As you settle into a long-term relationship, you settle into its particular rhythm. Every relationship has one and every rhythm is unique to that relationship. Sometimes you will affect your relationship; sometimes life will impact its ebb and flow. Either way, you can be sure that your path will not be a smooth ride without any bumps or detours. Yours may look something like this— Everything has been going just fine for some time until one day you discover that your significant other has kept something from you...
Entries in relationship skills (4)
I get a lot of questions from people about forgiveness. People resist forgiveness for a variety of reasons. Some people believe that if you forgive someone for the harm they did, you will be asking for more harm down the line—in other words, forgiveness leaves you more vulnerable, not less. Other people believe that if you forgive someone, you will be giving them a free pass or condoning what they did—these people hold out, seeking punishment and vengeance. And some people simply don’t know how to forgive—it sounds simple in theory but difficult to execute with intention. So I thought I’d write this week’s blog in honor of forgiveness.
I often talk about how important it is to take full responsibility for your feelings as you create a solid foundation with another person. But what does this really mean? Does this mean that no one is ever responsible for saying or doing something that hurts your feelings? Well, the answer to that question is yes and no. Let me explain what I mean by setting up a scenario from which you can insert your own experience. Let’s say your romantic partner says something that hurts your feelings. Maybe she criticized the way you handle yourself professionally. Maybe he lied about what he was doing last night. Regardless of the words or deeds, you felt attacked, betrayed, belittled, or dismissed.
For those of you that don’t know me well, I have a background in Organizational Development and Training which means that I have consulted, coached, and trained employees and managers on various topics, including leadership and management, change management, team development, communication, and customer service. I recently had an unpleasant experience with a business owner with whom I had contracted for some media development work. I had concerns about some discrepancies between what was promised and what was being delivered. From a customer service perspective, this gentleman broke all the rules to providing excellent customer service and resolving customer complaints. He never engaged in a conversation about my concerns, decided that my complaining was more problematic for him as opposed to me, and wanted me and my concerns to simply go away, end of story. And while he chose not to take advantage of an opportunity to learn something valuable (about himself and his business), I thought I’d use the experience as a means to demonstrate how customer service principles apply to all relationships. There are three basic rules to customer service. These are: