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Published:April 13th, 2010 11:46 EST
Relationships (Part Three)

Relationships (Part Three)

By Ignatius Fernandez


" A relationship will be only as good as its communication."  John Powell

Is the converse also true? Is communication only as good as the relationship between the communicating parties? Doesn`t one follow the other as surely as night follows day? So, relationship and communication are part of the same equation; indispensable bits of the same puzzle; flip sides of the same coin. Since we are on John Powell`s wavelength, let us tune in to find out what else does he have to broadcast? "The real adult learns to love people and use things; not love things and use people." Profound words!

How do we connect his two statements? 1) He is certain that the quality of our communication will determine the quality of our relationship.2) He emphasizes that our attitude to people will attract or repel them. When we put things before people, we can be sure that they will repel us.

Let us take our inferences a little further. Our communication is not based on words; words are only a vehicle for our thoughts. Our communication is defined by our attitude to the persons we are communicating with. Are some things more important to us than the people we are transacting with? Then our communication will reflect our deep-seated attitudes. The person in us speaks, not the words we utter, although those words give body to our thoughts. No wonder Stephen R.Covey writes,"What we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do". What we are makes or breaks relationships.

In Part Two of this Series, we referred to blocks to the free flow of love. We questioned our bloated egos, priorities, demands on others and view of life, as likely reasons for the constricted flow of love. Undoubtedly, our over-sized egos play havoc with our relationships. A Preacher put it wisely: "All sins can be traced to one sin - Pride". Isn`t it true that our pride, self-love and exaggerated sense of importance, lead to broken promises, harsh words, unkind actions and fractured relationships? Isn`t it true that our unreasonable demands on others, strain our relationships with them, when a balanced and even-handed treatment of them would have put life back into the relationship? Isn`t it true that our priorities of wealth, fame and pleasure clash with the priorities of others, who deem such needs as second only to the needs of making  contributions to the deprived, performing a task well and standing up for a lofty cause? Isn`t it true that our understanding of success is not congruent with the way some others measure success? We measure our success by what we have; some others measure their success by what they are. With such opposing views and attitudes, relationships are bound to suffer. Who suffers in the process? WE. "We feel alone, unloved and empty", are the fateful words of Rossiter and Pearce.

Do we want our relationships to count? The choice is ours. If we do, there is only one way of doing it: by
giving and not taking. By viewing with compassion the words and actions of those in the loop we construct, and by forgiving the wrongs done to us. Only then will our words be kind, because there is kindness in our hearts. Only then will our words uplift others, because we genuinely want to encourage others. Only then will our communication be a benediction, because we have no room in our hearts for anything but blessings.

Getting to that level of building relationships through sincere communication is not easy. It was never meant to be. `No pain, no gain`, maybe a cliche, but very appropriate in this situation. We shall have to suffer the pain of reshaping our attitudes to bring happiness into our lives. As some wise and compassionate person wrote: "A life with love will have some thorns. But a life without love will have no roses".

Relationships (Part Two) - My relationships will depend on making myself attractive to others and looking for goodness in them.

Relationships (Part One) - Relationships are about giving, because the measure you give is the measure you will get.