I was recently talking with Sally (not her real name), a friend of mine. She’s a lovely person, the kind that is always there for you. The trouble is, she’s always complaining that she doesn’t get much back so she tends to end up exhausted and resentful.
Sally is a people-pleaser, trying to be all things to all people but, as I’ve said to her again and again – it’s clearly not working for her. Bottom line, she’s not a happy woman. And she’s definitely not the only one.
I went home feeling thoughtful. I ‘recognised’ Sally; I’d been there myself for most of my adult life until I met Alan, the man who became my life coach.
I started thinking about how come my relationships are so rewarding and satisfying when so many of my friends (and clients) often complain how thoughtless, unkind and rude most people are?
Here are the conclusions I came to that can transform your relationships:
- I learned the very hard way that relationships must be reciprocal. Both parties need to give and both parties need to receive. Nothing else works.
- When I meet new people, I expect them to be wonderful. As a self-fulfilling prophecy, it works. That means that – 9 out of 10 – they are.
- To people who are careless, thoughtless and sometimes unkind – I make it clear that their behaviour is unacceptable and that they have a choice: either they change their behaviour or we part company.
This last point is particularly interesting, given my history as a people-pleaser. Over time I came to really get it that I deserve to be treated well.
Letting go of my limiting beliefs about what I deserved to have in my life has transformed my relationships – my relationship with myself and my relationships with others.
If you want to create loving relationships, download a free copy of my e-book ‘It’s Never Too Late to Learn to Love and Be Loved’. It will show you how – one step at a time.