Monthly Archives: September 2018

Success is All About Relationships

A part of achieving success is to consider the value and importance of sound relationships. In every area of your life you will encounter relationships.

Why relationships?

Because we are human beings, and as human beings we are designed to interact with other human beings. This involves relationships. Without the appropriate skills and knowledge to manage your relationships the success you are hoping to achieve will escape you.

In the first instance the relationship you must consider is the one you have with yourself. If you don’t appreciate yourself, chances are that you will project that dislike to others. The more you appreciate yourself, the better your relationships will be with others. How you feel inwardly will be reflected on the outside through non verbal communication like body language. The higher your integrity is, the more you will feel better about yourself.

The family relationship is the next one to consider as they are extremely important as you tread your path to success. Failure here will not see you succeed elsewhere. You require a supportive partner as a sounding board and someone who encourages you in your endeavors.

Your business relationships follow closely behind family relationships. How you deal with customers and suppliers has a major influence over the security and productivity of your company as well as the success and growth. Poor relationships with these stakeholders will lead to poor performance. In a world of many business competitors, I strongly believe good relationships with your customers is the catalyst to your business success.

It is vital that you learn to manage your frustration as you deal with relationships. We all encounter problem areas and awkward situations that will annoy and irritate us. If you can manage your frustration and in turn reverse a sticky situation with an individual into something positive, you will be well ahead on your road to success.

Treat all people you meet as important and treat them with respect. There is a saying, “be nice to all people on the way up the ladder as you never know you may be meeting them again on the way down!” Be sincere in your dealings with people you meet. You just never know that the person you help might be able to help you or unbeknown to you may even report back to your boss what a great job you are doing! Or not doing, as the case may be!

Finally, you should be able to see how healthy family relationships, a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty at work, and an ability to consider the next person as important can be instrumental in helping you along your path to success. Success is not achieved alone. The fact remains that we must deal appropriately with people and nurture our relationships if we hope to achieve success.

My Family Rules About Relationships

This is part three of the article on how families impact our lives. I’ve already talked about how they may even be multi generational. Now I would like to address how we might be able to change these script directives. As your ‘script’, and your rules for relationships, was first presented to you by your family, you are most likely to grow up and live out that ‘script’ unless, as I believe was my experience, that somewhere along the way you make a different decision and consequently live your life based on a different set of values and beliefs.

This questioning generally only happens in the event of some crisis in your life, when you may come to realize that your script is a good ‘script’, and continue to live it out in a positive way. Alternatively you might question your ‘script’, at such a time, and recognize that you need to do something differently and go about changing those rules that define your ‘script’ and live it out differently to the way your parents presented it to you.

Some of us however, do not come to question it and we just live it out with all the positives and negatives as defined by the rules given to us. While in the first instance this is given to us by our parents, it then becomes supported and further entrenched by our families, our community and by our culture. And as I’ve already said, the only time I might really question my ‘script’ at all is if things become uncomfortable enough living the ‘script’ that I am forced to speak to my partner, or to seek professional help, that would encourage me to contemplate an alternative response.

As a result, the way that you define what a relationship is, is very much the way your parent’s defined relationships and as the ‘script’ was handed to you, then you, in turn, hand it on to your children. “Do as I say not as I do!” So a lesson to be learned here is that as these rules, and the ‘script’ for life, is passed on to us, and done so unconsciously, then, despite even what our parents might say, it is most likely that we will mimic what they do. So while kids might not know it consciously, unconsciously they know exactly what goes on behind closed doors, and will most likely play that out in their own lives as they then choose their own adult relationships.

What I’m saying here is that we are scripted to choose our partners to be a certain kind of person, and for good reason. The most outstanding part of this is that this is all happening unconsciously. Not only that but we will manipulate them to be a certain way even if this is not how they were when we first entered a relationship with them.

Couples who come into my office are often surprised that the person they fell in love with seems to now be someone quite different. Sometimes, knowing their parents and the mistakes they have made in their relationships, couples have openly vowed to not become those people. And guess what so often happens? You’re right; they end up becoming those people after all.

Just last week I had a couple in my room saying that everything they ever vowed not to become they have become and were surprised to find out how powerful their unconscious scripting was. If you want to know more about family scripting, and the ways you can create a new and more helpful script for your life, have a look at my book titled: “The Games Couples Play” or check out my website where you’ll find some questionnaires and exercises to help you understand your script more fully.

