Once you have decided that authentic relationships and genuine connection are important to you, you can be intentional about improving the quality of your connections and be deliberate about attracting inspiring, supportive relationships.
How to decide
Think of a situation or relationship in which you feel supported, understood, seen and appreciated. You feel you can be authentically you and vulnerable without judgement. This is the feeling you want to have in all of your relationships – colleagues, clients, friends, family and your partner. And, it is how you want others to feel about the relationship they have with you.
We are born to be in positive, supportive, collaborative relationships despite our differences, the impact of past experiences and goals. It is our right. We each want to be understood, appreciated and feel that sense of belonging. But many of us have had experiences that lead us to develop behaviors that unintentionally sabotage our relationships. You read an introduction about how such behaviors develop in 7 Relationship Derailers and 5 Habits to Avoid Them.
Inventory your relationships
Have you ever found the need to detox your relationships? Think of it as the spring cleaning of relationships. A relationship detox will have a positive impact on your mental, physical and emotional health. Relationships that affect you in a negative way, that cause you anxiety and frustration, in which you feel disrespected or manipulated or that negatively impact your energy are candidates for a detox. It may be as simple as establishing boundaries or as permanent and severe as not spending time with them. I have a relative who would call every weekend to give me a family update, but the call always turned to gossip. I don’t enjoy gossip because it is generally exaggerated stories of someone’s misfortune and helps no one. I always felt drained and in need of a recharge after the call. I made a simple request for her not to call me with gossip. Our calls decreased to a frequency of once a month, sometimes less, and if she begins to gossip I let her know it is time for me to hang up.
A relationship detox creates time for you to focus on positive things and creates space for new and more positive relationships.
Create space for connection
The fear of being judged, rejected or not good enough is the cause of much of our struggle with relationships. To protect our ego from the pain, frustration, and potential embarrassment we each have developed behaviors that unintentionally sabotage connection. We have exchanged our vulnerability and authenticity for behaviors to avoid rejection and judgement. We have exchanged our freedom to be for acceptable conduct.
We each have the right to be our authentic self and not be rejected for it. Most experiences in our early life indicate otherwise, yet our most genuine connection happens when we are our most authentic self. When we are our authentic self we have clarity of purpose and goals, we are more confident about how to be, we take action with confidence, we attract authentic relationships and make genuine connection.
The Power of Relationships
Genuine connection and supportive relationships are key to our success, energy, focus and confidence. The quality of our relationships and connection are the biggest predictor of happiness, confidence, peace and joy – factors that determine what we attract into our lives.
Happy relationships are the key to living your grandest dreams. I have studied how to develop positive relationships and connection and how to improve collaboration in the most diverse teams for three decades. One of the challenges that frequently threatened to derail the career success of clients I worked with one-on-one is the impact of challenging and toxic relationships.
Tracy was a client I worked with weekly to help her to develop professional skills, soft skills and a career plan. She was very excited about her progress and new opportunities. Her colleagues commented about how much easier she was to work with. One day her behavior and attitude reverted back to her contentious and ornery behavior. She no longer wanted advance her development or career plan. Eventually I asked about the change and loss of interest. Her friends and relatives saw the change, but rather than be happy for her they began to exclude her because they felt they could not relate to her anymore. She chose the safety of her old friends and being accepted as the old Tracy by her family over achieving the goals she was excited about. Rather than allow that to derail her goals we took a detour in our plan to address navigating such relationships.
Three years later I was able to experience the impact of a very challenging relationship first hand. It was during that time I took a deeper look at how challenging and toxic relationships impact all aspects of one’s life. As a result I developed the 3 module program to help more people join the move toward authentic relationships and genuine connection in The Power of Connection program.
There are three aspects to developing healthier relationships and genuine connection
Unlearn and understand others
Identify, understand and release the underlying causes of unintentional habitual behaviors, resistance, and misunderstood stories that sabotage relationships. Learn how to recognize them in yourself and in others. You’ll eliminate old baggage and quiet your mind with more positive thoughts and you’ll learn how to navigate challenging and toxic relationships.
Create Space for Connection
Ease into a new way of being and approaching relationships in a healthier way that fosters genuine connection and collaboration. Eliminate the fear of rejection and judgement. Learn new habits and ways of thinking that attract positive relationships, strengthen current relationships and deepen connection.
The Art of Connecting
Get insight, examples, stories, questions and tools to refresh your current relationships, comfortably establish boundaries where necessary and connect with family, colleagues, clients and friends.
Recall and hone your innate perspective and skills
Because relationships impact every aspect of your life it is not enough to settle for behavioral changes by learning new skills only, you must experience a transformation of thoughts and perspective beginning with a deeper understanding of how ego, emotions, the stories you have been replaying in your mind and life experiences impact how you may unintentionally sabotage positive connection. You will also discover that just as these factors may sabotage how you engage others, they may sabotage how others truly want to engage with you. You will understand why they behave the way they do and engage with them in a different way that encourages positive connection and collaboration.
Having helped one-on-one clients navigate and transform challenging and toxic relationships I discovered that we each have innate ability to connect with ease. In studying how very young children interact with each other it is clear that they have no problem interacting until life experiences and interaction with others who prefer they conform and “behave properly.” We were born to be in positive, supportive relationships and with the skills to do so. We have innate abilities and the true perspective of how to be in a positive relationship with others. It is true for you and true for others you are in relationship with. Understanding these factors will not only transform how you engage others but will cause you to attract more positive, supportive, inspiring and collaborative relationships.
Join the movement
There is a movement toward being intentional about developing more authentic, supportive relationships and genuine connection the one thing we all want and the measure of a great life. After you received 7 Relationship Derailers and 5 Habits to Avoid Them you also received several emails with supportive insight about developing positive relationships. I want to help as many as I can reach to surround themselves with supportive relationships. Take just a few weeks to prioritize strengthening your relationships, deepening your connection and attracting an abundance of supportive, inspiring relationships, a corner stone of everything you do, need and want.
Read more about Mastering the Power of Connection