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The 4 Most Important Things In A Good Relationships
Published in SelfGrowth.com 7/05/07

We are all in a variety of relationships and most of us donít know whatís actually critical to relationships. Here are the 4 most important things in a good relationship.

For all of the formulas and words of advice and techniques and tips and artifice that have been published on good relationships, these are the 4 most basic and by far the most important.

  1. You
  2. The other person
  3. Knowledge
  4. Understanding

A good relationship, like almost anything, else is the result of dedication, practice, and desire and these are the 4 things to which you must diligently apply your dedication, practice, and desire.

Sometimes Iím surprised at how easily these 4 things are overlooked when people begin to take a hard look at relationships with an eye toward improving them. Without you and the other person in the first place there is no relationship.

I find when Iím working with people that this is really difficult for them to grasp. There is a "you" and it makes up a lot of the relationship. And that "you" is very complex, very subtle, with considerable nuance and Ė to put it bluntly Ė very picky. Thereís also the "other person" who is just as complex, subtle, nuanced, and certainly, in their own way, every bit as picky as you.

Most people invest very little time, energy or thought into really considering or thinking about themselves or other people "in a relationship". Think about that for a moment. There is a difference between being in a game and being in a relationship. There is a difference between being in a job and being in a relationship. In both of those cases, what usually matters (at least as far as most people are concerned) are the specific skills. Either you can hit the ball or not. Either you can sell cars or not.

In a relationship what matters is your ability to engage the other person successfully. But thatís no easy task. Hereís a little bit of knowledge for you. Thereís an old saying that in any relationship there are six people. The me that I am, the me that I think I am, and the me that you think I am. Then thereís the you that you are, the you that you think you are, and the you that I think you are. Pretty crowded huh?

Again, I ask you to stop and think for a moment. Have you personally given any thought to looking at yourself that way? Your actual being in the world is somewhat different from the way others think you are. You can pretty easily verify this just by polling people who know you. You wonít get the same description from everybody. Everybody will have a somewhat different take on you. Have you really thought about what this means?

Now, ponder for a moment that the same is true for the other person. If you both can recognize this fundamental truth about yourselves and each other you will have taken a big step toward creating a lot more space in your relationship for each other.

If you can sit together and talk about these different selves in a conversational manner in which you are genuinely curious about yourselves, that very act can provide you both with knowledge about you and the other person that can significantly improve your relationship.

If you can let go enough of your own selves enough to listen to the what the other person says there is the possibility of understanding. So very often when the other person is talking instead of listening we are talking inside ourselves. Planning our response. Thatís not listening.

When you can "hear" the knowledge that another person shares with you thatís the most important opportunity you will ever have to understand them. And when you understand another person thatís when you will have the most powerful opportunity to accept them. Or not.

This is what relationships are about. Knowing and understanding yourself, the other person, and the relationship in which you are engaged. Whether you accept the person or not, whether you like the other person or not, these are both kind of irrelevant. If you do, well thatís fine as the relationship will be more pleasant but those arenít necessary to having a relationship nor are they necessary to improving a relationship.

You, the other person, knowledge, and understanding; these are the basic fundamentals of any relationship. If you take away any one of those there will no longer be a relationship.

In the arena of understanding relationships as Iíve described here Human Design is one of the most powerful tools available because it provides an objective and detailed foundation for understanding things about yourself and another person that we generally donít think about at all.

 

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