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Relationships: There’s no way around them! posted Apr 7, 2018


Relationships are inevitable. My thinking is that “where there are at least two or more things in one space you will find relationships. Relationships, then, are infinite. If I asked you right this moment to list all the relationships in the room where you are you would grow tired of listing them. Don’t believe me?

List everything in the space including yourself. Now define everything in the setting. Now, compare everything in the space/setting to everything else there. These things and you are in a relationship. Conclusion, you cannot, not be in a relationship.

"The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection"—Napoleon Hill

What does all of this mean?

First of all, you need to know that I am not the author of these ideas, but Milton Erickson, Gregory Bateson, Bradford Keeney and a whole host of others thinkers whose work shaped the field of Family Therapy, my chosen area of study.  Secondly, this brief Intro to Relational ideology means that when you read articles about common relationships that we focus on every day, you will be mentally dealing with a whole lot more.The most elusive thing will be that within every relationship (lovers, friends, parents, siblings, etc) lies a web or other relationships, influencing each person in the background. We call this “context” or things that inform (perhaps authored) each person’s thoughts and/or behaviors.

“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire”—Napoleon Hill

With this said, you must now understand that when you read about couples, friendships, siblings all of the relationships are much more intricate than most people know. And when there is some agreement or understanding/misunderstanding the intricacies show up. This is why we need coaches and therapists. The other (more background) relationships are pushing against our relationships with our friends, comrades, or loved ones. This is one reason that you might seek the help of a therapist. For whatever reason, you cannot or will not acknowledge the context of yours or the other person’s perspective or actions. Instead, you reach what is called an impasse, where you both are pushing against the relationship with the same force but are stuck in a place that is not solving the problem. Get it? Go

 “…in a relationship, all bonds are built on trust without it,  you have nothing.”Maya Angelou

Theory Aside

Now that I’ve gotten that theory stuff out of the way (if that is really possible), I want to bring you into the equation. You are in a relationship with me and these ideas. You are either saying, “Yeah that makes sense,” “Huh, I don’t get it,” or “Who cares just get on with the article about relationships because I need some answers.” The only thing left for me to do is respond—relate as best I can— to each of you.

Makes Sense to Me

Great that you see what I’m suggesting. Thank you because there is nothing more gratifying for a writer or teacher than to transmit information that is understood. I’m sure then that you may have been strangely aware of yourself in an entanglement where you realized that a whole lot more was going on in the relationship, but before now you couldn’t put words to it. We call this thinking about your thinking and behavior— self-reflection. And in a situation such as this, if you could get the other person in the relationship to be self-reflexive too then you just might have the makings of a harmonious relationship, assuming that’s your goal.

       Working on myself, by myself, for myself”—Anonymous

Huh? Don’t Get it.

Let me put it to you this way: People don’t behave the way they do without some influence from something or someone. So, when a person responds or react or not to something or someone they are interacting with that thing or person, putting themselves in so sort of relationship with the other subject. For example, when you watch a sporting event and your respond by cheering, howling, booing, throwing stuff or walking out you are relating to the what is happening within you in response to what is happening in the game.

Now, the context of your behavior (what you did in response to the game) may come from a number of influences—your personality, what you learned from family members on how to engage sporting events, and/or what you see others doing within the context of the event. Understand, however, that these are not the only possible reasons for your response, I’m just trying in my limited way to make sense of your response. Only you really know, sort of. Right, “sort of,” for unless you do some reflecting you may not begin to make sense of your own behavior.

        Assumptions are the termites of relationships”—Henry Winkler

Who Cares?

Ahhh, this response suggests to me that (perhaps) you are only interested in answers to questions you have about your own relationships. Like, “Why can't I find a suitable mate?” Or,” What to do when you can’t get over someone that you still love?” You’re the practical one. And the egg-head concepts like theory, context, self-reflection are irrelevant and immaterial to you. Help is all you’re interested in. Beautiful. I will respect your idea by merely inviting you to enjoy the articles written for the sole purpose of providing you with answers. I hope you’ll find something that will be useful to you.

Final Words

As I stated at the beginning of this paper, relationships are everywhere and ours, yours and mine, has been our connection to the ideas in the paper. I wrote the paper with my ideas in mind, but I connected with you by attempting to write things that you may find intriguing. I also attempted to make sense of your possible thoughts about my ideas, knowing that there are a number of things that may inform your response to the article. So was my attempt to connect with you.

So, I’ll end my end of our engagement by re-quoting Henry Winkler: “Assumptions are the termites of relationships,”  as I can only assume what you must be experiencing which may be totally off base, in which case I have not picked the most effective way to begin our relationship

So, I will end our time together with a simple request “Please, pardon me?”

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