Key aspects of any Relationship:
- Communication & Respect
- Trust & Tolerance
- Love & Humor
The purpose is this posting is to illustrate the problems, issues, negative, positive, good and ugly aspects of any relationship at any given level. My research and investigation involves stories, situations and points of view of my own family experiences and friends regarding “Relationships”.
There are many types of relationships, friends, bother & sister, Mom & Dad and at work acquaintances or school. Regardless of the type of relationship, they all have something’s in common such: communication, respect, tolerance, trust, humor and love. These aspects are key ingredients for a healthy relationship at any level. In many ways, we always seek closeness, laughter, happiness, precious moments and memorable times. Life is not perfect; we need to learn to coupe with the emotions that day to day come our way. To be able to handle a relationship you need to be confident, communicate your feelings and thoughts with respect and trust your gout feeling, it has been shown that now we simply have less friends or people we trust than ever before.
I interview my Dad and Stepmother about their relationship and life as a married couple. One of the things that they both mentioned and agreed on was that communication is key to any relationship. They also mentioned respect and trust, which comes and develops with the years involved and through the relationship. My dad said that learning to tolerate certain things is also important in any relationship besides always keeping a level of humor to keep the spark going and interesting. Making relationships work is not always an easy task, all events and situations are different and in many occassions very difficult to deal with.
If you find your relationship is at a low, point and do not know where it is going? Has the daily grind and routine completely taken over? There is no spark left?Alternatively, are you dealing with infidelity? You know you are willing to give your relationship a chance but need help on how to move forward without ending up at square one. Even when many books have been written about this subject “Relationships” and many of them can provide you with great tips and guidance on how to attempt to fix, correct and re-shape your relationships, none of them can really tell you how to fix your individual and unique situation whatever that may be.
My Dad said when a relation goes bad you need to let go and MOVE On– even though that is easier said than done, nobody begins a relationship with the goal to fail, but what if yours is at the point where you feel that only a separation can move you forward. Chances are your life is in an emotional turmoil, which is not healthy physically, or mentally for you. Dad said that when his first marriage was not working out, he knew than that the best thing for all of us was to get a “Divorce”, even when a divorce may not always be the best venue to resolve family issues, in our specific case it was. Daddy said that in a divorce the people that are hurt most is the children if any, and that he went through many hard times when he knew he had to leave me, that was the worse for him.
Worse if, you have given everything you have? Only left with feelings of sadness, betrayal, anger or even hate? This emotional stress can zap all your energy, making rational plans for the actual separation challenging or even impossible. Nevertheless, in our case at the end, it was the correct decision my father had made. He knew that within time, things will fall in the right place and that I will join him later around to live with him under his protection. I am happy that my Dad found my stepmother “Zulma” a woman of principal, straightforward decisions and a great communicator. I admire her very much. In the many years of living with my mom I never learned so much as I have in the short time living with my Dad and Stepmother. I feel they are the perfect “Duo” they seem to know everything, they respect and support each other regardless and decisions are made by both without second-guessing. What they say it goes period, once a decision had been made that is the end of it, in this case my sister and I have to obey and comply otherwise the consequences will follow and they are not usually pretty.
My stepmother says no matter how successful you are at work or how well you can solve problems, communicate or manage a crisis, balancing the daily family life always seems an unimaginable challenge. Staying on top, keeping the family happy and stay sane is not an easy task. Work life balance is always a challenge and critical situation that many parents face today. In our home, that was always a problem but with time, we came together and communicated to one another their role and responsibilities while living under the same roof.
- It is hard to say "no" to your kids without feeling guilty.
- Do we really know what is going on in our family?
- We struggle with obligatory family holiday schedules and in-laws!
Family matters, it is at the core of our lives and believes and we try hard to do a great job at it. Easier said than done. With children from previous partnerships (“myself”), parents that life at home, expectations from extended family, school issues and less time, home life feels like a constant juggling act that seems to never end. My dad said, throughout our lives we seek friendships with others and unlike family we choose friends ourselves, whether they are like-minded or we just feel instantly compatible. Friends are our support network-(“Our Team”); we often share our most private thoughts and information with them and seek honest advice and support.
