In better times, as in tough, the key to building and living resilient personal relationships begins by looking after oneself first. In some ways, it’s just like putting on the oxygen mask first before we give it to those more vulnerable than us. While counterintuitive to me, we know it works. But it is not always easy.
Expectations, pressures and predictable habits of behaviour make it easy to default to ‘the way it’s always been’ as we scramble to rescue and resuscitate others who may not have the psychological hardiness to cope – like we do. Or do we?
My belief is that it takes more courage to show vulnerability to those we love and care for than it does to deal with than the overarching problem. Fear of letting others down or not doing a good job often sabotages our own health or wellbeing. And that’s not ok.
So we have to ask ourselves, why do we fear letting others know we struggle at times? Could it be because may we fear once we let our control go we may not get it back? Or it is because we fear we will let others down or they may not do be able to cope themselves?
Whatever the case, the truth is most of us are over stretched at some point/s in our lives and we just ‘keep on going like the Eveready battery - because we are the parent, son, daughter, sibling, the carer – and that’s our responsibility.
But I ask you who is responsible for you if not you?
Who is responsible if you don’t let others know you need them as much as they need you at times? Who will be to blame if one day you find yourself wanting more than a ‘doona day’ and all you want to do is lie in bed playing Pokémon Go wishing everyone would leave you in peace?
Strange to imagine but when we become a stranger to ourselves or our partners or families that is a bigger problem.
Conversely who do you need to look out for who may not be looking after themselves? Do they know you have their back and are watching from afar? If not, tell them.
Resilient relationships are everyone’s responsibility.
Partners, parents, siblings and carers are all part of the dynamic events in our lives and they need to know how we fare. It means letting others know our current state and what we may need or want, as much as others need to let you know their mental and physical ebb and flow, too
If we are to truly make a difference to and for each other and creating or experiencing a state of either overwhelmingness or frustration, it our responsibility make regular conversations and communication real and fully inclusive of all parties at regular intervals and with no surprises.
The benefit of doing this is that we build better and more open relationships while preserving good energy and dispensing with incorrect assumptions, beliefs, negative moods or perceptions.
People who encourage dialogue can work through issues more effectively than those that merely tell others what they have done.
So how about you and your personal resilience in relationships? What is one thing that you can do now that will improve relationships and outcomes?
Posted by Ricky Nowak on 14th September, 2016 | Tags:
Ricky specialises in building top performing teams and individuals for many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia's leading organisations, and is an energetic motivational conference speaker, corporate trainer and executive coach.