Enriching Your Most Important Relationships

Enriching Your Most Important Relationships

We sometime assume that we should be able to know how to work through the challenges in our most important relationships. We might believe an excellent education and our career competencies mean that we should be able to work through relationship difficulties in our personal lives. Then we may feel embarrassed when we are successful professionally, but feel less so in some of our closest relationships.

What we may not realize is that relationship success involves different skills than those we employ at work. In fact, there are skills that get us ahead in our careers which may even work against our personal relationships. Unlike our careers, relationships are not about competition, but emotional honesty, mutuality and being vulnerable by letting down our guard. Our significant relationships can also be more emotionally loaded than our business and casual relationships. There is so much at stake in our closest personal relationships.

What if we could simply admit we do not have it all figured out and that we have much to learn? We will ask for help when we are learning a new job skill at work. Why not be willing to do the same when we are struggling with our closest relationships with our significant other, our children, our in-laws and relatives, and closest friends?

I am sharing these thoughts with you because I know the power of asking for help with a qualified personal counselor. I have heard people say, “Marriage or family counseling does not help!” That is true in many cases because people have waited too long and trust is far gone. Best to be honest with ourselves and humble enough to say we could use some support.

There are skills we all need to learn where counseling can help. To name a few:

  • Speaking in a way that I will be heard
  • Learning to hear criticism that can be helpful
  • Developing curiosity and empathy in the midst of disagreements
  • Showing respect to another person’s perspective
  • Speaking up and being truthful with love
  • Drawing boundaries without punishing
  • Calming ourselves when we feel unregulated and reactive
  • Timing and setting up constructive conversations
  • Finding joy and pleasure even in stressful times
  • Learning our triggers and triggers in those we love
  • Having empathy for ourselves and our failures

There is so much we all have to learn. I encourage you to ask for help when you are struggling. Talk to one of us, your pastors, schedule a consult with our own Dr. Carol Jansson, or contact SamaraCare who has an office in our church (and other locations).

– Pastor Allen Mothershed