My Dad also said that within all of these, there is always a fine line and etiquette code to be followed. Unfortunately, with today’s lifestyle most of us have less "good" friends but many critics. Sometimes friends cannot be trusted with your most personal information. Others have needy friends that always require your support, but never seem interested to help you. In occassions, we been let down or betrayed by a friend you really trusted or have they overstepped their boundaries, you never thought they would! It really hurts, but whom can you talk to or trust? Regardless, my Dad stresses the point “Family is always Family” When it comes to etiquette, most of us feel like a fish out of water. Over the years, social interactions have become less formal, but we do care to stand out and leave a good impression, here, abroad or when dealing with different and diverse cultural backgrounds.
My Dad had worked for many high profile corporations here in the USA and UK, one thing he always tell me is that conducting yourself appropriately in social or professional settings is as important as ever and can easily help or hinder your acceptance or career. If I wanted to skillfully maneuver through the world of formalities, I could accomplish that by showing a good first impression. Respecting others, opening your mind to diversity, accepting and learning about different people cultures, participating and celebrating their success is a magnificent first step and way to create, enhance and further new relationships.
For many people is hard to accept and trust new people and relationships because like any human we all are judgmental and emotional. The best things in life depend on our ability to create and maintain great relationships. Success, happiness, and the ability to give and receive love all hinge on our relationships. Usually we all do well starting up a new relationship but emotions sometimes can get in the way if we do not utilize the intelligence skills we need to build great relationships and heal relationship problems. Another important factor for relationship survival is the accepting suggestions, recommendations and advice from the wife, partner, friend and/or significant other. My Dad and Step mom have a zero-tolerance policy when comes to negative actions or factors that can or could affect the family and relationship. My Dad usually does not take any prisoners and my step mom is serious business but they always open minded, objective and come up with creative ways to approach and resolve things differently but in a positive manner.
The one thing I notice and can tell you about is that they both are very good listeners, they work together like a team and decisions are made by both. They always give my sister and I good advice and discipline us accordingly when needed to. It feels great to tell you that living with my Dad and Stepmother and the relationship we built so far makes me feel secure, happy and supported.
Like I mentioned before, emotions are important building blocks of each relationship in our lives, and the power of those emotions can be sadly overlooked. Emotions override our thoughts and profoundly influence our behavior. Emotional intelligence awareness is the ability to recognize, control, and effectively communicate our own emotions, and to recognize the emotions of other people. This important factor allows us to use our emotional building blocks to construct a solid foundation for communication. Well-developed emotional intelligence skills are a better predictor of success in all areas of life (and particularly in relationships) than the traditional measurement of high cognitive intelligence, or IQ. My dad says that this is a method often used by the military to learn, extract, recognize, and investigate when capture the enemy.
Zulma and my Dad feel that we must be very careful when and where seeking advice. Most people seek relationship advice to find answers to problems they believe are responsible for their conflicts—without realizing there are more fundamental issues at the core of those problems. They are attempting to heal the surface symptoms of their dysfunctional relationships, without examining the real issues that are simmering beneath. Until those fundamental issues are taken care of, the problems and conflicts will continue. Most of us have been involved in volatile, uncomfortable, or awkward situation in our lifetime.
Other important things they mentioned were:
·Be careful Getting in Too Deep: Couples often don’t listen very carefully to what the other is saying when expressing negative emotion. They also tend to ignore their own feelings about the relationship unless they consider that something absolutely must be done, especially younger couples. The typical advice of agony to ‘air issues’ and get ‘every thing out in the open’ does not, after all, make for healthy long-term relationships. Agreeing to disagree and knowing which subjects to avoid is a key relationship skill.
·Too Much Lovey-Honey Dovey, Not Recommended: Physical affection is certainly important in a relationship; older partners in long-term relationships express less affection towards each other, reporting a greater level of relationship satisfaction. Dad says that you do not have to say “Honey” or “I love you” every twenty seconds to demonstrate you really love your partner and or care for the relationship very much. He feels such actions are not healthy and neither help any relationship.
·Changing the subject: My Dad is a master in de-escalating situations using humor. I seen him gracefully and humorously changing and shifting the subject when an argument or conversation does not lead to a comprehensive and suitable solution. Daddy says a key factor in arguments within relationships that survive is the habit of changing the subject once the discussion has ‘run its course’. This ‘quick shift’ lessens the amount of negative emotion experienced and decreases the likelihood of later rumination. It also conveys the message "We can argue, and still get on with each other." Thus, the argument is contained and does not contaminate the whole relationship environment.
·Big Talk, Not always a Good Idea: Younger couples are much more likely to consider their problems as highly important and to ‘dig deep’ into them, seeing their partner as at least partly responsible. Older people in successful relationships are more likely to keep their own problems to themselves, if in doubt ask your grandma and grandpa. To avoid conflicts and mis-interpretations words need to be chosen carefully when talking to your partner or friend in any relationship. The body language and non-verbal communication is also a big factor and key ingredients of relationships.
