessing or infecting you. Where blessing is the case, sure you get to nurture and grow that relationship but if you find that you are infecting another person or they are infecting you, Instead of trying to “Change the other person” give then some space. You are free to share your knowledge with them on how to get better but there must be a willingness on their part for any lasting positive effect to take place.
So there you have it. Remember relationships are key to survival of any species and nobody is an island to themselves. So I wish you all the best in the r3elationships you choose to keep.