Beautiful Life Determined By Healthy Relationship

In happy relationships, there are five simultaneous relationships happening. Healthy relationships are based upon each person having a relationship with him-or-herself. The relationship with the self is the basic building block of a relationship. Both parties must have broken through their denial systems to some extent, achieved some modicum of honesty with themselves, and become willing to take responsibility for themselves. In general, each must be a person in his or her own right. If one does not have a relationship with the self, it is truly impossible to have a living process (healthy) relationship; it will not be possible to be honest with the “other” if one is not in contact with oneself.

This relationship with the self is a source of pleasure and expansion and needs time and nurturing in order to grow. In order to have a relationship with the self, it is necessary to have quiet time alone, time to enrich one’s spirituality. A relationship with the self takes time. Truly having a relationship with our own process relates us to the process of the universe.

The next two relationships that occur in healthy relationships are each person’s fantasized relationship with the other. Each person has a fantasy about what is go in on with the other and about who the other is. In healthy relationships, it is necessary to bring these fantasized relationships into the conscious self, explore them, and make them available to and share them with the others. These relationships can be the source of a lot of fun, and as long as we know them for what they are, can add richness to our relationship with ourselves and with others.

A fifth relationship in healthy relationships is the actual relationship that exists between the two people. It is dependent upon the previous four having been developed, maintained, and “cleaned up” if necessary. Not that we have to be perfect to have a relationship; relationships provide a major arena for growth and self-awareness, and paradoxically they have to exist consciously and be worked with for the relationship between the self and other requires taking risks. In order to have this relationship, it is necessary to be able to see the self and the other and to respect the process of both. This relationship is a rich source of information for the self. And it is more than that; it is an opportunity to know and be known.

In healthy relationships, the focus is upon respecting one’s own process. When this happens, each – almost be default – respects the others journey and supports it as well as his or her own.

Healthy relationships imply supporting each other, yet these is no focus upon “fixing” the other person. Each person’s process is respected and it is recognized that each must do what he or she must. It is understood that if I have feelings about what the other does, these are my feelings and I have to handle them as best I can. Commitment is not incarceration. It is each being committed to her or his own process, sharing that process, and respecting the process of the others.

A healthy relationship is an open system, which means that both information that is external to the parties and the relationship are sought, listened to, and resolved. Therefore, in healthy relationships, choices are very important,, and the generation of options opens the possibility to growth and creativity. Choices are not threats.

Relationships are mysterious. Never-the-less, it is fun to play around with some “lists” of ideas for “healthy relationship skills.”

To be able to ‘wait with” the evolution of a relationship.

To be able to be honest when one is not interested or cannot listen.

To recognize and accept one’s own needs and honor them.

To care for, not take care of, the other.

To know that dependency in any form kills relationships; to honor the integrity of the self and the other.

To know that one cannot compromise one’s moral values without eroding the relationship.

To be present to the self and the other and share intimacy where appropriate.

To know that physical loving evolves as intimacy grows.

To know the relationship is only one important aspect of one’s total life.

To be unwilling to turn one’s life over to anyone.

To accept responsibility for one’s own life and recognize the others responsibility for his or her own life.

To be honest with oneself about who the other is and what important values, hopes and fears are not shared.

To see the other and the self clearly, without judgment.

To know that blame has no place in intimacy and to be willing to own one’s mistakes without judgment.

To be able to share “worlds” while maintaining one’s own.

To be present.

To take risks and be vulnerable with the other.

To share feelings as one feels them.

To have and respect boundaries.

To know that suffering is not love – pain will occur; suffering is a choice.

To live one’s own process and respect the process of the other, whatever it is.

To know that love cannot be created or manipulated. Love is a gift.

 

Tips To Make You Are In Honeymoon Forever

I mean, the only thing between you and that state of despair is your pride and surely love is better for one day than pride for a lifetime?

“NOTHING IS IN THE WAY, ONLY ON THE WAY. Yes, that’s the way to think about relationships.

You can control 50% of your life. Choose which 50% carefully. All people can only control 50% of their life but they don’t know which 50% they value controlling. So they end up trying to control all their life which is impossible. It’s called half hearted living. Do you want half hearted life? I doubt it and if you do, stop reading this article now.

You want to put your whole heart into what you do because there are no half hearted success stories. So, sometimes you have to control your wealth but let go control at home. It depends on your values doesn’t it.

NEVER GIVE 100%

The reason people get in a mess with love and relationships is that they think that a relationship is the be all and end all of life. Most people who admire love and relationships are depressed, like RUMI and Romeo. They weren’t happy. All their life (and poetry) was spent moaning that they couldn’t enjoy themselves without love and relationships. Gosh, there’s a whole world out there to love.

Relationships don’t solve problems. They actually bring problems to the surface, sort of make them worse. Relationships magnify problems. They feed on them. Sometimes people hope that their love and relationship will solve problems. It’s very seductive. I will solve all your problems and make your dreams come true, the sex is great and the promise is fabulous. Relationships promise to will solve problems but they don’t. The closest a relationship gets to solving a problem is that it makes having a problem less intense because it feels like there’s a second person going in to bat for you in life. But in my experience, even that has its limits.

The other reason people get into a mess in relationships is that they put too much mush into them. If you divide life into seven equal parts like: career, money, health, intelligence, friends, self and relationship you get a rough idea about the real context of relationship. A relationship is not life, love is. And you can’t love one person and hate another. 99% of relationship failure is caused by unresolved judgements about someone in the past, or their sister’s past or their brother’s past or their parent’s. They grind that axe and hold onto all sorts of distaste so then they can’t love that in their current partner either. Remember that every person has every trait. It’s like sucking a dog poo lolly while kissing a prince. It’s going to make a difference. The taste alone of a judgement or hate that’s dragging itself through a person’s life becomes permanent. They taste crap even when they meet their soul mate. So, smart thing would be to use mouthwash. Process dirty laundry from the past, emotional baggage and really turn up.

This is what makes the difference for me.

I value that life is a journey and even pain is important to teach and guide us. My pain has a purpose and so, when I have it, I let all the pain in and don’t hold onto anything. Sometimes I’ve gone for help to finish a discard form, other times I’ve been through a ream of paper, 400 sheets of paper, listing the discard. For me, opening my heart again to love each day is a big value. I make sure there are no grudges or regrets about anything in my life. By doing this, I learn more about myself, my work, my life, my people, my human nature in six minutes than a meditator learns in a lifetime.

Pains and challenges don’t get easier, but they do get shorter. My first heartbreak heart took 3 years to deal with, the last one, 3 hours. Yes, I’m good at the forms, but I do practice between performances, I do them regularly on little things so I’m confident on the big things.

So, here’s the rub about love and life from my viewpoint.

You can’t go wrong. You can’t go wrong trying. You can only go wrong half trying.
If you are in doubt pull out.
If you are being safe, or self protective, or cautious in love, it’s over.
There is no half.
You and your baggage come into the relationship boots and all. Otherwise it’s a joke, and you’ll be the punch line.
Give all and if it ends cop it sweet, right in the heart.
Love your ex, unconditionally.
A few hints on being confident and putting 100% of your heart into a relationship.

Create a routine that works for you as if you are single or as if you were single and do not change one molecule of it when you are double except you might swap out going to the pub with friends for a date night.

Compromise kills love and therefore relationships. You get to know yourself you keep doing those things that make you a good you even when you are in a relationship.

Focus on love in the other six areas of life as well as relationship. It’s the overloading of relationship with too much pressure to create happiness that causes their failure.

