• What small action can you take today to enhance an already great relationship? (Flickr)Source: Flickr
In the relationships that really matter, we have to be able to admit that we ourselves can do better, we can lead the way, says life coach Kemi.
By
Kemi Nekvapil

11 Jul 2016 - 6:19 PM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2016 - 6:27 PM

Many of the clients I work with have a relationship that they want to work on. Usually, they start out being very clear what the other person is not doing: she is disrespectful; he never listens; she is inconsiderate. When I ask my client whether they are being respectful, whether they are listening, and whether they are considerate, they realise that they are not; they are waiting for the other person to change, then they will change.

In the relationships that really matter, we have to be willing to be the kind of friend, partner, colleague that we are expecting the other person to be.

We are a tangled web of relationships.

There are intimate relationships, friendships, siblings, extended families, work colleagues, neighbours. They can start off somewhere and then end up in a completely different place to where they started.

How we are connected to each other can define our relationship. We may keep a certain person at arm’s length because they are new to the company; or we may welcome someone else with open arms because they are the spouse of a dear friend.

We have colleagues who can become friends; neighbours who can become enemies; best friends who we lose connection with; our work colleagues can becomes our spouses; the person we see on the tram every day, our dearest friend.

Relationships can get away from us: we feel we are too busy, they live too far away, they do not call, they do not visit.

Our relationships can be the sunshine in our lives or the burden we carry around with us on a daily basis; the latter can affect our day-to-day lives and our wellbeing in very real and negative ways.

It’s always something special when our relationships feel equal: each person is giving and taking in equal measure over the course of a friendship. Sometimes we have to give more and sometimes we need to take more, but over time it balances out: each person in the relationship does the best they can, and mutual care, respect and support are pillars to the relationship thriving.

People always have expectations of each other; it is when those expectations do not match those of the other that relationships can go rapidly downhill.

When we spend our time detailing all the things the other person is not doing, we conveniently forget to focus on what we are not doing.

Sometimes it can feel like that is the best thing to happen: the connection has changed, the energy has gone and it is time to move on. If both parties agree with each other, it can be a very clean and respectful goodbye, but if there are opposing views, feelings can be hurt and long-time wounds can be created.

Relationships can get away from us: we feel we are too busy, they live too far away, they do not call, they do not visit.

When we spend our time detailing all the things the other person is not doing, we conveniently forget to focus on what we are not doing.

In the relationships that really matter, we have to be able to admit that we ourselves can do better, we can lead the way.

Today’s coaching questions:

 

1. What small action can you take today to shift a relationship that is not working as well as you would like it to?
2. What small action can you take today to enhance an already great relationship?
3. What small action can you take today to reconnect to an old friend whom you miss?

 

We are a tangled web of relationships; be the best friend you can be in the ones that really matter.

 

Meet Kemi, our life coach, delivering real-world motivation in her weekly column, Endlessly HumanFollow her on Twitter @keminekvapil.

 

Image from Flickr.

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