Solving Even the Most Difficult Relationship Puzzles

Relationship Puzzle

by Janet Kellogg

How many of your important relationships have had too short a life span? I’m not talking about short-lived romantic relationships that fizzled out before they really got established or relationships doomed by abusive behavior. I’m talking about the connections we all seek, both intimate and casual, that are important to a fulfilling life but can prove to be the most difficult relationships we attempt:

  • Marriage with a partner whom you knew was totally committed to making it work
  • Close friendships that you wanted to last beyond the foreseeable future
  • Family-to-family friendships where spouses and kids were similar in life stage and interests
  • Partnerships at your workplace with a reputation for producing great results
  • Small group connections with whom you’ve shared vulnerable information
  • Even relationships with parents, siblings, or in-laws that you assumed would “show up” for you
    no matter what

Have you felt deep disappointment or sorrow over a failed relationship and how quickly things fell apart over something you believe it should have survived?

I dare say, we all have! And if you are able to step back and see a bigger picture, it’s very likely it started with a fundamental misunderstanding of each other’s perspectives, intentions, or responses.

Let’s be honest, we each see life and everyone in it through our own lens. And, I’m sure you’ve noticed just how very different your perspectives and motivations can be from others around you. That “lens” is your inner design – your InnerKinetics®.  It’s the source of why you think, feel and act the way you do.

The breakdown of otherwise peaceful relationships doesn’t occur because “it just wasn’t meant to be” . . . or one of you is “broken.” The breakdown occurs because you can’t see or appreciate the complex inner design that is driving them forward.

What drives all people to think, feel, and act the way we do is the result of an internal design we MUST know and better understand.

Think with me for a moment . . .

Regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or personal experiences, we all want to know and be known. And we don’t form meaningful bonds with each other unless, to some degree, we believe we are understood and appreciated. Further, we need each other. We aren’t designed to go it alone! We need the perspectives and talents and strengths that each of us brings to the table to complete the puzzle life represents.

So, how do we move forward with a renewed sense of hope for relationships of all types in our lives?

ANSWER: by seeking to understand the inner design in both yourself and those with whom you are trying to connect.

I believe Proverbs 4:7 says it best:

“ . . . Though it costs all you have, get understanding.”

Without understanding, it’s impossible to resolve conflict and push past the point where many relationships die and stop yielding mutual benefits. We don’t have to agree with each other to appreciate the differences between us. We do have to recognize the value in each other. Conflict is not resolved through trying to eliminate all the differences we see between ourselves and others. That only serves to create a false sense of harmony. Rather, conflict is resolved when we can learn to respect the differences and be happily related to them. That’s when marriage, parenting, partnerships and friendships of all kinds can really grow into their true potential.

Don’t settle for mediocre relationships!

So let’s not settle for status quo or a mediocre version of our lives with others. Don’t buy in to the lie that you just aren’t a “people person” . . . that you are destined to stink at relationships. None of us can be all things to all people, but we can be real. The Real You in each of us has a choice to follow that one GOLDEN RULE we’ve been taught since we were young:

“Do to others what you’d have them to do you.”

So do it! Do for those you love what you’d have them do for you: seek understanding. That’s when we find the GOLD in each other.

If you are ready for more out of your relationships, complete the InnerKinetics® Adult Temperament Key assessment and learn more about how your inner design propels you into healthy relationships.

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