Focus on fulfilment and be fulfilled when you enter a relationship – don’t burden your relationship with the job of making you happy. The purpose of relationships is not happiness, and, happiness is like an Ogre, always hungry, never satisfied. Turn up in your relationship already fulfilled – then your relationship can last a lifetime.

Don’t focus on trying to please your partner all the time, you might be making a huge mistake.

Don’t wish for or start looking for someone with the same values as you. Someone who is pleased by the same things as you. That notion is so self-destructive. That’s a bitter pill. No mouthwash can kill the flavour of being a disappointed lover. If you think the essence of a great relationship is finding someone who wants what you want and thinks like you think about work and life, you will be hurting forever. No need for that.

Be True to Yourself

Remember that there’s only one person on earth who thinks like you, who wants what you want and who needs what you need in the quantities that you need. And that person is you. If you think you found a like minded soul, this is possible but if you think that they will want what you want in the order you want it in, think again. Anyone who gives you the impression that they want what you want in the order you want it, is tricking, seducing and manipulating you by making things easy. They are just making you happy so you surrender to them.

Trust nature, if two people are the same, one of them isn’t necessary. If you do find an exact replica, a person who thinks like you, resonates with you, walks and talks like you and wants what you want, then wear a hard hat because they will soon ask you to change.

All relationships are based on differences.

If there are seven areas of life, and your priorities are spiritual, mental and financial in that order, you can bet everything you own that their bottom three priorities will be financial, mental and spiritual in that order. This is how nature works. It’s not wrong. Deep down, the human spirit is non complaint. Only on the surface can we cause another person to subjugate their values. Deep down, intrinsically, we are all very powerful.

BE REAL

There are two sides to everyone. So, know the negatives and the positives of everyone and simply focus on the good news. That’s romantic. That’s seduction. It means “to please. ” So we seduce each other by focussing on what works, not criticising the 50% that doesn’t work. If you think you are without that 50/50 balance of positive and negative, go interview your ex partner, your kids or parents. They’ll give it to you with both barrels.

If your expectations of a partner are anything other than 50/50 positive negative then you are fantasising and this is great short term but eventually it’ll hurt you and them. You do what you can to seduce your date, but really, it’s an act. Deeply, you could if you chose, focus on the bad news or the good news. If you want a good home, be diligent, know the balance, focus on the good news.

People want their long term needs met.

Seduce means to give others what they want, and it will be very different to what you’d want if you were them. And this is why relationships are so challenging. While you are getting seduced you dream that this getting, this satisfaction is going to last forever. But your needs will expand and their needs will expand and you’ll eventually feel that your needs are not being met in some area. And then there’s a test.

Now what? Now that you find you’ve married someone who wants things you don’t want, what are you going to do? You know this is inevitable so do you get single while in a relationship, and just self-gratify, hoping to one day meet your perfect self in another person, or do you realise that by giving to your lover what they want they give to you what you want?

Are you one of the people who get into relationships with enthusiasm and then spend the rest of the time you are in it thinking about whether you made the right choice? This is human, but you need to shut that down by looking around at other people going, “my goodness, my partner has that but in a different form, my partner is therefore better, they are perfect. ”

Confusion or Clarity

Western ideology means we want what we haven’t got, so, when you are with one person (relationship) you want to be with the many (single) and when you are with the many (single) you want one (relationship)… in other words when you are single being double looks brilliant and when you are double being single looks like nirvana.

That’s the epitome of western ideology. We want what we haven’t got. It’s the driving force of the consumer society, our culture, our religions… simply we are conditioned to “want what we haven’t got. ” And this presents an dilemma for those who love the commercial world of business. If business success comes from wanting what you haven’t got, then are you doomed to continual dissatisfaction in relationship?

The whole business and financial model of the world runs on “wanting what we haven’t got – consumerism” even in Maoist countries it’s what feeds people. But at home, in love and relationship maybe the opposite works better.

In love “I need nothing, I want nothing and therefore I have everything” the Eastern model of want what you’ve got, is best.

I teach clients who have been in long term relationships a great game. Would you like to read about that? If so read on:

So, here’s the rub about Eastern thinking in a Western relationship. Lets say you are a woman, 29 and feel very beautiful in your clothes and body and work and life and you are dating a short fat man who has no money, smelly armpits, a hairy chest and eats like a pig on heat. So, you look up from your meal and there he is with food down his shirt, spaghetti on his bald head and snot dripping from his nose. He is making a grunting sound and his knife and fork haven’t left the napkin. His hands are up to their elbows in tomato sauce and he is on the phone talking to his ex. You look just past him and there is Brad Pitt. You slide off the chair in bliss. Your mind drifts and you are no longer at the table with short, fat, bald man you have left your body at the table and are sitting on Brad’s knee and he’s happy to see you if you know what I mean. So, now you want what you haven’t got right?

And in Western life, that’s unhappiness, dissatisfaction, lost interest, doubt, unromantic, heart closed, argument coming, gee I wish I wasn’t stuck in this horrible relationship thinking. Yes?

Here’s the genius for dealing with wanting what you haven’t got in a relationship (sabotage)

Imagine that there’s a competition and your child is in a race. Your kid is not the greatest runner, so they always lose. At the end they come up to you crying because they lost the race so what do you say to them? You find something to celebrate like “well, you didn’t come first but you were the best starter, or you didn’t win the running race but you went faster than you’ve done before or you looked great or tried hardest” Somehow you extract a take away from the event that proves an amazing universal truth. In every competition, everyone is a winner. That’s a universal law, not a platitude.

In nature, nothing is missing. So, although you might be looking across the table at Mr Piggy and looking past him to Brad Pitt, in nature’s eyes, they are equal. There is nothing Brad Pitt has got that your partner hasn’t. The only question is “what form?” Now, before we get into that I want to make a point clear. To compare your partner with other potential candidates is human. To have questions and see other attractive people is human. Even wearing one of those “Ned Kelly” helmets as some religions do to prevent people being attracted to them, is not going to prevent it. We compare, life is, nature is, competitive.

Apply that to business or sport and you are a winner. Apply it to relationship and you will be a loser. Don’t get messed up thinking you need to be Eastern in everything or you’ll end up half engaged in work and half engaged at home. You need to be diverse, open and have both. Apply the Western model of “I want what I haven’t got” to your work and sport and apply the Eastern model of “I want what I’ve got” to your relationship and health.

If I can be of any help in this please book a guidance session, a consult or a business seminar…

With Spirit

Chris

 

Equality and Balancing On Relationship

Which of us hasn’t dreamed of finally finding and keeping our perfect relationship? What if we are in a partnership that is confusing and always changing? How do we cope with the loss and heartache relationships can sometimes bring? What if we don’t seem to be attracting any kind of intimate interactions at all?

The working dynamics of good relationships are for many of us one of the greatest mysteries of life. It is a secret each of us seeks to unravel from the day we are aware there is more than one of us around. Why do interpersonal interactions — something we are all engaged in every day, every minute, every second of our lives — sometimes seem so challenging, complicated, confusing, difficult, and mysterious?

The quality of our partnerships with others actually reflects the quality of the relationships we have with ourselves. Do we know who we are, and do we like who that is? Do we believe we are worthy and deserve unconditional love? While we may know how we would like someone to love us, do we love ourselves that way already? Do we trust and accept all parts of ourselves? The bottom line for most all of us is we simply would like to be loved and accepted for who we are, for our real selves.

