“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”
On your own, you can accomplish many things. Working with someone else allows you to achieve so much more. Add more people, working as a team, and you can reach higher heights that you never would have gotten to on your own. Relationships are vital to success. Without relationships, you are limited in what you can achieve.
However, relationships are difficult and tricky. Too much, too soon, not enough effort, no boundaries…. all of these things can alter relationships in a negative way. If you give too much and your friend, family member, spouse, business partner, or team member takes too much, things get out of balance. If you get too aggressive in a relationship too soon, you can run someone off or have to slow down later on. If you don’t put in any effort, you will get what you give. If you don’t put boundaries on your relationships, you can have a lot of problems.
So, how do you make them work?
Every relationship requires trust.
• Trust is the vital foundation that should be built upon over time in any relationship. It should be nurtured and strengthened at every opportunity.
• Without trust, the rest of the relationship is not going to achieve the maximum potential.
• Once violated and broken, it is very hard to regain.
• Value it and make sure that you know it is hard to earn but easy to lose.
Set healthy boundaries.
• Family business? Keep family, family. Keep business, business. In business with friends? Do the same. If you blur the lines and allow friction from an outside source to interject strife in a relationship, things can get damaged and it is hard to go back.
• Know your limits. If it is your place to hold someone accountable, do so. If it is none of your business or you don’t have the proper connection, you are not in a place to provide correction.
• Set clear expectations for the relationship about communication. Do you talk after hours? Are you connections on Social Media? Unmet expectations are a relationship killer.
Manage your relationships wisely.
• To have a friend you have to be a friend. If you don’t put in effort, don’t expect to have a strong relationship. If you never get to know your business partner, friend, co-worker, team mate, etc., don’t expect them to like you very much. You have to be likeable to be liked.
• Don’t use people. Use things, love people. Treat others as they want to be treated. The Platinum rule.
• If you don’t take care of your relationships, someone else will. Your best client is someone else’s best prospect. Always remember that.
Exercise grace and forgiveness.
• We all need grace. We all need forgiveness. Simply put, because we have been extended grace and forgiveness, it is our duty to pass that on to others.
• Forgive first. Don’t wait on someone else to apologize, forgive them anyway. Trust me on this. It is painful at first but it will change your relationships.
• Holding a grudge causes bitterness. Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. They have probably moved on. You are only hurting yourself. When you let go and turn it over to God, you will feel so much better.
Sometimes you have to cut them loose.
• Some relationships need to end. Like Cancer in the body, some people need to be cut out of your life. It is not easy but it is necessary sometimes to experience growth.
• If you surround yourself with good people, you will have positive growth, a positive outlook and positive results. If you hang out with the wrong people, expect the opposite.
• A negative person can ruin your whole life. They shouldn’t affect you but more often than not, they do.
• You can’t change anyone. They have to change themselves and they will only do that when they are ready. Pray for them and let God do the rest.
• If you see that the relationship is bringing you down, work on it. Pray about it. If it is beyond repair and you have done all that you can do. Sometimes you have to move on.
These are just a few things that I have learned through life experiences, studying, and wisdom passed on to me. I hope you find these helpful. Always remember that people will never be perfect. We all have issues and you are included in that. I used to think people should be like robots and do everything exactly the way I liked it. I was so wrong. Thankfully I have grown as a person and realize a lot of the problems I had with people were coming from me. Always look inside yourself when you have a problem with someone else. The problem may be in the mirror and not the person you have been focusing on.
Best of luck in your personal growth!