Recently, I was asked what the key is to making a relationship work. Those of you who read my articles know that I am a huge fan of communication. I love to engage in meaningful conversation, with friends, family and, of course, my lover. Conversation brings meaning to everything, without it, we have no method of relating or conveying thoughts, ideas or feelings.
I even enjoy conversation about things I don’t like. My friends and I discuss political views and I listen and engage. I have dialog with others regarding differences of religious views and beliefs. I will open a talk about food, working out, music, movies, social programs, gas prices anything, as long as it is meaningful and everyone gets something from the interaction. I don’t like all these subjects, but I love the conversation. I find it mentally stimulating and valuable information in order to truly know others.
It has been said that we should never talk about politics or religion. I would suggest, that a person not able to remove themselves from the emotions attached should not have those conversations. Some of the best interactions I have are with people of differing view points. Why would we only want to engage with like minded people? If everyone is thinking the same thing, 50% of the people are not thinking. So talking with those who don’t agree with our opinion is just that, talking. Listen, engage and have fun.
But, what is really the key to a good relationship? If conversation was all there was, we would be in perfect relational status. With 24 hours news, cable TV and the internet, we talk or get talked to, all the time. So, conversation is only a means of developing and maintaining our relationships, not necessarily the key to success. Not only did I want to provide an answer to my reader, I wanted the answer for myself. What is the key?
Reaching Out Through Technology
In today’s world of distance and technology, it’s been stated that relationships have changed. I would argue, that we have changed as people and how we interact with one another. We have a litany of medias barraging us from the moment we wake up to the minute we go back to sleep. Television, radio, email, internet, social media, cell phones, texting, we have a constant flow of information blasting our senses every waking moment. I myself will have the TV on while I check my emails. I can do both and I like it. But it has changed us not as people, but in the way we interact.
With information flowing into us from everywhere at all times, it is natural for us to filter what we hear and how we hear it. It used to be called selective hearing by married couples. We have the ability to hear what we want when we want to. And with the amount of “stuff” being thrown at us, it stands to reason that we will miss things or just refuse to hear them. It’s not our fault, it is the way of our current world.
Children have adapted faster than many adults, as they don’t see most technology as new. It was here when they arrived on the planet and they simply just use it. Us, more mature folks, have had to adapt and that may mean that we miss things from time to time. We have changed the way we interact, we have more stimuli than ever before and we have technology creating a physical gap between us.
It’s not wrong, it’s just how it is.
We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult to have solid successful relationships. So, What is the key?
Where is Your Hat?
Yeah, where is your hat? That’s right? Here is the key…
When it comes to making a relationship work, I would ask this simple question. For me the answer is easy. Take a look at you and your relationship, if you want the best out of it then get committed to it. Put your hat in the ring. If your hat is on a hook somewhere else then you are not focused here. If your hat is in another ring, then your are committed to something else. The key to making any relationship work is throwing your hat in the ring and committing to it. Communication gets all of the moving parts put in the proper places, but if you’re distracted by all the background noise we suffer with daily, are you really listening? Is your hat in the ring or tilted slightly on your head? Relationships work well and they work best when we commit to them. And although it takes a little work, the benefits are enormous!
And this works for any and all relationships. Take a child for instance, when we tune out all the noise and listen just to them, it becomes their entire world. And in return the child will listen back. They become engaged and want to interact. It is beautiful to watch.
I enjoy the exchanges I have with my friends and family. I treasure dialogue with my lover. If I were to become distracted, what benefit is there for any of us? The key to making any relationship work is taking the time to disengage from all of the garbage infecting our senses and just listen to the one we want to hear from. Put your hat in that ring!
We have an easy excuse given the massive informational input we have each day. It becomes common to say, “I forgot”, “I didn’t hear you say that”, or “What?” but if you want the relationship to really work, commit and throw your hat into the ring. Take the time to listen and hear what’s there for each of you. Not all conversation is fun and not all is worth having, but you only get to decide when you open yourself to the possibility of good dialogue.
So there is the key as I see it. Don’t miss the chance for your child to explain they are unhappy, it may prevent additional issues. Don’t miss the chance to help a friend with a problem, you may have the same one later. Don’t miss the chance to hear about a religious belief, you may discover God. And never miss the opportunity for some to tell you that they love you.
Every time it comes to your relationships, my advice is to throw you hat into the ring.
Love with no shame and ask with no fear