MALE AND FEMALE TEMPLATES

As we change our inner definition or template of our male and female selves to a place of balance and self-acceptance, we are able to attract someone who is more reflective of our true counterpart. Even if we are balanced with our inner masculine reflection, if we do not like our own femininity, we would be unable to create a truly balanced relationship for ourselves.

One aspect many people do not give much thought to is that we look to our partners to reflect aspects of ourselves back to us. For example, if we are a woman, our partner is holding a place for us so we can better understand the feminine part of ourselves. If we are a male, our partner is holding a place for us to understand the masculine part of ourselves. Although this may be the opposite way most people view their relationships, how, if we were a woman, would we be better able to understand what type of woman we were unless someone could reflect it back to us as we interact with them?

THE TASK OF ANY RELATIONSHIP

The task of any relationship is always to find ourselves, to understand ourselves, to be the complete and natural selves we already are. The only true relationship we ever really have is the one we have with ourselves. Everything else, every other interaction, whether we might realize it or not, is simply a reflection. As long as we resist being our natural, balanced selves, the real us, we continue to always attract relationships that will serve to remind us of what and who we are not. Resisting who we are will, therefore, usually attracts relationships that are unfulfilling, or ones where we have to work very hard. By being fully and completely who we are, we then attract relationships that reflect back to us the fullness of our creative being. It is the age old adage: What we put out is what we get back.

FUNCTIONING HALF COMPLETE

Many of us function as if we are only half complete. If we project the vibration of half of an individual, looking around for someone else to complete us, we attract an incomplete relationship. The resulting interaction with anyone attracted in this manner will usually come up short of what we ideally desire. Entering into any interaction from the viewpoint we need the relationship to feel complete, results in the relationship continuing to reflect and remind us of our belief in our incompleteness. What we will have is a partnership made up of two half people, truly satisfying to neither person. When we know we are a relationship unto ourselves, complete and sufficient within ourselves, we set up a vibration that attracts someone with those same qualities and assurance. Too many times people make out long, wonderful lists of all the attributes they wish their perfect partner to have. The question to ask is, are we all those things? Do we have all those attributes? Unless we are able to reflect the type of vibrational being we choose to attract, how will we ever be seen and recognized by someone who does?

WHAT DO WE ATTRACT IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS?

We always attract our definition of what we think we are capable of attracting, no matter what may be on our wish list. The first question we should ask ourselves (the most basic question for any relationship) is: What do we get out of it? What do we get out of having a relationship with so and so? Secondly, what did we learn about ourselves by being in that relationship? We primarily attract situations to ourselves that create interactions, allowing us to continue to accelerate, serve, and learn who we are. We can do this with ease, grace, love, and joy, or through the school of hard knocks. The choice is always ours.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE

The reason for relating to someone else is for the opportunity to share who we are. Approaching a relationship as an opportunity to share attracts individuals who reflect our belief in our own completeness. When our relationships are set up this way, we are able to interact with the other person as two complete individuals coming together to share experiences. We will both know and experience the idea of personal fulfillment.

THE RESULTS OF EXPECTATIONS AND JUDGMENTS

When we put expectations or value judgments on the outcome of our relationships, we never actually get to experience the real reason we created the particular interaction in the first place. For this reason, it is important to accept relationships for what they are. If we invalidate what we have drawn into our lives, we are really invalidating ourselves.

BALANCED RELATIONSHIPS

It is important to understand why we have drawn certain individuals into our lives. We usually have attracted others to allow ourselves the opportunity to grow and to give us more information about who we are. The idea is not to become like each other. The idea is to allow each individual to be the strongest, healthiest, most balanced individual they can possibly be. Sometimes we might forget this because we think unity is the product of conformity. Unity is the product of granting and allowing equality to uniqueness and diversity. In a balanced relationship, we do not lose our individuality — just the opposite occurs. We each become stronger reflections for each other of all that is possible for each of us. The purpose of any relationship is to allow us to be more of who we choose to be. It is like looking into a mirror and seeing another aspect of ourselves. This does not mean our relationships will be an exact 1-1 reflection of who we each are. Rather, our relationships become a reflection of what the two of us have agreed to learn and teach each other.

The best possible relationship is a balanced sharing, without dependency. Each party in a relationship has strong, natural attributes that can assist the other in their growth. If our support is aimed at creating a space for our partner or friend to grow in their own self-support, the relationship will be a happy and flourishing one. Think of it this way. Instead of constantly doling out small pieces of bread, wouldn’t it be of true, lasting benefit to teach someone how to bake their own bread? If we are in a relationship where we are giving, giving, giving, it sends out the message to our partners that we do not believe they have the ability to match or mock up their own vibrations of completeness and sufficiency. Offer support to others as long as it does not represent the idea we are taking on responsibility for them. We cannot really be responsibility for other adults. Our attempts to do this usually leads us very quickly to examine our own issues about boundaries, because taking on another person’s responsibilities brings us outside of where we prefer to be. The idea of responsibility is not to lay the blame on anyone, rather it allows us the freedom to choose what we prefer.

In a balanced relationship, each of us can still do what we prefer to do. We don’t have to change our lives just because someone else disapproves. There is no reason to attempt to be anything that we are not. Doing that only brings us more of what we are not. We will only become more uncomfortable, unhappy, unhealthy, and unsuccessful, if we keep trying to be something we are not. It is vital to express who we are, be who we are, and say what we think. We should only change our lives because we choose to, and because we are becoming more completely the real us. If we know we are functioning in true personal integrity, even if others around us don’t like it or want us to change, we continue to be who we are.

If we are doing what we enjoy and love in life, it very quickly provides us confirmation of who we really are. The idea is always to relax, have fun and be ourselves. Remember, anyone we attract into our lives by being ourselves belongs in our lives. Being of service to ourselves and others is only possible when we are complete within our own selves. If we are not fully ourselves, then the other person is not really in a relationship with the real us anyway!

“WRONG” RELATIONSHIPS

Why would any of us create a whole series of wrong relationships? The reason itself is basically very simple. Either we have forgotten who we are, or we are afraid to accept who we are. Who we are is actually our naturally centered selves in a state of balance and complete self-acceptance. As long as we resist being our natural, balanced selves, the real us, we will not attract harmonious, long lasting, or healthy relationships.

Once we become true to ourselves, we automatically attract the right person to ourselves, even as we move through changes. If someone decides to change or leave a relationship with us, realize their energy is no longer in harmony with ours. Therefore, by understanding this even if someone leaves us nothing will really be missing. We cannot miss anything from a vibration that we are not truly a part of.

HOW DO WE SHOW WE REALLY LOVE SOMEONE?

We can really show we love somebody by accepting them for who they are and by allowing them to be just where they already are. It is very important not to put any expectation on how it must be, or regret how it was or was not. When we live in the moment and trust ourselves enough to be in each and every moment, we always attract whomever is appropriate for ourselves. The best advice ever given for relationships is to trust, let go, and be ourselves. Trust is the glue for any relationship — the trust we feel for ourselves, as well as the trust we have with others.

WHAT INGREDIENT WILL INSURE OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE ENHANCING?

All relationships, when created through a sense of integrity, are fundamentally enhancing. Relationships are meant to expand and evolve. If our relationships restrict us and cause us to inhibit and repress our true selves, we need to ask ourselves very quickly what are we still doing in the those relationships? What lessons are we learning from staying in these situations? If relationships are created from a point of dishonesty — and it could even be we are dishonest with ourselves, or with the other people about our truth — then these types of relationships will act as exclusive, disharmonic interactions. If we are able to let go of fear in our relationships, we become compassionately supportive and allowing of the other person so they, in turn, can be true to themselves. It is up to us to set the example first. The negative side of support is manipulation and interdependency and this makes everyone feel icky.

