What do you believe to be true about GREAT relationships?
Do you believe that relationships take work? Or have you ever heard someone say, “You are so lucky to have such great friends”? I don’t believe a great relationship takes work, nor do I believe that true friendship has anything to do with luck.
This month has had me contemplating relationships more than usual. That is why this is the topic of this week’s podcast, as it’s an area we so easily can take for granted, yet I believe impacts the whole of your life more than anything else. The reality is, the people in your life are there by choice and are a reflection of who you are and what you value. As I mentioned, I have been giving a great deal of thought about relationships and what separates people from having a good relationship to a truly great one:
- Relationships that truly matter, are not based upon convenience…
You have to show up for the other person, when they need it, regardless of how inconvenient it may be at that time. Being there for someone, no matter what, means just that—no matter what. And this isn’t just picking someone up when they are down, this is also being there to toss the confetti when it’s time to celebrate. If someone really matters to you, making them a priority is something you will not compromise.
- Love is in the details… Pay attention to what others miss…
This requires listening, really listening. I do believe that love is in the details. When you can catch a detail thrown into the middle of a conversation and act on it, days, weeks, months, or even years later—that is a relationship of significance. The simple truth is, you can’t catch a detail unless you are present and paying attention. Communication, specifically the way we communicate in a relationship is reflective of the relationship on the whole. Do not take the way you show up when someone is talking, lightly. EVER.
- To have a friend, you must first be a friend…
Give of yourself in every way, with no expectation of a return on your investment. This means you are generous with your time, with your support, and with your love because it’s what you want to do, not because of what you will get back. The moment you start expecting something in return, it becomes a transactional exchange, not a relationship. Let me state this a little more clearly; if you do anything in a relationship with the expectation of getting something in return, you are either a martyr, a manipulator, or a prostitute. The “why” behind what you do for someone, truly defines not only your relationship, but who you are in the relationship.
To bring this back to my initial statement, I don’t believe great relationships are work. However, they do take time, commitment, and being present. But then anything of value in your life requires that from you. Choose who you are in relationship with wisely, it is the most important investment you will ever make.
With Mindful Gratitude,
P.S. About the photo. I was chatting with Skye Andrade, my editor and soul sister, and mentioned this photo from a book and what it meant to me. I commented that I would love to be able to tell a story the way this frog does, having the ability to captivate an audience to the degree seen on the faces of the cat and mice. (Mind you, I saw this picture ten years ago.) She somehow found that picture on-line and it now hangs in my house. About point # 2, make what matters to someone else, matter. I will treasure her, and this picture until the end of time.
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