Mastering Relationships

Mastering a relationship can be a difficult task. You’re dealing with two separate individuals that most likely have two different opinions and backgrounds. A relationship is a commitment which takes time, patience, and effort. Given the right tools your relationship will offer you great rewards. By implementing and maintaining the basic elements listed below, you’ll be able to create a solid foundation. On this foundation, you can build your relationship into something you’ve always dreamed of.


Begin by taking out a pen and paper. List the elements you would like to have in your relationship. You’re looking for the qualities that would create an ultimate connection between you and another person. It’s not about the kind of person you’d like to have a meaningful relationship with, it’s about the elements that join the two of you together.


Next, look over each item on your list, then look at your relationship. Does your relationship already contain each item you’ve listed? If not, how can you bring those items into your relationship? What action can you take for yourself?


As an example, let’s say you listed “respect” as one of the qualities you desire in your relationship. If you don’t feel you have respect in your relationship, what action can you take that will bring respect to the relationship? If respect to you means consideration, communication, or consistency, see how you can incorporate those elements into your relationship. Each time you feel a lack of respect, take action, show consideration or demonstrate consistency. When you show the other person what it is you need, you are helping them to know who you are and how to treat you. You can’t assume the other person knows you, that’s something you’ll need to bring to the relationship. By doing so you are taking a big strain off the other person and the relationship.


Communication is an important component of any relationship. The way you communicate about matters of importance will reveal the level of your relationship. Do you approach deep communication with ease, or is there discomfort or fear present? Have you felt unsafe when opening yourself to another person? Perhaps you felt you couldn’t trust the other person, or maybe you felt you weren’t being heard. When you’re dealing with deep levels of communication, these kinds of challenges are normal. When these difficulties aren’t remedied, stress can manifest and grow, which will in turn affect the relationship. Since you can’t change the other person, your best option is to work on yourself.


If it’s trust you’re dealing with, ask yourself, “What do I need in order to trust the other person?” Since distrust comes from uncertainty and confusion, you can ask the other person specific questions. This will help you to understand them more fully. Knowing and understanding the other person will bring trust into the relationship. Get to the root of what you need and follow through with an action.


The next challenge to address is safety. Speaking with someone face-to-face can be tough, especially when you’re talking about important subjects. If this is your challenge, what do you need in order to feel safe? Perhaps communicating over the telephone or by email will feel better to you. When you feel more confident, challenge yourself. Set a date for your first attempt at communicating face-to-face. When you do, take it slow. Monitor yourself and make sure you stick to short conversations. Then build up to longer conversations. Soon your challenge of safety will be a thing of the past.


Another challenge that might arise is the feeling of not being heard. Maybe you lose your train of thought easily, or find you need to talk out what you’re thinking with someone just to get to the bottom of what you really want to say. If this is true for you, try writing your thoughts on paper. After you feel you have written down everything that was on your mind, read it over once or twice. From your writing, you’ll find the essence of what you're really trying to say. You’ll feel more confident and focused because you’ll know exactly what you want to say.


Being a good listener is a powerful tool to master. When anyone communicates, they are sharing their own experience with another person. The listener naturally filters what they hear through their own past experiences. If the listener hasn’t experienced what the other person is talking about, a communication breakdown occurs. This is a normal scenario. If you’d like to develop your relationship into something more significant, you can use a simple tool to become a better listener.


If you’re the listener, you’re doing your best to understand what the other person is trying to convey, until you get to a point in the conversation when what they say doesn't make sense to you. To be a better listener, just ask a question. Focus the question around yourself, and be specific. Say something like, “I’m not clear about...” or “I didn’t quite grasp...”.  When you focus the question at yourself, you are stating what you didn’t understand, not pointing out the other person’s flaws.  By asking a question, you are taking responsibility for what you didn’t quite get, as well as keeping the conversation positive. You’re also showing interest and taking an active role in the conversation


Taking the appropriate steps to remedy whatever you’re dealing with will help you to build an even deeper relationship. Mastering your relationship is a process that will bring you peace and satisfaction. The connection you will develop with another person is unmatched, and is an essential part of the life experience. Do your best to see the positive in your development, rather than focusing on what you think you’ve done wrong. Those kinds of thoughts will only work against you. Take control, have fun, and create the relationship of your dreams.

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