Some of us may have a fear that being a strong individual will cause problems or separation and may eventually push us away from one another. However, this is not true in a healthy relationship. The point is not to lean on anyone, the idea is to support them. In supporting them, we become supported. More importantly, we all need to practice unconditional love, acceptance, and support for ourselves. This is what allows us to trust and know, no matter what changes are made. Know, by divine law, we are never cut off from anything that is truly intended for us.

CHANGE

When we come from a place of integrity and changes occur then the changes belong in our lives. Fear of change is usually the fear of losing something. If we understand everything is happening as it needs to, then we never need to fear losing anything. It is usually only the fear of the change that prevents us from changing along with our partners. By letting go of our fears, we will know that no matter how much we might change, we will attract whatever and whoever is representative, harmonious, and unified with our changes.

If we allow change into our lives as we naturally grow and evolve — instead of resisting it or pretending it isn’t happening — the vast amounts of energy we used to put into resisting change become available for our own creative purposes. It has been said the only constant thing in this world is change. As we honor the changes that occur in our lives, we will find we no longer experience others who have made the choice to live and act differently. We will interact and co-create with those who exist on the same level as we do, with similar natures and vibrations. The best way to share our wisdom and ideas is to simply be an example ourselves.

“CHANGING” OUR PARTNERS

If we feel we have to mold, change, or manipulate our partners, the relationship bears examination. When we force someone to do something, it is a statement that we believe we will never really get what we are after, or that the person we are with will not be able to give it to us. When we force changes in our relationships, even if certain changes occur for awhile, our relationships are no longer in balance or integrity. Sooner or later the individuals who are being forced to go against their true selves will be forced to leave as the relationship is no longer a reflection of the real them.

Force is a non-integrated, distorted way of taking action. Remember, everyone naturally moves at the perfect rate and speed for themselves already. There is never any positive reason to accelerate someone (by force) to look and accept things they are not ready for. Even if they would be able to hear or see some part of the lesson we are attempting to force down their throats, until they are ready, in their own time and place, they will never grasp a true understanding of the lesson we are forcing them to learn. And because of our intervention, their original lesson became distorted and is much more difficult and confusing for them to learn. Usually, once interfered with, they will have to recreate their lesson all over again in an effort to counterbalance our interference.

Someone is ready to truly gain from our assistance and wisdom when they ask, of their own free will, for our guidance and insight. In such an instance, truth and wisdom is then shared, understood, and integrated in just the right way. The other person, by the fact of their asking, is in just the right place and state where they can truly hear, know and understand what we have to offer.

SAFETY

If we feel we need to keep ourselves safe or protect ourselves, we end up limiting the type of relationships we can create. We hear often from others that they are not currently in relationship because it does not feel safe. Two things might be the cause. If we feel we need safety, we may somehow feel we are in a relationship that will not allow us to be our real selves. On the other hand, if we are in a relationship that is not satisfying, but we stay in it because we feel safe, maybe we are not safe with the idea of taking full responsibility for who and what we are, and who and what we could be. As soon as we stop resisting our natural selves, our reality will automatically change to allow loving and supportive relationships to come into our lives.

In some cases, people feel they need safety to avoid being in a position where they could be abandoned or vulnerable. Some of us would rather be alone than express our true inner needs. If we are in a relationship where we do not feel safe or comfortable expressing our deepest inner needs, we are alone anyway. We are simply alone together.

COMPLETE TRUST
Trust really boils down to our own ability to trust ourselves. Complete trust occurs when we have an absolute knowingness we deserve to exist. Do we have to do something special in order to deserve to exist? No. We simply have to be. Creation has already decreed we deserve to exist. Can we give ourselves the same acknowledgment, respect, and love? We have a Divine right to exist in the manner we choose, simply because we prefer it! There is no other reason needed.

COMMUNICATION

Most of the problems that occur in relationships are caused by what is not being said, rather than what is said. Non communication, or withheld communication, is simply another way many of us hold back the real us from our partner. The problem with unspoken communication is more complex than might first be perceived. Saying “everything is all right,” when we are thinking “drop dead,” won’t fool the other person for very long. Our real heart’s truth and our honest feelings will always be psychically picked up by the other person on some level. Count on it! This is an ability we all have. It is the same sense that tells us when there has been a big fight or disagreement as we step into a strangely quiet and tense room. It is the same sense that we use psychically to energetically scan large groups of strangers at a party, as we decide who would be interesting to spend an evening getting to know.

Direct unspoken communication is often used by intent by a man we know, well versed in martial arts. He uses it to defeat very powerful and well known karate masters. Gifted in his own right, this particular gentleman is very aware of the power of unspoken communication and uses it to his advantage. As he takes his preliminary bows before his match begins, he smiles on the outside while mentally projecting extreme violence towards his opponent. His opponent energetically and mentally picks up these projected waves of discordant energy. These waves temporarily short out his opponents’ power centers, making it almost impossible for them to defend themselves as the bout begins.

Every relationship, in order to grow and flourish, requires open and honest communication coming from a point of inner truth and balance. Honest communication enables the other person to truly relate and to have a relationship with who we actually are. Open, clear, conscious communication enables the other person to observe and act with trust, for they know where they stand. By being clear and direct, they won’t be receiving one message from us verbally and another mismatched or opposing one psychically. It is time to share what is in our hearts with truth, trust, honest, and clarity.

SUMMARY

True creative relationships are expressed and experienced from a state of relaxed trust and creative joy. Relationships are simply learning how to play with each other, how to love and accept ourselves unconditionally, and how to trust who and what we are. When we share ourselves in a relationship, we will feel our own sense of completeness, and we will realize we are never alone. Allow yourselves to remember the world is magical, and allow that magic and enchantment back into your life. Be who you are, and do the things you love to do as often as you can! That is really the only way to really live our lives.

 

Things You Should Know About Relationship Therapy

“Maybe if I have this client blink his eyes at an increased speed, while exposing him to his past, and add some cognitive behavioral therapy while sitting next to a waterfall, he may be able to function more effectively in his life!” Yes this is rather exaggerated, however it demonstrates the idea that as professionals in the field of therapy, we often seek complex theories, techniques, and strategies to more effectively treat our consumers. A large amount of our precious time is spent seeking new theories and techniques to treat clients; evidence for this statement is shown by the thousands of theories and techniques that have been created to treat clients seeking therapy.

The fact that theories are being created and the field is growing is absolutely magnificent; however we may be searching for something that has always been right under our nose. Clinicians often enjoy analyzing and making things more intricate that they actually are; when in reality what works is rather simple. This basic and uncomplicated ingredient for successful therapy is what will be explored in this article. This ingredient is termed the therapeutic relationship. Some readers may agree and some may disagree, however the challenge is to be open minded and remember the consequences of “contempt prior to investigation”.

Any successful therapy is grounded in a continuous strong, genuine therapeutic relationship or more simply put by Rogers, the “Helping Relationship”. Without being skilled in this relationship, no techniques are likely to be effective. You are free to learn, study, research and labor over CBT, DBT, EMDR, RET, and ECT as well as attending infinite trainings on these and many other techniques, although without mastering the art and science of building a therapeutic relationship with your client, therapy will not be effective. You can even choose to spend thousands of dollars on a PhD, PsyD, Ed.D, and other advanced degrees, which are not being put down, however if you deny the vital importance of the helping relationship you will again be unsuccessful. Rogers brilliantly articulated this point when he said, “Intellectual training and the acquiring of information has, I believe many valuable results–but, becoming a therapist is not one of those results (1957).”

