In a recent post, I shared the story of my paternal grandmother’s “magic” rings. Whenever someone in our family gets married, she shares her parents’ wedding rings with the bride and groom for the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony, she immediately takes them back. But, with the rings, my grandmother believes she is passing along the “good luck” of the successfully married couples who previously exchanged those rings.
And it’s true: eighteen couples have now been married with these rings and, somehow, we are all still married. Is it magic? Maybe.
But, my experience as a Relationship Coach and Mediator—and as a partner in a long-term marriage—tells me it is much more than that.
Three Key Concepts
It was the following concepts that even though they weren’t explained outright, somehow were transmitted in my family. These three concepts are so important in all types of relationships to make them work.
They are the basic requirements for being in any successful partnership, family, friendship, and even professional relationship. In each one there is an understanding that:
- Conflict and disagreement are normal parts of healthy relationships,
- Relationships require constant work, and
- Each person plays an important role in the relationship.
As individuals, we are distinct from one another with our different personalities, backgrounds, experiences, strengths, values, needs and beliefs. When we are in a relationship of two or more people, there is always going to be disagreement and conflict. That is natural. That is part of a healthy relationship. The important thing is how we deal with these disagreements in a positive way. (And this is something I will discuss more in a future post.)
Relationships require work
Relationships, just like individuals, require constant learning, adaptation and work. As individuals, we constantly change and reinvent ourselves. We typically invest time and effort into our personal development. The same is needed in relationships. If a relationship is important to you, then you must dedicate time and energy to growing and developing it. Good relationships don’t happen all on their own.
We all have a role to play. We all give and take in the close relationships of our lives. And we have more control than we think over how things will unfold.
We can stop certain behaviours
There is a lot we can change to stop certain behaviours and actions from happening. Again, I will dig deeper into this in a future post, but, for now, I encourage you to start by really understanding some basics:
- Conflict and disagreement are normal parts of the best of the relationships. Take the time to learn how best to deal with conflict. There are specific skills and tools we can use.
- Relationships need constant work. Decide what relationships are important to you, both personally and professionally, and make sure you invest time and energy in them.
- Each one of us plays an important role. Think of a specific relationship and ask yourself what role are you playing? Can you do anything differently? Can you ask for what you need in a different way?
Working on our relationships is important always, but especially during times of crisis, like COVID-19. Knowing this, I want to offer my support to you with some of my resources and services. Start investing in your relationships by:
- Downloading my free infographic outlining five clear tips that are within your control when dealing with conflict. This will help improve your communication skills.
- Watching my free 60-second video series called “Real Relationship Talk: A survival guide for personal and professional relationships during a crisis and beyond.”
- Investing in my four-week “Revive Your Relationship Coaching Program.” This 1:1 coaching program is the most effective way to communicate authentically, effectively and powerfully in order to thrive through disagreements and challenges by creating fulfilling, positive relationships. Book a free 30-minute call to get started.
- Inviting me to be your guest speaker with your team or private group for a one-hour inspiring webinar.
I encourage you (actually, I challenge you) to gain control of your relationships and take the first step by accepting one of my offers. I promise: your quality of life will improve!