Welcome to Relational Tuesday!!! Whenever I hear the word “relational” or “relations”, I can’t help but think of that Nutty Professor scene. The one where the whole family is sitting around the dinner table and talking about relationships and how two people share “relations.” The grandmother ends up saying, “Relations is a beautiful thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of…You know sometimes when I’m alone, I relate to myself.” To which another family at the table responds, “I can relate.” That part always cracks me up.
But in all seriousness… Relational Tuesday is where I will be sharing with you my experiences and what I have learned about personal and social relationships. I will share with you changes and actions I have taken to improve my relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. Yes, you have to relate to strangers too. Trust me, have a bad relation with a stranger who delivers your food and you may experience what I am talking about.
Take a couple minutes and think about some of your important relationships in your life. Think about interactions you have had with them…the good and the bad ones. Now take a moment ponder a few of these words to live by:
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”—Dale Carnegie
“People hate to be corrected, so don’t unless it is important.”
“Give people your undivided attention.”
I suspect as you were reading the words you could think of situations where those words would have helped. How could these words to live by have helped? These are just simple little words, reminders of the things you can do in your life to help you stay on the path to building positive relationships. I was exposed to all of these little reminders in different books I have read. These words to live by helped me repair some damaged relationships and form very strong ones. I have been able to have positive interactions with people even when they were not really being agreeable. Let’s look at these words a little more.
Imagine a time when someone disagreed with you. I don’t think this will be too hard to do. Maybe a little too hard to pick just one. When you know you are right and the other person is wrong, do you continue to waste valuable time and effort trying to change their mind? Dale Carnegie said, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” He is saying don’t try to pull someone over to your side when they don’t want to come. Sometimes it is better to agree to disagree than waste precious time arguing. Or worse yet, damage a relationship.
What if someone is wrong, but you made it a standard practice to never correct someone unless it was important? I can tell you from my experience that I have had many arguments with family and friends because we dickered over the details. (haha…”dickered is a funny word”) What a waste of time and energy. We waste so much time arguing over the most trivial things in life that a day, week, or month from now we won’t even remember. Well, we won’t remember them if we didn’t destroy a relationship. But if we damaged a relationship or something really bad happened, I bet it would be remembered then.
“Give people your undivided attention.” You may be thinking…”this is easy to do.” But is it? How many times do you have a conversation with someone where you are not looking into your phone, or working on something giving the occasional “uh huh” while they speak? I know I use to do it all the time. Using these words, I started giving my family undivided attention when they came to talk to me. I wanted to treat each of them like the most important person in the world when they talked to me. And that is what I did. Treating them with undivided attention has improved my relationships with every person in my immediate family. I then started doing this with others. And guess what…those relationships improved too.
My point here, and what I want to share with you on Relational Tuesdays, is that you can improve all the relationships in your life if you work on yourself. You can’t change how people treat you, or what they do, but you can change how you respond and react to them. That is what this category is all about. Improvements in yourself so you can improve your relationships with others.
Come back on Relational Tuesdays in search of quotes, experiences, and information that can improve your relationships. Who knows, maybe we can all “relate!!!”