This author will attempt to articulate what the therapeutic relationship involves; questions clinicians can ask themselves concerning the therapeutic relationship, as well as some empirical literature that supports the importance of the therapeutic relationship. Please note that therapeutic relationship, therapeutic alliance, and helping relationship will be used interchangeably throughout this article.

Characteristic of the Therapeutic Relationship

The therapeutic relationship has several characteristics; however the most vital will be presented in this article. The characteristics may appear to be simple and basic knowledge, although the constant practice and integration of these characteristic need to be the focus of every client that enters therapy. The therapeutic relationship forms the foundation for treatment as well as large part of successful outcome. Without the helping relationship being the number one priority in the treatment process, clinicians are doing a great disservice to clients as well as to the field of therapy as a whole.

The following discussion will be based on the incredible work of Carl Rogers concerning the helping relationship. There is no other psychologist to turn to when discussing this subject, than Dr. Rogers himself. His extensive work gave us a foundation for successful therapy, no matter what theory or theories a clinician practices. Without Dr. Rogers outstanding work, successful therapy would not be possible.

Rogers defines a helping relationship as , ” a relationship in which one of the participants intends that there should come about , in one or both parties, more appreciation of, more expression of, more functional use of the latent inner resources of the individual ( 1961).” There are three characteristics that will be presented that Rogers states are essential and sufficient for therapeutic change as well as being vital aspects of the therapeutic relationship (1957). In addition to these three characteristics, this author has added two final characteristic that appear to be effective in a helping relationship.

1. Therapist’s genuineness within the helping relationship. Rogers discussed the vital importance of the clinician to “freely and deeply” be himself. The clinician needs to be a “real” human being. Not an all knowing, all powerful, rigid, and controlling figure. A real human being with real thoughts, real feelings, and real problems (1957). All facades should be left out of the therapeutic environment. The clinician must be aware and have insight into him or herself. It is important to seek out help from colleagues and appropriate supervision to develop this awareness and insight. This specific characteristic fosters trust in the helping relationship. One of the easiest ways to develop conflict in the relationship is to have a “better than” attitude when working with a particular client.

2. Unconditional positive regard. This aspect of the relationship involves experiencing a warm acceptance of each aspect of the clients experience as being a part of the client. There are no conditions put on accepting the client as who they are. The clinician needs to care for the client as who they are as a unique individual. One thing often seen in therapy is the treatment of the diagnosis or a specific problem. Clinicians need to treat the individual not a diagnostic label. It is imperative to accept the client for who they are and where they are at in their life. Remember diagnoses are not real entities, however individual human beings are.

3. Empathy. This is a basic therapeutic aspect that has been taught to clinicians over and over again, however it is vital to be able to practice and understand this concept. An accurate empathetic understanding of the client’s awareness of his own experience is crucial to the helping relationship. It is essential to have the ability to enter the clients “private world” and understand their thoughts and feelings without judging these (Rogers, 1957).

4. Shared agreement on goals in therapy. Galileo once stated, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can just help him to find it within himself.” In therapy clinicians must develop goals that the client would like to work on rather than dictate or impose goals on the client. When clinicians have their own agenda and do not cooperate with the client, this can cause resistance and a separation in the helping relationship (Roes, 2002). The fact is that a client that is forced or mandated to work on something he has no interest in changing, may be compliant for the present time; however these changes will not be internalized. Just think of yourself in your personal life. If you are forced or coerced to work on something you have no interest in, how much passion or energy will you put into it and how much respect will you have for the person doing the coercing. You may complete the goal; however you will not remember or internalize much involved in the process.

5. Integrate humor in the relationship. In this authors own clinical experience throughout the years, one thing that has helped to establish a strong therapeutic relationship with clients is the integration of humor in the therapy process. It appears to teach clients to laugh at themselves without taking life and themselves too serious. It also allows them to see the therapist as a down to earth human being with a sense of humor. Humor is an excellent coping skill and is extremely healthy to the mind, body, and spirit. Try laughing with your clients. It will have a profound effect on the relationship as well as in your own personal life.

Before delving into the empirical literature concerning this topic, it is important to present some questions that Rogers recommends (1961) asking yourself as a clinician concerning the development of a helping relationship. These questions should be explored often and reflected upon as a normal routine in your clinical practice. They will help the clinician grow and continue to work at developing the expertise needed to create a strong therapeutic relationship and in turn the successful practice of therapy.

1. Can I be in some way which will be perceived by the client as trustworthy, dependable, or consistent in some deep sense?

2. Can I be real? This involves being aware of thoughts and feelings and being honest with yourself concerning these thoughts and feelings. Can I be who I am? Clinicians must accept themselves before they can be real and accepted by clients.

3. Can I let myself experience positive attitudes toward my client – for example warmth, caring, respect) without fearing these? Often times clinicians distance themselves and write it off as a “professional” attitude; however this creates an impersonal relationship. Can I remember that I am treating a human being, just like myself?

4. Can I give the client the freedom to be who they are?

5. Can I be separate from the client and not foster a dependent relationship?

6. Can I step into the client’s private world so deeply that I lose all desire to evaluate or judge it?

7. Can I receive this client as he is? Can I accept him or her completely and communicate this acceptance?

8. Can I possess a non-judgmental attitude when dealing with this client?

9. Can I meet this individual as a person who is becoming, or will I be bound by his past or my past?

Empirical Literature

There are obviously too many empirical studies in this area to discuss in this or any brief article, however this author would like to present a summary of the studies throughout the years and what has been concluded.

Horvath and Symonds (1991) conducted a Meta analysis of 24 studies which maintained high design standards, experienced therapists, and clinically valid settings. They found an effect size of .26 and concluded that the working alliance was a relatively robust variable linking therapy process to outcomes. The relationship and outcomes did not appear to be a function of type of therapy practiced or length of treatment.

Another review conducted by Lambert and Barley (2001), from Brigham Young University summarized over one hundred studies concerning the therapeutic relationship and psychotherapy outcome. They focused on four areas that influenced client outcome; these were extra therapeutic factors, expectancy effects, specific therapy techniques, and common factors/therapeutic relationship factors. Within these 100 studies they averaged the size of contribution that each predictor made to outcome. They found that 40% of the variance was due to outside factors, 15% to expectancy effects, 15% to specific therapy techniques, and 30% of variance was predicted by the therapeutic relationship/common factors. Lambert and Barley (2001) concluded that, “Improvement in psychotherapy may best be accomplished by learning to improve ones ability to relate to clients and tailoring that relationship to individual clients.”

One more important addition to these studies is a review of over 2000 process-outcomes studies conducted by Orlinsky, Grave, and Parks (1994), which identified several therapist variables and behaviors that consistently demonstrated to have a positive impact on treatment outcome. These variables included therapist credibility, skill, empathic understanding, affirmation of the client, as well as the ability to engage the client and focus on the client’s issues and emotions.

Finally, this author would like to mention an interesting statement made by Schore (1996). Schore suggests “that experiences in the therapeutic relationship are encoded as implicit memory, often effecting change with the synaptic connections of that memory system with regard to bonding and attachment. Attention to this relationship with some clients will help transform negative implicit memories of relationships by creating a new encoding of a positive experience of attachment.” This suggestion is a topic for a whole other article, however what this suggests is that the therapeutic relationship may create or recreate the ability for clients to bond or develop attachments in future relationships. To this author, this is profound and thought provoking. Much more discussion and research is needed in this area, however briefly mentioning it sheds some light on another important reason that the therapeutic relationship is vital to therapy.

