The impact of relationships on our overall health and status cannot be over emphasized. The expression that relationships have the capacity to make or mar us, is not a phenomenon that hasn’t been proven. Chances are that most people have not realised the need to do a relationship audit with the people they spend the better parts of their lives and time with. While this is the case, truth is that most relationships in our lives will at some stage fulfill their course and it is better to pay attention to what phase of time we are in them if we must maximize the reasons why we are in these relationships in the first place.
Here are guidelines to helping you handle your relationship audit.
It is said that he who walks with the wise becomes wise, and a companion of fools is doomed. The Holy book (Bible) confirms this in Proverbs. But don’t let us go so spiritual about this. Good, rewarding relationships are keys to our happiness and mental wellbeing at large. The reverse leads to resentment and misery. The age of social networking has made it that we now connect with a multitude of friends online through the internet, which has the potential to cause ’emotional clutter’. Conducting a relationship audit, however, helps you to reflect on the people in your life and ask yourself one important question, and that is; “Do they add value?” This is where you have, to be honest with yourself. To this effect, there are series of questions you need to ask which will also lay the foundation to helping you successfully carry out your relationship audit.
Why am I in this relationship? To make headway with your relationships you have to cultivate one skill which is the ability to recognise potential relationships, discern the negative ones and cut them off, and the potential to cultivate new ones or nourish the existing not-so-good ones if any. The next question after this is;
What should my next course of action be? This is where you need to draw your lines; whom to keep, who to nourish and for what reasons and finally; whom to cut off. This stage is logical. Your actions here should not be based on any emotional affiliations otherwise, you will miss the point.
To cut off some relationships, ask yourself, “Do I really have anything in common with this person other than a shared history? Do I feel better or worse about myself when I’m in this company? Have I compromised things in any way for this relationship to be falling apart?Is my current challenge with this relationship here to teach me something, if yes, what might those unique things be? Am I the problem to why this relationship is falling apart? If yes, what does my friend want me to do differently? How can I respond differently to prune the not-so-good-but-needful ones? And (or) what am I no longer willing to allow in this relationship?
This simple act will solve many frustrations that you may be experiencing in a relationship. It is also a quick and effective tool for clarifying why some relationships aren’t working and what steps to take to keep them in or out.
Factors That Will Help Your Audit Process
One important factor that will help in your audit is, knowing that people fall into two categories in life. We have the “Radiators” and the “Plugholes”, with the former you feel energised and optimistic. On the flip side, you feel drained and pessimistic. This kind of relationship, you should cut off. However, note this, you don’t cut off some relationship because you are not benefitting anything from them, sometimes a relationship is in our lives for us to help them prune and maximize purpose in life. One thing is noteworthy in situations like these; you have to be the one influencing, not the other way round, where they the ones influencing you negatively and dragging you down, you have to let them go.
The next factor is the “Grace Factor”. This factor says you extend grace where a relationship is not evil but has not proven to be productive yet. It helps you prune and dig around them to know if something good can come out in them. Digging here helps you to see possible potentials that your character or negligence has prevented you from seeing so you can invest the right attitude and time towards making them better.
Last but not the least is to “Seek and Invest”. This factor admits that there are people with greater potential than we have who are in our sphere of contact or away from proximity that we need to seek, find and get closer to. We get closer because they carry something we don’t have and we invest if must get to some heights in life. Career is usually a good example here.
Finally, to successfully transform something about your relationship, you will need to transform yourself first. This is achievable through setting “Golden rules”. ‘The first golden rule says ‘train’. Train others on how to treat you.’ For instance, if a friend or colleague speaks to you in a way that you don’t appreciate and you don’t speak up, then you are ‘training’ them to speak to you in that manner. A good question to ask yourself is how have you, your partner or colleagues to treat you? The second golden rule is that you cannot change the other person; you can only change how you relate to them. ‘Trying to get other people to change by blaming, blackmailing, making threats, or playing the victim, can usually result in the other person feeling manipulated, uncared for or even resentful. In transforming yourself it’s important to remember that the only person you have control over is you and we are responsible for your own actions and emotion. If you are looking for something different in our relationships it usually means doing something differently and trying to cope with a bad relationship is not only destructive, painful, demeaning, it is also time wasting
Having said all, remember the best reason we stay in a relationship is so we can help each other be the best they can be. Where this is not the case, that relationship is due for elimination. Wishing you good luck!!