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Relationships

NSIDE Texas Magazine

July/August 2013

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NSIDE Texas Relationships presents:

“Triple A To The Rescue”

By: Medora, The Relationship Expert

“You can’t have a 21st century relationship with 20th century thinking.” Oh. Wow. The ignorance behind that statement – which, by the way, is a quote from someone I choose to not disclose. I try to be a polite person so I don’t want to embarrass anyone. Well…except my children.  I was told that it was my job to embarrass them.  And, according to them, I do my job very well!

The statement implies that successful relationships are dependent upon the ebb and flow of societal changes. Such changes do, indeed, influence what people expect from others and how they interact. However, societal changes are external influences. It also implies that each new generation figures out what the previous generation could or would not, thereby making the new-kids-on-the-block superior and more highly evolved. This makes me laugh and shake my head in amusement.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always welcomed – and indeed sought out – the wisdom of those who have “been there,” lived life and learned a few things along the way. But, in our youth and celebrity obsessed culture, I’ve observed the tendency among most is to listen to what their favorite celebrity or peers have to offer on how to have successful relationships. Often overlooked is the wisdom, perspective and experience of previous generations.

And, yes, while societal and cultural changes do impact relationships, the wise ones would tell you that what DOES NOT change is human nature and the deeply-rooted desires in the hearts of everyone. I know this because I’ve asked.

So, what do the wise ones claim that we all want from our relationships with others – whether they are romantic, platonic or familial? What should we bring to those same relationships to increase the chances of them being satisfying, rewarding and….successful? Here’s how the wise ones might answer these questions:

Acceptance is something for which we all fundamentally and deeply yearn. In fact, acceptance – being liked and loved for who you are, how you are and what you are – is crucial for strong mental and emotional health.  Hopefully, you are part of a family that provides this. But if this isn’t the case, due to family dysfunction or perhaps you feel like the odd person out, this is where friends are crucial. Accepting friends are, in fact, crucial for everyone.

But having good relationships is not a one-way street as you must also be accepting. However, accepting someone – warts and all – doesn’t mean that you have to condone, embrace or excuse everything that they say or do. Rather, acceptance is a conscience decision to be at peace with the humanity of someone you like/love because that relationship is important to you. In a healthy relationship – and this principal applies to all relationships whether familial, romantic or platonic – acceptance is symbiotic. And, this means that it is reasonable to expect that the people you surround yourself with will also accept you – warts and all.

Appreciation, in regards to relationships, is based upon respect for another’s uniqueness – seeing and looking for all that is good, true and beautiful about that person. However, appreciating someone doesn’t mean that you become blind – and prudent people don’t – to their faults. But in a healthy relationship, the participants look for ways to encourage and build each other up. Much like acceptance, you make a conscious choice to focus on that which is positive – even if and when the negative drives you bonkers!

Affection is critical for all types of relationships. Expressions of kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion and empathy all convey a type of love and are key factors in making relationships work, rewarding for all involved. And while affection can certainly be communicated by word and deed appropriately according to the specific relationship, sometimes the simplest pat on the back or hug communicates emotions and feelings that words cannot. We all need this.

So, you see, having successful, rewarding and satisfying relationships really is quite simple.  The hard part is to re-order the way you approach your relationships. It might take some work and effort on your part, but trust me when I tell you – from personal experience – that the effort is worth it.

About Medora:

Prior to pursuing a full-time writing and speaking career, Medora had the good fortune of working/having experience in 3 important fields: education, business, and counseling.  Her expertise and knowledge derives from these experiences as well as her heritage – she is descended from 4 generations of strong, accomplished women, all of whom were also named “Medora.”  Medora’s purpose, passion, and mission in life are to share this knowledge so that others may also benefit.

“Triple A To The Rescue” PDF LINK

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