“Truly healthy relationships play by a radically different set of rules. Be courageous enough to adopt them.” ~Lisa Merlo-Booth
In a world that normalizes, minimizes, and condones harmful behaviors, creating great relationships, families, and businesses can be exceedingly difficult. People can justify raging at a child/lover/or stranger, cheating on a spouse, blowing up at an employee, barely speaking to a loved one, incessant defensiveness, and even abuse. We can normalize affairs, be okay with name-calling, and believe that as long as a person doesn’t know about your actions that whatever you do is okay.
Damn, no wonder why life can be so hard.
Too many people believe that micro and macro hurts are just part of the everyday fabric of relationships.
- We hear someone call a woman a fat pig and far too many human beings actually ask themselves if she looks like one rather than being appalled that a human being would remotely think that it is okay to say that.
- A person cheats on their partner and people wonder what the partner did that “led” the person to cheat rather than being clear that cheating breaks hearts and it is the person who betrayed who’s responsible for the harm they caused for that decision.
- Someone famous hits his girlfriend and blames his actions on her. Our world then wonders what she did to deserve it rather than knowing that hitting your significant other is a line you never cross for any reason. Our world should unequivocally know that love and physical abuse should NEVER go together and is always the fault of the abuser. Always.
If you’re looking for radically new relationships, you have to adopt and practice radically different rules of engagement. Understand that these rules include:
- Uncompromising safety: There is no excuse for abuse—yours or anyone else’s. Your emotional and physical safety as well as the safety of those around you—is a prerequisite for healthy relationships.
- Courageous accountability: This is a non-negotiable at home, in the office, and out in the world. If you can’t own up to your actions or others can’t own up to theirs and make amends, then this issue will block healthy relationships.
- Absolute equality: Every human being is absolutely equal to every other human being—in your home, office and the world. If you don’t live by this rule and surround yourself with others who do the same, then you have work to do if you hope to create great relationships.
- Genuine warm regard: All healthy relationships that feel good to be in, have at their core, genuine warm regard for the humanity of those around them. They are kind, relational, respectful, and feel good to be a part of.
Challenge: Radically New Relationships play by an entirely different playbook. Look at the rules above and notice which ones are and are not present in your relationships. Raise the bar and start creating the life and relationships you’ve been wanting: You deserve it and so do those around you.