How Do You Maintain Relationships?

People are often amazed by my friendships with my exes.  I worked for years after the divorce with my ex-husband at Taylor Studios and we are still very good friends. My ex-boyfriend works at Taylor Studios and we still have fun.  Several of my current friends started with an attempt at romance that didn’t work.  I used to give the guys all the credit for the lack of animosity.  Yet, I guess I have a pattern of this.

It occurred to me that it may be that I generally do not play the villain, victim or helpless role in these relationships.  I look in the mirror first.  As Gandi said, “Be the change that you want in the world.” I am not angry at them for something they did or did not do.  And I certainly was not helpless to change what I did.  The experiences turned into friendships, so all is good in the world.

When you have conflict or negotiate with people how do you handle it?  Do you remember it starts with you?  Do you take self responsibility?  Do you remember it is not as important to be “right” as it is to maintain the relationship?  If you remember what it is that each of you want and let go of some of your ego in disagreements it is more likely to turn into a win/win for both of you.  It’s about the results, not the activities or how you achieve the desired outcome.  When you are in a tough conversation do you remember to use “I” instead of “you” statements?  I statements remind you to look at yourself.  You statements can come off as accusatory or as blame.

I am direct and I hold people accountable to their word.  With some people this is surprising and not necessarily welcomed.  Yet, you also can choose the kind of people you are friends with and as a business owner I choose who we employ.  If they are not reliable and dependable they’re probably not someone I want to be around anyway.  You can hold people accountable by telling them what you will do if they do not keep their commitments.  Be prepared to follow through on your actions.  I had a boyfriend in high school who was often late.  After a pattern of this behavior I told him if you don’t show up on time, I won’t be here and I will be going out with my friends instead.  I think I did that once and he showed up on time after that.  I see lateness as a pretty basic competency.  If you can’t be on time and give the other person that respect what else can you not be relied on to do?  Some relationships are worth being maintained others are not.  No matter what, I attempt to always handle it with respect and kindness.

By the way, no more love interests will work at the studio in the future.  That’s not the best approach for romance.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to learn things.  How about you? How have you learned to be a better person from your past relationships?

Sort: Newest | Oldest