Social Spiritual Thinking

excerpt from Hey! I Can Do This™

Throughout your life, you gather more social health into your sphere of influence. When the chemistry is right, you grow relationships to a higher level. You conserve by nurturing key relationships so that they will last. There are times when you want to see key relationships expand to include younger family members and friends as you transfer your sphere of influence to others. There are also times when you might have unintentionally let a relationship dwindle.

Whether intentional or not, every relationship you have develops its own history, is eventually affected by this history, and comes complete with its own baggage. Every relationship has two sides, yours and the other person's. Every interest implies a sense of entitlement-that is, "What I can expect to get from you just because I'm me." Sometimes people forget about the other half: "What you can expect to get from me just because you're you." Successful relationships are built on the "you" side more than the "me" side. The point here is, what are you going to do to maintain or improve your half of the relationship-without expectation and with patience and openness? When a relationship starts to languish, the key question should be "What are you going to do about it?" If the relationship is important to you, how will you put aside your sense of entitlement to preserve it? Sometimes it can be as easy to start by saying "Thank you" or "I'm sorry" with openness, or by friendly eye contact and a smile. Other times there will be a need to clear away years of hurt to rekindle former warmth and intimacy. In short, for a relationship to be healthy, it needs to involve the best interests of the participants in reciprocal interactions. When one person's interests dominate, the relationship becomes unhealthy. Whatever the objective, it all starts with you.

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