·Pressure & Stress: Stress and pressure shuts down your ability to feel, to think rationally, and to be emotionally available to another person, essentially blocking any good communication until both you and your partner feel safe enough to focus on one another. This damages the relationship. Being able to regulate stress allows you to remain emotionally available, and lessens the pressure experience by both. Playfulness and humor reduces greatly the pressure and stress levels in a relationship. Recognizing when stress levels and pressure are out of control and returning yourself and others, whenever possible, to a relaxed and energized state of awareness is vital for your physical and mental health in any relationship.
·Being True & Sincerity: these two factors are essential to any relationship. Do what you say you do, and stay true and sincere to your friends, family and significant other always. Dual personalities or changing your mind often can be very harmful to your relationship. Others always perceive such behavior as negative and it is usually unwelcome. Ramifications from this type of conduct results in basic emotions, including anger, sadness, fear, joy, and disgust. To transmit your sincere feelings and communicate in a way that grabs or engages others, you have to be able to access your true emotions. However, these emotions may be distorted, or unavailable to you, due to the influence of your earliest bad relationships, which can and must be restored.
· Be spontaneous—to get out of our heads and away from our troubles.
· Let go of defensiveness—to briefly forget our judgments, criticism and doubts.
· Release inhibitions— to set aside our fear of holding back and holding on.
· Calm and energize ourselves—to stimulate and regulate our hearts and minds.
· Allow honest expression of emotions—to acknowledge and share deeply felt emotions.
· Playfulness & Humor: Playfulness and humor that strengthens relationships are a joint effort & investment that can help over many of life’s hurdles.
However, even if a joke is meant to be positive, when it does not consider the other person’s viewpoint, it can undermine and damage trust and goodwill. Before jumping into humor, please consider your motives and your partner or colleague’s frame of mind. If the other person is not likely to consider it fun, do not say it or do it. Sometimes it is best to keep certain things & thoughts to yourself. Making fun of life’s frustrations is in part the foundation of successful and healthy relationships. Is this attitude, and positive energy that makes and brings happiness, smiles, to those hearts in a relationship that can change the course of a negative, unhealthy and non-productive relation. Intense emotions can change rapidly. One moment we can be in the depths of grief and, in the next, laughing at a ridiculous and funny memory or comment. Therefore, play and humor are powerful survival mechanisms that support us during life’s tragedies.
With all of these said, I would like to express a personal example such as: “Kimberly is perpetually smiling and upbeat. No matter what happens to her, or to anyone else, she remains cheerful. Kimberly’s one-note personality is a tip-off that other, less upbeat, emotions may lie beneath her sunny and playful persona. In reality, Kimberly may be depressed and afraid to express darker feelings and emotions”.
In conclusion, conflicts can endanger relationships, but if handled well, it can also provide opportunities for growth, ultimately strengthening the bond between two people or family. Relationship conflicts are inevitable, learning to deal with them rather than avoiding them is very difficult but crucial. Recognizing and managing conflict in any relationship is also an essential part of building emotional intelligence, and nurturing relationships at home, work, school and marriage environments in our future.
Talking to family and friends regarding this difficult and complex subject provided the knowledge and comprehension I needed to better my understanding and point of view enrichment. This paper is personally very closed and important to me; due to its content, I was able to express and portrayed very important and private views regarding “RELATIONSHIPS”. It also helped me to better understand my Dad and my Step mom, which I come to respect and love so much. Never crossed my mind such assignment turned to be so important and powerful. There are so many great things here we can share with others to maybe enlighten a little bit of their lives and personal relations.
Picking on my Dad’s & Step mom brain was a bit intimidating, scary but truly amazing. Their vast knowledge and experience will help me to maybe someday put in practice all the great things I learned from them. I have so much to learn, life is a constant and never-ending improvement and as a young writer, I hope to grow some day to be and have a relationship just like my Dad’s and my Step mom’s, they are a great influence and example for me to follow. In conclusion, think back to when you met your partner.
I think about my time together with my dad and the good things we have shared. Is anything else in our life worth more effort than building on that love? It is like when you plant a precious flower. You feed it, water it, nurture it and it will grow, just like any relationship. Tend to it only when it crosses your mind and it will wither and die. Communicate, appreciate, and have fun. These are key ingredients to adding profound zest to a healthy relationship rut.