Archive for February 21st, 2006

February 21, 2006

Useful Relationship Habits

by Rod Smith

Some of the following suggestions might seem overwhelming. Many people have found them useful in getting relationships into a healthier state:

1. Try to stop “engineering” relationships. Allow a natural flow to develop. Avoid restricting or restraining what has natural development. Try not to push what has no natural development. In other words, allow and trust natural process.

2. If a relationship has life it will grow without pushing. There is a difference between attending to a relationship (all relationships need attention) and forcing a relationship.

3. Allow others room to move toward, and away from you. Forced closeness is not closeness. Forced space is not space.

4. Cutting off from a person or a relationship is seldom helpful. A cut-off is still reactive behavior and the person from whom you have cut-off is still in a powerful and influential position in your life.

5. Offer forgiveness quickly and freely, before it is asked of you and even if it is not.

6. Tell people about the good feelings you have for them.

7. Thank people who positively impacted you.

8. Try to see the world through the eyes of others. Try to see the world through the eyes of your children.

9. Try to listen more than talk. Define yourself and not others.

10. Try not to do things for people they can do for themselves.

11. Try to develop an early detection mechanism and speak out clearly when you see things going awry in relationships. Remember that “big problems” play hide and seek with us before they arrive.

12. Try not to live from a platform of guilt. Recognize how guilt has found expression in your life and deal with it in more appropriate ways.

13. Try to remove “you need” and “you should” from all conversations. Assuming any person knows what someone else needs or should do is usually fundamentally disrespectful. Allow others to be free of your unsolicited advice. Relinquish any agenda for others, especially those closest to you. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO PARENTS REARING YOUNG CHILDREN.

Copyright,1998 / Rod Smith, MSMFT