The opening statement “ We are not taught how to have relationships” viscerally smacked me in the face. I wrote it down while reeling from the impact thinking, this is huge.
We learn the dynamics of relationships by those who raise us and our environment. We are not taught specifically how to have relationships. Much less healthy and happy ones.
No wonder relationships can be such a challenge. Not surprising there’s disharmony, bickering, anger, unmet expectations and the list goes on. My mind drifted to all of the painful relationships, arguments, past hurts, and the fallout from past relationships gone sour.
How about you?
- Where did you learn to have relationships?
- Who was there in your first relationships?
- What was it like?
I learned like many of us from my family in our home in upstate NY. My dad, mom, sister and brothers. From my early memories it was a fun place to be a kid and we lived in the country and I ran around alone playing a lot becoming self-sufficient. My siblings are older by 10+ years and provided a lens to watch and learn from. My parents were older and were busy with their lives. I was the baby and drug along to their events and parties. Life was a lot of social activities for the adults where I was expected to behave and not make a scene. I love my parents and siblings and know they all did the best they could with this little ball of talkative curious energy – the unexpected baby.
I don’t recall ever being taught specifically – this is how you have a relationship with someone. Or this is what a happy healthy relationship looks like. I never even thought about this until much later in my 20’s when I married Kris. We discovered quickly that what we thought was normal, how you interact, disagree, makeup was indeed very different.
What if you could have a happy and healthy relationship? Where would it start?
The answer is with you. You have a relationship with yourself.
This is our first relationship. This is the basis for how we relate to others.
What is your relationship with yourself?
- How you talk to yourself?
- How you take care of yourself?
- How do you love yourself?
These questions are challenging and can bring up discomfort. Trust me, I 100% get that and I’m with you the this feels icky to think about. I haven’t actually enjoyed reading or doing some of the exercises from the book. However, I’ve learned a lot already and see relationships through a different perspective.
Try to sit and contemplate/journal these questions. You may begin to see the foundation of your beliefs on relationships. From there you can learn and grow into a happier and healthier relationship with yourself and others.
The idea is that if you can heal the relationship with yourself then all your relationships will start to improve. I can see this happening from the information learned so far.
There is loads of insight, wisdom and practical exercises and stories in the book. I highly recommend it. I find it's a great gift for others as well.
As Bill and I are reading the book, I may share more about what we've learned as we continue to learn and hone our relationship working towards even happier and healthier.
I wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest of relationships. I hope you are able to fully love yourself and grow in your relationships.
I partner with those who’ve been knocked down by life and want to build resiliency, move forward to live a bold life. Click here to learn how I help and support others.
Peace, love and blessings,
Teresa – learning how to have a happy & healthy relationships
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, ACC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
Author of Soul Love: How A Dog Taught Me to Breathe Again
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