Throughout this article the therapeutic relationship has been discussed in detail, questions to explore as a clinician have been articulated, and empirical support for the importance of the therapeutic relationship have been summarized. You may question the validity of this article or research, however please take an honest look at this area of the therapy process and begin to practice and develop strong therapeutic relationships. You will see the difference in the therapy process as well as client outcome. This author experiences the gift of the therapeutic relationship each and every day I work with clients. In fact, a client recently told me that I was “the first therapist he has seen since 9-11 that he trusted and acted like a real person. He continued on to say, “that’s why I have the hope that I can get better and actually trust another human being.” That’s quite a reward of the therapeutic relationship and process. What a gift!

Ask yourself, how you would like to be treated if you were a client? Always remember we are all part of the human race and each human being is unique and important, thus they should be treated that way in therapy. Our purpose as clinicians is to help other human beings enjoy this journey of life and if this field isn’t the most important field on earth I don’t know what is. We help determine and create the future of human beings. To conclude, Constaquay, Goldfried, Wiser, Raue, and Hayes (1996) stated, ” It is imperative that clinicians remember that decades of research consistently demonstrates that relationship factors correlate more highly with client outcome than do specialized treatment techniques.”

 

Time When You Need Relationship Coaching

Relationship Coaching is the application of coaching to personal and business relationships. While many become motivated to seek help when struggling with their relationships, coaching and relationship coaching are positive, results-oriented professions that help functional people achieve their personal and relationship goals and is not a substitute or replacement for therapy provided by a licensed clinician trained to treat mental, emotional, and psychological disorders. While relationship coaches might be experts in relationships, the art and science of coaching is to facilitate success for the client without providing advice or “professional opinions.”

Origins

The label “relationship coach” has been used for many years by professionals (Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, etc.) and entrepreneurial para-professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

With the evolution of personal/life coaching as a recognized profession in 1995 with training standards and certification initially established by the International Coach Federation, relationship coaching as a coaching specialty with its own professional training, standards, certification and methodologies was first developed in 1997.

Relationship Coaching Specialties

Singles Coaching

44% of U.S. adults are single, and 27% of adults live alone. If this trend continues, soon, the majority of the population of the western world will be single.

Helping singles have fulfilling lives and successful relationships requires understanding that not all singles are alike and most do not fit the stereotype of being lonely and desperate for relationship.

Here are seven types of singles:

  1. Temporarily Single-actively seeking a partner and in between relationships
  2. Recently Divorced/Widowed-recovering from loss and not ready for a relationship
  3. Frustrated Single-wants a partner, not able to find one and gives up
  4. Passive Single- wants a relationship but not actively seeking a partner
  5. Single But Not Available- self-perception of being single and desires a lasting relationship, but “hooking up” to get needs met
  6. Busy/Distracted Single-absorbed in being a single parent, career, school, etc. and doesn’t have time or desire for partner
  7. Single by Choice- no desire for a partner, being single is a conscious permanent lifestyle choice for many reasons, including –
    • “Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again”
    • “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
    • Ascetic or other religious/spiritual reason
    • Loner
    • Values independence more than couplehood
    • Polyamory/alternative lifestyle that doesn’t lend itself to cohabitation
    • Celibate/asexual
    • Financial reasons
    • Aging
    • Health

Each type of single has their own unique developmental goals and challenges requiring specialized skills and strategies to effectively coach them to experience relationship success independent of the advice-driven approaches of other professions.

Couples Coaching

As with singles, not all couples are alike. Here are four types of couples:

    1. Dating Couples: Self identify as “single” but have an on-going, non-exclusive relationship. “Friends with benefits” is one common way of describing these couples. These couples see the purpose of their relationship as fun and recreational. Dating couples often seek coaching when one or both partners want to take their relationship to the next level.
    1. Pre-committed Couples: Both partners have decided to stop dating others and become an exclusive couple, and while co-habitation is common at this stage, no formal or explicit long-term commitments have been made. These couples often desire commitment and are testing their relationship for long-term compatibility. Pre-committed couples often seek coaching when they encounter a “deal-breaker” (also referred to as a “requirement”) preventing their ability to enter into a long-term committed relationship without sacrificing something important (such as whether or not to have children).
    1. Pre-marital Couples: Both partners have decided to become committed, but haven’t yet acted to formalize their commitment (marriage, commitment ceremony, etc.). Many of these couples are acutely aware of the high failure rate of committed relationships and seek coaching to acquire the skills and practices needed for long-term relationship success.
  1. Committed Couples: “Commitment” can be defined as both an “attitude” (belief) and a “fact” (formal, symbolic, even legal act). While most couples might think of their relationship as “committed,” if they haven’t acted to formalize their commitment they have the attitude but not the fact of commitment. Couples who have made a formal commitment sometimes bring up divorce in response to a problem, which can be a cause of confusion, consternation and conflict. Most committed couples are married or have formalized their commitment in a ceremony of some kind. These couples often seek coaching because they desire to find a way to successfully solve problems and “live happily ever after.”

Family Coaching

Family coaching includes nuclear and extended families, parenting, siblings, family businesses and co-housing arrangements.

Business Relationship Coaching

Productive businesses require effective relationships. Coaching business relationships can include workplace relationships such as manager-employee, peer-peer, between corporate divisions, teams, as well as customer and vendor relationships.

Comparing Coaching and Therapy

In short, coaching is a results and goal-oriented methodology that assumes the client is functional and fully capable of success, while (psycho)therapy is a healing profession trained and licensed to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and psychological disorders. Coaching and therapy can complement each other very well. It could be said that coaching starts where therapy ends, making coaching a good fit for personal growth-oriented therapists.

Being a professional Relationship Coach is a fun and fulfilling way to make a great living as well as make a difference in the world. If you enjoy helping others and find that your friends, family and co-workers come to you to talk about their relationship goals and challenges, you’re probably a good fit for this growing profession.

 

Easy Tips To Change Unhealthy Relationship Become Healthy Relationship

How to Turn an Unhealthy Relationship Into a Healthy Relationship

Falling in love feels like soaring with eagles, but an unhealthy relationship can bring you crashing to the ground. We’ve all been there a time or two. In the beginning, you love each other so much that the whole world glimmers and glows. But this perfection soon gives way to ups and downs, even in a healthy relationship.

Sadly, many couples break up as that romantic high wears off, leaving them with the reality of real love. They let normal relationship issues tear them apart rather than bring them closer together. Obviously, a healthy relationship can’t develop without two people determined to stay together.

There’s no way around the truth: Relationships require work. No two people are alike, and sometimes differences create painful misunderstandings. Moreover, people make mistakes. No matter how good the intentions, both partners in a relationship will mess up from time to time. If you want to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship, prepare to face these realities.

The tips below will show you how to rekindle love and turn a bad relationship around; but you don’t have to wait until after a break up. Start early. As soon as relationship issues pop up, tackle them head on. The trick is to fix a broken relationship, before it breaks you.

How to Turn an Unhealthy Relationship Into a Healthy Relationship

1. Stop rehashing the past.

It’s important to discuss the issues in your relationship, but that doesn’t mean bringing up the past in every argument. In order to grow as a couple, especially after a break up or communication break down, you must forgive each other. Of course, forgiveness doesn’t come easily; but you must decide, once and for all, whether to let the past go or let the relationship go.