Relationship Advice

The way we act in a relationship is based on a number of factors. Unfortunately, some of these factors will be good and others not so good. But regardless of how they would be classified, overall, they determine the way we are, the way we behave in a relationship. If your relationship isn’t all you would like for it to be, perhaps you need to take a look at where you are getting the input from that you are using as your guideline.

Our parents. We learn a lot from our parents… although not all we learn is ideal. Not only is this the first relationship we are subjected to, but it occurs during our formative years when we are highly impressionable. If our parents fight, don’t communicate well, or learn to deal with stress in a positive, constructive manner, then chances are, we won’t either.

Our past relationships. This can be a brutal example of reality. We can be raised in a close-knit, happy family and grow up with these exact same expectations. Then, your first partner treats you like “dirt,” verbally abuses you, and eventually leaves you for someone else. Now, your perception of how perfect relationships are has just been demolished.

When you enter into a relationship, you bring the residue of every past relationship with you and into it…

  • if you were belittled, you tend to be withdrawn.
  • if you were cheated on, you are on guard.
  • if you were verbally or physically abused, you lash out at the first sign of trouble.

We are defined by our past, even if all of our past is not classed as healthy. That is why you cannot use a cookie-cutter mentality for all relationships.

The media. Believe it or not… what you see on TV and in the movies is not always reality. Take a look at a family sitcom from the 1950’s. They were “living” in the ideal setting, everyone acted wonderfully with each other… and there was total harmony within the household. Now, compare this scene with a family sitcom from today. Reality has certainly set in and the networks are no longer afraid to show how relationships in families really are.

You would have never witnessed the 1950’s family man coming home drunk and smacking his wife around. They never fought over money… and infidelity never showed its ugly face. Now, it is commonplace on TV. If you are going to base your perception of relationships on the media, at least be realistic.

Family Time Suffers When Kids Get Only 38 Minutes of Parents’ Time

TV time adds up

The time spent watching TV impacts many aspects of life, most notably the family. According to the latest figures from Nielsen Media Research, Inc., the average American now spends 4 hours and 32 minutes per day watching TV. Per week that adds up to 31½ hours.

Why is the family in crisis?

In contrast with 31½ hours in front of a TV, the average American parent spends only 38 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. Yet, pundits on both the left and right wonder why the American family is in crisis. As a parent, how can you have a meaningful relationship with your children, if you are so busy watching TV that you do not have time to talk with them, to listen to their problems, to celebrate their achievements, or to simply BE together as a family? It is simply not possible. You cannot build a family foundation on reruns of Leave it to Beaver.

Kids want more family time

Your children may not say it, but kids often want more time with their family. According to the Horatio Alger Association’s report, The State of Our Nation’s Youth: “If they could have one wish granted, students would choose to have more time to spend with their families (46%).” Children chose family time over having more money to buy material things (27%), living in a bigger house (14%), and having more time to spend on spiritual pursuits (7%).”

TV time does not count as quality family time

Some parents may feel that they are spending quality time with their children when they are watching TV shows together. If you sit back and observe the way most people watch TV, you will quickly see that there is usually very little interaction among members who are watching a show together.

They may all be doing the same thing. They may all be pleasantly relaxed. However, each person has their attention focused on the screen. It is not the same as working together, doing a project together, or playing a game together. Family members may be tuned in to the TV, but they are tuned out from each other.

Get that TV out of the bedroom!

Parents also cannot build a meaningful relationship while they are watching TV. There has been no prominent study relating the amount of time couples spend in front of the TV to divorce rates. However, an Italian study recently revealed that having a television in the bedroom cuts your sex life in half. The team of sexologists in Rome found Italians who live without a TV in the bedroom had sex eight times a month. Those with a TV, had sex only four times on average.

Find out how much your family watches

Most people underestimate how much TV they watch. Time just seems to fly by when you are glued to the tube. However, you owe it to yourselves and your family to find out how much you are actually watching. Take a week to document the time your family watches TV. When this is finished, you can get together as a family and decide if there isn’t a better way for everyone to spend their time.

Solve your family’s problems and create happy memories

Turning off the TV might not automatically create an idyllic family and it likely will not overcome severe problems such as abuse, but it will give your family the time everyone needs to tackle life’s basic problems. You and your family will also have the time to build happy memories that will last a lifetime. Turn off your TV today to begin creating a new life with your partner and children.

About ‘The Awful Truth About Television’ Series:

What happens when the average American spends 4 hours 32 minutes every day watching television? Trash Your TV’s ‘The Awful Truth About Television’ Series explores the multifaceted problems with TV in eleven hard-hitting articles. Read the full series and you will never look at your television set the same way again.