Do relationships come easy at all?

That’s the question my kid sister asked me yesterday. I understood her pain, she seemed quite frustrated with the drudgery of oiling the wheels of the relationships in her life.

When I think about this subject, I like to remind myself that we often have a choice in most things in our life. And that includes our relationship. The only relationship you cannot choose is your parents, siblings, extended family and children. And even in these cases, you can choose the extent of interaction you are willing to accommodate.

But today, we want to talk about non-familial relationships; so romantic relationships and friendships.

Are you intentional about your relationships?

What are your expectations in a relationship? What are deal breakers for you in the relationship?
Do you actively seek out the sorts of relationships you want?
Or do you just allow friendships to happen to you?

A few years ago, I realized that my life had somehow digressed from the original plan that I had for myself. I didn’t really understand how I got there, but things were definitely out of control. So I sat down and did a self audit, and I realized that I had somehow fallen into friendships that were doing me no favours.
I didn’t exactly choose these friendships, but I didn’t stop them from happening either. Soon enough I was surrounded by people who had a differing life agenda, and I was getting swept up in the wave of their choices.

To make choices, you must first know yourself. If you don’t define who you are and what you want in this life, others would take control of your life and tell you how to live it.

Genuine Friendships with like-minded people can be amazing, because they amplify your being. If those friends are good, intentional people of value, it would drive you to be more, to strive for better, to examine yourself, to improve yourself, to make intentional choices.

If you find that your relationships only take away from you, drain you, distract you from your goals, diminishes your spiritual relationship with your God, drive you to acts of regret or inspire a devalued sense of self, it is definitely time for a Relationship Audit.

Let me give you this quick checklist to get you going on your Relationship Audit;
1. Evaluate and Define yourself: Who are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you a light or a black hole? What are your goals and objectives in life. How well are you doing on your journey? What do you need to improve your journey? What are the distractions to your journey? What sort of people do you need to surround yourself with to make your life more meaningful. Are you the sort of person to others that you require them to be to you? In the end, write a brief description of yourself ‘as-is’ and another description of person you have the potential to be.
2. Scan: Scan your relationships. Are your relationships aligning with your requirements above? Is this your fault or theirs? (Sometimes we are actually the toxic one in the equation and that’s why we can’t get the best from the relationship. Make a list, split your relationships into Definitely, Mine-to-Fix, Must Go, Like to have.
3. Definitely are two pronged. First your family, you must find a way to coexist with, you may want to refer to the episode on Respect, Boundaries and Emotional Intelligence if you’re struggling with your family relationships. The other prong on your Definitely list, are relationships that you already have that align with your requirements and goals, continue to lol these relationships.
4. The Mine-to-Fix list is also two pronged in that you have been the problem in the relationship, so it’s hard to even tell if these relationships are for you or not. So you need to put in the work in these relationships first, in order to eventually decide whether they go into the Definitely list, or the Must Go list.
5. And that takes us into the Must Go list. These are relationships that you have outgrown, they may be harmful, draining, unproductive or simply distracting because they do not align with your life goals. Let these relationships Go!
6. Like to have: Defining your relationship requirements may open your eyes to people around you who may be good relationships for you, because they can bring value to your life as much as you can to theirs. Or maybe they represent an ideal that is important to you. These are the relationships you need to chase, it requires wooing and courting, like a man chasing a woman he likes. When cultivating these relationships, by all means put your best foot forward, but don’t pretend, don’t be a best and definitely no stalking.

Letting go of relationships that you have outgrown can be a difficult and painful process. It’s sort of like breaking up with the love of your life, but it would get better with each passing day.

If you need help with your Relationships Audit, we at The Guzel Kadin Company can definitely offer you the support that you need. To initiate that support, or if you would simply like to contribute to this podcast, kindly send an email to healingthechild@guzelkadin.ng or comment on our Instagram page @healingthechild. Thank You for your time. Have a good week.