Valuing Our Most Important Relationships

Valuing Our Most Important Relationships - By Steve Wickham

How is it that we abuse the ones most close to us? The people we most love and most value tend to cop most of the fallout when things aren't going well for us. It's a confusing and frustrating paradox -- those we wish least to hurt end up getting hurt, and people we don't really care for as much (i.e. those who may anger or frustrate us) get away scott-free.
This type of situation happens regularly in marriage and sibling relationships where two people get close. It's like the boundaries evaporate and there's suddenly the opportunity and the option to transgress. I don't know the technical or psychological term for it, but I see it as a situation where relational respect has been compromised. Basically, one or both parties now use a way of transacting with the other that employs negative "parent-child"[1] communication, setting up a dangerous pattern of potential co-dependency.
I saw this happen recently to a friend. The problem revolved around the rapport he had with his manager at work. He has a good working relationship with his manager; that good in fact, is the relationship, that they would consider themselves friends, not just work colleagues. Yet, strangely he would find himself being short with him, not giving him the time he required, and this wasn't readily identified by my friend until his manager approached him about it.
The confrontation was a good thing as my friend's manager was able to broach the subject truthfully and 'respectfully challenge' the status quo. Fortunately, my friend had an honest look at the situation and decided that his manager's feedback was warranted. He fed back to me that he apologised and after having reflected upon the issue, decided afresh that everyone deserves courtesy and respect, especially those we have the most time for!
Loved ones are a special category of people aren't they? Why do we take them so much for granted? Why is it that our partner or our children often get the 'junk' that comes from our mouths, or the silence at the end of the day because 'we've had enough already'?
Giving people respect all the time is a difficult thing for most to achieve. We have our own needs and wants and we want satisfaction and a fulfilling life; yet, this is often precisely what goes against us... we can't survive relationally without issuing respect first. We must give it to earn it. We need to be prepared to put our needs and wants behind another's to give respect.
For our loved-ones, we have to love them, pure and simple. I find the best way back once I've transgressed is to simply and quickly apologise and then seek their forgiveness. This pattern of behaviour then reinforces respect. It also helps us next time. Before we shoot off or treat them disrespectfully, we allow the voice inside us to gently remind us of the consequences of this behaviour. Slowly but surely we get better at dealing with problems and our relationships don't suffer so much. It's all about the 'internal work' required within.
Our friends and loved-ones are there for us, not to abuse, but to help us. We must appreciate their help. You could try telling your friend or loved-one how much you appreciate them. This is so good for a relationship. Everyone deserves respect, and all friends should be appreciated.
© Copyright 2008, Steven John Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. [1] See Transactional Analysis theory for an explanation of this phenomenon. Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). He is also has training and leadership Diplomas. His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's interest in psychology is matched by years of experience in the psychology of safety in workplaces. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us. An advocate for a fair and just life, Steve implements wisdom strategies to his life through a passion for Proverbial wisdom. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others. Article Source:   Article Source:

Find us on Facebook: