Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Relationship Skills

It is fairly obvious that Math, Language, and Driving are skills. We are taught how they work and we practice them until we develop a degree of competence.  After some time our level of ability to use them becomes a subconscious habit and we perform the functions without even thinking about how they work.

It may not be nearly so obvious that the following are also skills.

The difference between the first group of skills and this list of skills is simple. We are taught standardized rules for the first group of skills and practice them under supervision until we meet a recognized threshold of competence.

For the skills on the list we make up our own rules. We observe our parents, friends, family, teachers, preachers and television celebrities and use our conclusions about how we think they use these skills to create our own rules. We then practice the rules we have made up until they also become subconscious habits.

Judging from the incredible numbers of problems that arise from our use or misuse of these skills, our rules are far too frequently incorrect which prevents us from developing a very high degree of competence, let alone mastery.

There are rules for the skills on the list that empower us to attain the same quality results in our relationships as we do in Math, Language, and Driving. Imagine what your life could be like if you knew how to consistently make really good choices. Just think what that would mean to your relationships.

All humans seek fulfillment, and fulfillment can only be found in relationships. An individual life has very little meaning when viewed outside of relationships. Some of us seek fulfillment in material goods, some in a relationship with the divine, but the vast majority of us seek fulfillment in relationships with each other.

We are genetically hardwired for close, nurturing relationships but we generally make a mess of them. If we don't know how, or choose not, to relate in valid ways we suffer and most often we cause a great deal of suffering in those around us. It does not need to be that way. Relationships are really very simple when we know the skills.

Relationships are the mirrors that reflect to us who we are and what is our worth to those around us. Relationships are the truth, and the proof of our existence.