If you spent any time broken up with your love, you know how hard it is to be apart. So, prepare to move forward. That means, no more trying to make your partner feel guilty about past mistakes. Don’t bring up the past when having a disagreement about the present, and don’t use the past to justify your current feelings or behaviors. There’s no way to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship while holding on to old resentments. The festering anger and constant rehashing the past will lead to bitterness, bad arguments, and a dismal future. Don’t let the past ruin your future. You can create new, better memories together; but only if both partners willingly forgive the past.

2. Deal with the real relationship issues.

Forgiving the past does not mean ignoring relationship issues. Unhealthy relationships often come from inattention to underlying problems. In the past, you may have argued over everything without really fixing anything. Or you may have dealt with the symptoms of relationship issues rather than digging up the root cause.

For example, if everything blew up after one of you was unfaithful, the focus may land squarely on that single act of betrayal. Cheating is horrible and inexcusable, but there is almost always a problem beneath the surface. Were you feeling vengeful, unfulfilled, or insecure? Did your partner feel ignored, unloved, or neglected? Had your relationship become too mundane or boring? Did you miscommunicate your desires? Is your partner not ready for total commitment? Sometimes it is difficult for couples to discover all the underlying issues, so don’t hesitate to bring in a neutral third party. That might mean going to couples counseling or using online relationship repair sources.

Once you understand the root cause, you can clearly see if it is fixable. If so, develop a solid plan to prevent break up and breakdown of your love. Make sure you both agree on this solution, since it takes two committed partners to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy one.

3. Give your all. Don’t hold back.

Some couples feel insecure when rekindling love after break up or breakdown. It’s tempting to hold back, just in case things go wrong again. But this approach sets you up for failure. Try to find comfort in the fact that your partner chose to work things out with you, even though it might be easier to give up on the unhealthy relationship.

Many couples just break up rather than fix a broken relationship. Instead you’re working to build a healthy relationship. That makes your love special. Use this knowledge to bolster feelings of security, so you can give your all in the relationship.

Don’t hold back out of fear or distrust. Don’t put your love on probation while you wait for something else to go wrong. Set your mind on healing the relationship rift, loving each other more completely, and creating happy memories together. You wouldn’t take time to read about how to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship if you didn’t love your mate enough to try.

When relationship issues arise (and they will), remember that it takes more work to stay in love than to fall in love. Also, remember that it is worth it. True love lasts because two people refuse to give up on a love that’s worth fighting for. Best wishes and a happier relationship to you!

 

The Answered of Relationship Question

Why do we think that other people can answer our questions better than we can?

Why are we always giving our power away like this?

I mean, just because someone can look at our relationship situation dispassionately does NOT mean that they know what answer is going to work best for us.

That’s what I say, anyway, because I believe we already know the answers to any questions or problem situations that seem to exist in our lives. We’re all pretty smart, really, if only we’d trust ourselves a bit more.

And if we get it wrong, sometimes, we get it wrong. Hey, what would you have learnt about walking or talking if you were never able to make a mistake as a child?

Anyway, it seems that people do give their power (wisdom) away, especially when it comes to relationship questions. “Please help me!”, they urge, when if they just trusted their own inner wisdom a bit more they’d find their own answer soon enough.

Thus this article…
So, according to the relationship advice forum I’ve been running since 2011 (and a few other reliable online relationship resources), these are the top 10 relationship questions that people seem to be asking:

1. Are they interested in me?

2. Why won’t they commit to me?

3. How to deal with controlling relationships?

4. Why don’t they trust me?

5. How far should I travel for love?

6. How can I get them to… ?

7. Importance of sex in relationships?

8. How do I learn to trust again?

9. Why do we keep breaking up?

10. Should I leave them?

(Nicely sum up the path that most relationships take, don’t they, these relationship questions.)

I’m going to spend the rest of this relationship questions article briefly answering these questions, by way of generalisation, but also in such a way that helps you find your own answers. Because, in truth, only you know what’s going to work for you in your relationship.

Okay, let’s go then…
“Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.” — Janette Oke

Question 1. Are they interested in me?

Hmm, there really is ONLY one way to find out if someone is interested in you, I think you’ll agree, and it isn’t asking me or a friend or even a friend of the person you’re interested in. Ask the person directly, and find out for yourself!

The thing about relationships is that they have to involve some element of risk for them to be worthwhile being involved with. That’s just how it works. And that risk is quite often evident at the beginning of a relationship.

“Oh no!”, you think to yourself, “I asked her out and she’s just not interested in me! What will I do?” You’ll live, that’s what you’ll do, and you’ll start to feel stronger in who you are as a man or as a woman because you act on your convictions.

Question 2. Why won’t they commit to me?

It is said that men are commitment-phobes, and maybe they are in comparison to women who knows. But, usually, when someone doesn’t want to commit to a person, or a course of action, it’s because they’re not sure it’s the right thing to do. It’s that simple. Now the reason why they’re not sure, that might take some finding out, and is beyond the scope of this relationship questions article, but you will be able to find out via good communication.

So talk to this person, and see what their concerns are. Listen, but listen well, and learn.

Time for another quote about relationships, I think:

“When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.” — Warren Farrell

Question 3. How to deal with controlling relationships?

Hmm, the need to control comes from a false belief that that’s the only way to get what a person wants from someone. They don’t know any better, basically. And if you can show this person that they really can trust you (that they really can trust themselves) in this relationship then you might, just might, be able to help this person let go of their controlling behaviour.

Good luck.

Question 4. Why don’t they trust me?

Usually, a person doesn’t trust someone because they don’t trust themselves.

Example. I’m worried that my woman might be cheating on me, say, and so I check up on her all the time (and I start to be the type of controlling man in Q3.) And I do this because I wrongly believe I won’t be able to cope if she IS cheating. I’m worrying myself over something that’s probably not going to happen ‘just in case’. But if I believed in myself, trusted myself to be enough, I’d be far more likely to trust my woman. And if she ends up cheating on me, then I know I’ll be able to cope with the situation, know it’s her and not me. I move on. I don’t take it personally. Simple.

Question 5. How far should I travel for love?

There are those that say that long distance relationships don’t work, that sooner or later someone will have to move to the other person’s locale; and on that day the balance of power will have irrevocably shifted.

What do I say? I say that you should find a quiet space in yourself, and ask yourself whether this person is worth it, whether the distance is worth it. And each person will have their own answers, here…
Question 6. How can I get them to… ?

Hmm, isn’t it interesting how these relationship questions overlap. This sounds suspiciously like the other side of the controlling question (see Q3).

A better question would be, “Why do you want them to… ?”. Find out the answer to that question, with some honest self-examination, and then share the results with your partner. I will help the both of you, for sure, doing so.

After all good communication like this is at the heart of healthy relationships, no?

Question 7. Importance of sex in relationships?

How important is sex in a relationship? Very. Or not at all.

Seriously, this is a question to ask yourself. Again, quieten your mind for a few moments and ask this of yourself (if you don’t know already). Then listen to the answers that come. It’s called intuition, this, and is a far better source of wisdom than some random article on the Internet claiming to know all the answers (to the top 10 relationship questions).

Note: I find a little bit of self-effacement always helps in relationships. Well, definitely in article writing, anyway.

Oh, and when you know whether it’s important or not, then that’s your answer no matter what other people think (including your partner).

Question 8. How do I learn to trust again?

Relationships bring risk. There are no guarantees. Nothing, least of all relationships, is certain.

Understand these things, and know that you cannot know how a relationship will work out. And then, then you’ll know it’s time to get involved again, time to take risks. (Listening to the wisdom you’ve accrued from making previous mistakes, I politely suggest.)

Now, time for another relationship quote:

“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” — Walter Anderson

Question 9. Why do we keep breaking up?

