The Secret to Balanced Relationships
During the last quarter of 2017, I stretched myself to the limit. And as much as I enjoyed it at the beginning, I gradually became exhausted to the point of collapse. In December I was admitted to the ER with excruciating pain that resembled a stroke.
Thank God, it wasn’t. Instead, it was an attack on my immune system by a virus that causes extreme bodily pain. Doctor’s orders: complete rest since there is no treatment yet for this virus.
Looking back at what happened, there are many lessons to be learned: the importance of prioritising self-care; to stop belittling every effort I make; to stop over scheduling; to delegate; and last but not least to apply concepts of effective relationship management to my personal and professional relationships.
Relationships in our life do have an influence on our feelings and eventually our health and life; they can help and support us to move forward and enjoy what we do or they can pull us down. That applies for both personal/family relationships as well as professional relationships. People usually think that professional relationships are just a set of hard core logical interactive processes, but in reality they are as human as any other relationship.
Think about it, when a colleague is late in delivering a report to you, you feel frustrated because you need the information to make a decision. When another colleague positively talks about your contribution to the team in a meeting, you feel appreciated. All these are feelings that impact how you perform at work and in life.
Last year, during a conference I attended about inclusion of children with disabilities, I became really inspired by the opening speeches. The first one was by a mother and another was by a professionally successful lady who was supported by her mother.
These women had to figure out ways to manage their relationship with others who were not supportive. They had to set their own rules and boundaries in order to survive and succeed. I felt that their success is living proof that we all have the choice to shape our relationships but it will require our strength, resolve, and patience.
I concluded that disability is a state of mind and heart; if you feel and believe that you can’t do something then you won’t. So believe in yourself and act despite your fear. Sometimes we fear that confronting others can hurt our relationship with them or even worse – make us lose them. It is the how and when of confronting others that can enable us in setting the appropriate boundaries.
It is the how and when of confronting others that can enable us in setting the appropriate boundaries.
You can only influence others with whom you have a relationship, but you need to always remember that you can’t control or change them – even if you are the boss or the parent. However, you do have control over your actions and feelings towards others. Thus, decisions need to be made regarding setting boundaries, limiting certain interactions or even omitting them to clear space for relationships that really matter and that you truly desire.
Sometimes, certain people, things, and tasks do interfere with your needs and the extent of control you have over your life. Relationships are hard to manage and maintain. When a relationship is out of balance, you won’t feel fulfilled and most probably neither will the other person. Therefore, I would urge you to think and reflect on what your needs are and what would make you fulfilled, then gently communicating your boundaries. Also, remember to listen to the other person’s needs.
That is the secret to a balanced and fulfilling relationship; it starts with you but it is not just about you.