Relationships – There’s No Getting Around Them



You go into a grocery store there are people with carts and we have to navigate through all of them. You go to the movies you have to interact with the person at the window and again there is a sea of movie goers. Whether it is a stranger or a family member we are in the world and we must relate with one another. There is no getting around it.

How we relate to one another makes all the difference in the world. It takes C.A.R.E to be in relationship no matter what the nature of that relationship is, from the most casual to the most intimate.

C = Commitment – It takes commitment to fully engage and be present with another. When we walk through a store how rare is it that you see people making eye contact with one another let alone say a word. If someone does happen to make eye contact with you what is your immediate reaction? Is it surprise, suspicion, joy? Do you get caught off guard or do you outwardly pretend that they are not looking at you and ignore them? Do you question why they are looking at you? Hey, you lookin’ at Me? Or, do you meet them with a friendly smile or gesture? It takes commitment to walk out the door each day and consciously intend to acknowledge otherness, which is altogether another topic for discussion. “C” can also equal Communication. We are always communicating whether it is verbal or non-verbal. How and what we communicate is the root of all conflict and/or understanding. It takes commitment to communicate fully and clearly to leave no doubt in one’s mind as to what is expressed and meant.

A = Attention – For the most part we understand that children need our utmost attention. Children turn into adults. It is not just children that need attention; relationships with adults need attention as well. Without attention as children the feeling of being ignored, unseen and unheard grows as we become adults. It can manifest in a myriad of ways, through aggression, spite, physical and verbal abuse. We either act out or withdraw at the first hint of confrontation. As we enter into a relationship whether friendship or business associate each one is vying for attention and attempting to get it in their own way. It often creates friction and conflict because neither individual is SEEing the other. They are not paying ATTENTION to one another. There is no commitment to listening to another’s needs. How often do you find that as you are talking and expressing that the other person begins to talk over you and cuts you off in the middle of what you are saying? Do you do the same thing? It takes everything one has, to give another undivided attention. We are often afraid that we will forget what we wanted to say or that what we have to say is more important.

R = Responsibility – When we enter into a relationship with another we don’t often treat them as though we were entering into a contract. The expectations that we have are not spelled out. How we want to be treated is not openly and honestly expressed. Most of the time we are not even fully aware of these things to be able to express them. We go about relationships like bulls in a china closet. It takes full attention, commitment, respect and awareness of others to be in relationship responsibly with another. That means to fully own the impact we have on another human being. We as humans are sensitive to sound, smell, visual, touch. We are stimulated all the time. You could say we walk around triggered all day long and we don’t even know it. It is quite visceral in fact that we feel it in our bodies. Unfortunately we are not often conscious to all this stimulation and therefore we don’t pay attention to how we project onto another our reactions. Responsibility is often equated with blame and shame. And when we don’t do something that fulfills another’s or our own expectations there are all kinds of ways that blame and shame is exhibited.

Responsibility simply is our ability to respond to all that is around us, including one another. If I communicate to my partner that I’m going out and I’ll be back later, I have left my partner to wonder where I’m going (and what I’m doing) and when I’ll be back. Now, if I said I’m going to meet with Mr. James and I’ll be back at noon. Then I have fully communicated and my partner can put their attention on other matters. Notice I did not indicate whether the partner was an intimate or business association. Why, because it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter. Because we live in the world we must take others into account no matter how casual or intimate. Don’t you expect to be considered?

E = Energy or Effort – It takes more energy and effort to clean up messes than it does to first ask as many clarifying questions as possible to understand another’s actions and communications. It literally zaps energy when things go wrong and more time and effort than was necessary is demanded to patch up misunderstandings. If you make every attempt to clear up misunderstandings and resolve communication problems you will find you have more energy. There is a cumulative affect that builds as we leave things unresolved with one another and it affects everything we say and do in every aspect of our lives. How many times do you hear “I’m so exhausted and I don’t really know why”? It is because we have incomplete thoughts and conversations taking up space in our minds; and it has a physical affect. I call it the crew that never rests. Our minds become fragmented.

To summarize: It takes less energy and effort to commit to taking responsibility and committing to communicate fully and clearly. As you would want another’s undivided attention so give to others.

Carol Pilkington

Transformational Trainer

Relate To Succeed


First Tuesday About First Tuesday

First Tuesday is a Professional and Social Network for Extraordinary Women. Gatherings are held in private homes or public venues on the first Tuesday of each month. Each evening includes unstructured social time, dinner, networking and a program on subjects that span the mind, body and spirit. Newcomers are welcome to join us!

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