Relationships. We deal with them every day in some way whether they be professional, personal or social. What prompted me to blog on it you might wonder? I was listening to Ep #53 of Tauren Think Tank where a listener wrote in asking for help with a personal relationship that started me thinking. I'm not quite sure why this particular letter. Much of what Tauren Think Tank does is help people, mainly WoW players, with relationship issues in various forms. I had pondered this letter and the response given from Rem and Jules for a few days, wondering what makes relationships work and how Moo and I make it work.
I thought about many aspects of my life, not just what Moo and I have. I thought about how I deal with them at work, how I treat my kids and the values I am teaching them about relationships and I thought of my friendships, both my online friends and my real life friends. I feel I do an ok job of meeting the needs of my family but feel I could probably do better at my friendships, especially my real life ones! Time and timing is most of the issue with small children still requiring naps during the day and working part time but I do think its important to have good friends! I also think part of it is that I didn't have to role models in friendships or the outgoing personality so I have had to work it out for myself.
So after all this pondering, I came up with what I thought was a good analogy, a house of cards. Each of the individual cards needs to lean against another exerting and receiving just the right amount of resistance for the house to stand. I think in the same way, people need to both give and take for a relationship to work and I don't really think it matters why type the relationship is or how personal it is.
Thinking of my relationship with my team leader at work, it works well because I do what she needs me to do regardless of how much I enjoy (or hate) the task and she gives (aside from an income) flexibility, understanding and time off when I need it, without question and even sends me home early on some days! With Moo I think it is much the same, we both give to each other without expecting to receive anything in return, just because we care about each others well being.
Outside of this, other not so personal relationships I feel are based on respect first, basic respect that the other person has their own ideas, feelings and emotions and the right for those to be respected. I also feel that tolerance and acceptance both are part of respect and not so much separate entities of their own. Respect is something that was enforced on me quite young, so its something I feel quite strongly about.
I think the other important part of relationship is thoughtfulness. Thinking of how your actions will impact others before acting on them and the consequences. I'm not saying being selfish at times is bad, just that it needs to be considered how others will feel and consulting them. Acting without consultation could be interpreted negatively by the other party, making them feel dis-respected, causing conflict.
I'm glad that Rem and Jules liked my analogy and discussed it on the show. (Ep #55). It was interesting to hear their thoughts on my ideas and elaborate further. People have always been an interesting topic to me, psychology and interpersonal relationships are fascinating. This is why I love listening to Tauren Think Tank, with Rem and Jules helping others to untangle from some awkward and sticky situations. Communication is key!