“No man is an island entire of itself.” John Donne
It’s true, dudes. No matter how much it might irk us at times, we all are beholden to the many and various relationships we build, strengthen, destroy and recreate every single day. Heard the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Yeah, that’s relationships.
And relationships are built on feelings. Which, as we all know, is something with which all dudes are exceedingly comfortable dealing, especially around other people.
Not only at work, but, perhaps more importantly, in your personal life. Relationships are vitally important. A bad relationship with your spouse leads to divorce court, if you’re lucky. At work, a bad relationship will drag you down and keep you from advancement.
At home, a good relationship will lift you up from the muck and mire that is the lot of all men, allowing you to see the splendor that is shared joy. At work, a good relationship can help propel you to the top.
Which means it’s time for all dudes to get a move on and start working on their relationships. Hence, this little post right here.
“Relationships are an art, and most of us lack the skill and mastery to help break—or all together avoid—destructive patterns, disrespect, and deception. Far too many people also lack the ability to have productive connections with others—those that help you achieve goals, sharpen your mind, and generally uplift and enrich your life.”
That last was from Van Moody, author of the forthcoming The People Factor, and a motivational speaker who concentrates on building healthy relationships between people. I know this because he had his publicity people send me a big release about some of his rules for healthy relationships.
Of course, because he’s got a book coming out, he’s here to tell us that in the book he will detail some serious rules that, if followed, guarantee you a great relationship. I can’t speak to the verity of his implied guarantee, but I have looked over the abbreviated list of ideas his people sent along and they sound like some good stuff. I thought I’d share those with you right here.
Don’t hide: While secret identities might be fun in the movies, a person who harbors secrets, and hides their fears, and beliefs from others will never be able to enjoy an authentic relationship. Being real with others and even making yourself vulnerable from time to time can foster tremendous emotional connections, including all-important trust, and forge unbreakable bonds.
I love this idea, especially as it’s right up there at the very top. If we can’t be honest with the people closest to us, how can we expect them to give us what we really want, what we really need. Don’t tweak the truth. Studies show that 10-30% of applicants admit to “tweaking” their resumes—that’s certainly no way to start an engagement with a new employer. Whether at work or at home, lying—even small white lies—will do nothing but undermine and compromise any relationship. Instead, even slightly altering the truth is one of the most destructive forces that can permanently damage a personal or professional relationship.
I can’t emphasize this one enough. You might think it’s a victimless crime to inflate your experience, but it’s not. Consider what sort of attitude your boss will have toward you when she asks you to do something you’re supposed to be an expert at, but you have only a vague idea what to do. Trust? Not so much and that can’t be good. Don’t rush and miss critical red flags. Understand that a relationship is a journey with changes in direction, twists and turns, and roadblocks along the way. It’s imperative to pass through certain experiences and navigate through difficulties to learn from these situations and create a healthy outcome. Resist the desire to take shortcuts or race through certain aspects of a relationship.
This is a tough one for me. I’m constantly watching conversational flow and jumping ahead in an attempt to cut out the boring stuff and get to where we both know it’s going to end up at the last. I’ve found people don’t actually enjoy being preempted like that. Take the time to get it right. Don’t force it. There’s an old R&B lyric that says, “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” Despite the poor grammar, it is quite insightful in its simplicity. Relationships that create positive synergy through mutual respect and shared values are worth your investment.
By the same token, relationships that don’t work shouldn’t be kept around because you wish they would.
That’s all the room we’ve got for today, but we’ll be back with a few more rules for successful relationships tomorrow. Join me, won’t you?