I was thinking back on my relationships: the good, bad, and the in-between! I realized that over the years, I constantly evolved and have had different perspectives on the type of relationship I wanted to be in, not only with those of the opposite sex, but with friends as well. I concluded that as I grew older, wiser, and more experienced in interpersonal relationships, relationships with others became more pronounced and more defined.
I remember being a teenager. The boys would tell me they couldn’t be in a relationship with me because my standards were too high, I was too intelligent, and seemed so serious. Well, they were correct! I had a goal and purpose to fulfill, but it was rather lonely being alone! So I began ‘lowering’ my standards to attempt connection with these particular boys. Oh, how frustrating it was! It was nothing against the boys, it was that we simply were not a match. My perspectives and pursuits were different than theirs. When I thought I could ‘change’ them and vice versa, it made my dating relationships go sour, ending in anger, bitterness, and disrespect. I felt I wasted my time ‘lowering’ my standards, but seemingly did not know how to get back to where I once was in my simply being myself.
I had individuals of authority and position in my life shape my view and perspective, but it was based on their own values and views. Meaning, some women felt that my standards were too high and I should meet individuals where they were. Interestingly, some of the men in my life encouraged me to keep my standards high and be in a position to be found. Be found? Meaning, I will attract the ‘right’ individuals who are on my level. Wow! And the men were right!
With all that said, I want to leave you with five healthy tips to follow when developing your interpersonal relationships, which really holds true as standard principles throughout any of your relationships, i.e. business, partnerships, love, family, friendships, etc.
1. Know and Connect with Yourself First!
When you have a better understanding of who you are and what you want, it makes it easier with your connection with others and helps you to determine what your boundaries are and what you are willing to tolerate in your life.
2. Set Your Standards HIGH!
Why not? Were you suppose to connect with those people in the first place? You have to get out of your circle if you are smarter and/or have greater pursuits than the people around you. Why? To keep you thirsting, driven, and hungry for more, and those particular people in that circle with similar goals and pursuits keep you sharp and determined to go higher. It is about commonalities and similarities to help you grow overall. Others should step up and meet you where you are, not you ‘dummy down’ to where they are! (Not calling anyone a dummy!)
3. Know What Part People Play in Your Life.
It can be a hard transition from one phase of life to the next. The same friends you grew up with may have lost that once strong connection, or you may still have a connection, you simply may not have much in common at this point. It’s okay. We need to recognize the position people play in our lives, whether it was for a time, purpose, reason, or season. The person may have only been in your life when you needed a push to the next level. That person had done that, and is no longer needed in your life. That door closes for another to open. It’s like getting married. You leave your immediate family to start your own. Your parents served their purpose in growth and development, so you took what you learned to develop your own immediate family. You have to take what you learned from an individual and keep going. But recognize the purpose of those individuals in your life. Some may be in your life for a lifetime….just know why they are in your life!
4. Checks and Balances, Benefits and Deficits
In knowing yourself, you know what you need in your life and what you don’t need in your life. In other words, you might have heard the saying: take in the meat and spit out the bones! If you see that you are not propelling based on your connection with certain folks, and indeed falling back, stagnant, or complacent, it may just be time to cut it off! Even if it hurts, your pursuits and goals are more important! A hard pill to swallow, but the relationship you have with that person or persons has changed, shifted, or has reached the end of the line. Do what you have to do to stay afloat and soaring.
5. Doing Different to Get Different. Period.
This is my favorite line I need to patent! You may need to change! Not to contradict number 1 or 2, but you may need to show yourself as friendly to attract the right folks, too! You may need to change your view for the better, not for someone! In other words, it is a two-way street; be relevant and helpful to someone else! Help them soar, encourage them, be a benefit and asset in your connections to others, not merely expecting others to be the sole assets in the relationship! You may need to step up in your relevancy, such as getting more educated, going to different functions and affairs you’ve never been to, like an art exhibit, speed dating, horseback riding, lectures, anything you normally would not do. Be eclectic, a lover of life and of finer things. It helps move out of normalcy and into a well versed state of mind! You will then see others with like interests gravitate to you, and maybe even inspire others to enhance, too!
You will see a different result when you apply these new different ways of connecting in interpersonal relationships!