Creating great relationships requires a general understanding and acceptance of these 10 basic relationship truths. Learn them; live by them.
1. The only person you have the ability and power to change is you. Begging, pleading or raging and demanding that others change, waste energy. Change your moves—stop hoping they will change theirs.
2. You teach people how to treat you with everything you do or say and everything you choose to not do or say.
3. Once you become an adult, your parents are no longer to blame. If you had a difficult childhood, seek therapy, take yoga, read self-help books, get a coach, take workshops . . . whatever you need to do to get healthy and become happy.
4. Your thinking has the ability to help you thrive or to spin you out. Choose to thrive—change your thoughts.
5. You’re often your own worst enemy. Take a long hard look at what you are doing that isn’t working in your life. Stop sabotaging yourself.
6. If you treat people poorly long enough, they will think of you poorly. Treating people poorly pushes even the kindest person away at some point.
7. If you allow people to treat you poorly, people will lose respect for you.
8. Physical abuse is ALWAYS about the abuser and NEVER about the person being abused. The abuser will abuse anyone s/he is with. And, staying in an abusive relationship “for the kids’ sake” is seldom, if ever, in the best interest of the kids.
9. Feeling entitled or believing you are better than others will earn you false friends and many enemies. Believing you’re better than others stems from your own insecurity, not the other person’s worth. Humbly look at what’s going on for you that makes you feel the need to put others down in order for you to feel “up.”
10. Being defensive and unaccountable does not fool people into thinking you didn’t do anything; it only shows them you’re not courageous enough to admit it. We are ALL imperfect—own your mistakes, don’t pretend you never make any.
Creating healthy relationships does not require a PhD. Be kind, be accountable, hold others accountable and be authentic. If the other person treats you poorly time and time again and holding him/her accountable doesn’t result in any change, then love yourself enough to move on to healthier relationships. If you’re the one struggling with being kind and being accountable, then work your issues, so that you can find some joy. If you don’t work your stuff, it will come up to bite you every time, regardless of whom you’re with.
Challenge: Pay attention to these 10 truths and take a hard look at the ones that are impacting your life. Change your side when necessary; hold others responsible for changing theirs when warranted. Be willing to walk away from unhealthy on your journey to healthy.