Love and relationships can do that to you, sometimes – mess you up! And it can be oh so frustrating.

Basically speaking, your relationship’s not working. And, more importantly, you’re not working – you’re not listening to your inner wisdom enough, here, and you’re not trusting that whatever happens in this relationship – you break up, you get back together – that things will be okay. They will. Just trust yourself more. Things will be okay. They will.

Question 10. Should I leave them?

Yes.

No.

It depends.

(Really, you need to find some quiet time here and answer this question for yourself. Nobody knows better than you, whether you should leave someone or no! Not your Mum, not your best friend, and not your partner. You know best. Always. But only when you quieten your mind, make some space, and let the wisdom come through… )

 

Find Your Relationship Purpose

Did you know that relationships are eternal? They reflect the energetic ties and karma to be played out incarnation after incarnation, as we carry them along on our soul journey. In truth, we’ve been meeting pretty much the same souls over and over, trying to heal our wounds and learning to relate with love and compassion for one another, or at least enough detachment to break any toxic or painful bonds.

Sometimes we meet them for just a moment and sometimes we maintain relationships that last years, depending on what we’ve chosen to work on. This is why you may feel an instant connection or attraction to some people, as well as an aversion toward certain individuals, and these may include family members that you are supposed to love. Indeed, close family members are the ones we usually share the most negative karma with! Yet we need to experience those painful relationships to resolve old emotional patterns and tendencies, to grow and evolve.

Relationships are complex and multi-layered. On one level, they connect us to the world, stimulate the physical senses, and bring contrast to our experience of reality. On another level, they trigger the ego-mind and activate the unconscious emotional fabric that is the foundation of our life. So even though we may think we know who we are entering a relationship with, we may not necessarily see the underlying vibrational patterns that connect us to that person-since they come from the past.

Some of those patterns create positive points of connection (shared interests, dreams, beliefs, aspirations, principles, etc.) while others manifest as conflict, because they touch the wounds that we try so hard to avoid and disconnect from. The ego believes that relationships are mainly self-gratifying: they provide affection, sex, companionship, support, and so on. Conflicts arise when our ego-based needs aren’t met.

From a spiritual perspective, however, close relationships are meant to be learning platforms for self-knowledge and self-growth. They serve as mirrors that reflect our belief system-especially what we believe about ourselves-and reactivate past emotional wounds that need to be dealt with and resolved.

Find the Purpose of Your Relationships

We choose relationships to put all our stuff in our face, so to speak, because it’s easier that way for us to take care of what needs attention. Of course, it’s not the only way to resolve our issues, but since we get very attached to the person we are in relationship with, we feel like we have to deal with them in order to stop the pain and move forward-either because we want to continue or end the relationship.

Of course, we can also choose not to deal with any of it and jump from one relationship to the next, simply repeating and re-encountering the same type of problems with different people, while our ego tries to disguise them as something completely new. No wonder why it takes lifetimes to resolve our issues and be at peace with some people! That is, until we understand the purpose of being in relationship and shift our perspective and approach.

You may think that you need a partner for companionship or to experience love (yes, life is tough and it can get lonely), but at a soul level every relationship is an opportunity to learn about yourself and heal the emotional wounds, wrong perceptions, unspoken agreements, and negative tendencies that you’ve been carrying for a long time. In other words, they are meant to make you aware of how much or how little you truly love yourself. So what are YOUR relationships reflecting back at you about yourself?

If you think that a close relationship should fulfill all your needs, well, I’ve got news for you: no single relationship can ever do that. But you can use each opportunity to work toward personal growth and emotional freedom, instead of letting your life revolve around others. It may sound counterintuitive, but if you really want to create loving relationships, you first need to learn to be alone and develop a deep, loving, and meaningful relationship with the most important person in your life: YOU. This one becomes the pattern for all other relationships in your life.

Learn To Be In Love With Love

Love is not a sentimental, self-gratifying game. Love is your true nature. And if you want to really experience love in relationship, you need to nurture your self-love and choose a partner that does the same-someone who’s not growing cannot allow you to grow. In other words, you both have to establish more loving relationships with yourselves first and also be open and willing to let the other person be who they are. Otherwise, the tendency will be to connect from an unconscious wounded place, simply trying to heal your wounds through the other, while your partner tries to do the same through you.

If I asked you, “Can you lend me $500?” you’d probably look in your wallet or your pocket to check how much money you have. If you don’t have any, you’d say, “Sorry, I don’t have any money.” If you have exactly $500, you wouldn’t want to give me all your money, right? But if you were carrying $10,000 in your pocket, you could reach for the $500 and hand them to me without hesitation.

Similarly, how can you love openly without feeling that something is being taken away from you, or without expecting something in return, if you don’t cultivate and replenish your self-love on a regular basis? Without that anchor to keep you centered and strong, it’s very easy to get lost in relationship. It’s not because you love too much, it’s because of a lack of center-of a strong inner connection to yourself. Lust, passion or shared interests are not enough to hold a relationship for long; they eventually fade away and change. Love and growth are much stronger pillars for long lasting relationships.

So I’d suggest that you focus on them first and foremost:

  1. Cultivate love within yourself and let your cup run over toward others;
  2. Tackle your emotional issues to connect at a heart level, not from the wounded ego-mind;
  3. Remain independent and nurture activities that keep you centered and connected to yourself;
  4. Be in love for love’s sake and choose a partner with whom to share the pursuit of self-growth.

Be Independent and Connect from the Heart

In our dysfunctional world, love has become a commodity and a transaction: if you give me what I want, I give you affection or attention in return. If you don’t behave the way I expect, then I withhold my love. We all learn these emotional patterns in early childhood, and they shape beliefs that defeat the purpose of creating loving relationships. Instead of nurturing and allowing love to evolve, we expect and demand more. And if we don’t get what we want, we grow resentful and dissatisfied. We become self-centered instead of self-loving.

However, as the Feminine energies of the planet continue to take back their place, we are challenged to review, re-visit and re-evaluate our relationships, and to establish loving relationships in creative cooperation, with one another and in our communities. This is necessary to support the re-balancing of the Masculine and Feminine principles on Earth. It obviously seems easier said than done, because for thousands of years we’ve invested an enormous amount of energy solidifying the power-based relationships that we are so familiar with, but we can begin overturning that now. It is time, and you are fully supported if you are willing to create a new paradigm in relationships.

To get there, it is necessary to take full responsibility for your emotional well being and break the karmic cycle of power-struggle type of relationships that arise from a victim-blame dynamic. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting great opportunities to discover what love truly is and reconnect with your divine nature and with other human beings who may be seeking the exact same thing you are: your true sense of self.

So contact me if you are ready to shift to a higher level of connection to yourself and others, heal your emotional wounds, and nurture your independence and sense of self, so you can create loving, joyful, and empowering relationships that allow and support you to be who YOU truly are, to grow and shine, and fall in love with love.

 

Consider You Are In Abuse Relationship

Do feel like you are thriving in your relationship? Some people don’t realise that they are in a one-sided relationship where their rights as a human being are abused. They don’t always consciously notice that they are being manipulated, controlled and used for the purpose of pleasing their partner. An abusive partner can be male or female and abuse can be sexual, physical and/or emotional abuse.

Are All Your Relationships Abusive?

Some people just seem to attract people who abuse them. They may have escaped one abusive relationship only to find the next relationship also brings abuse too. Psychologists have recognised that some people unconsciously choose partners who will abuse them because that is the only form of attention they have been used to. Others would rather endure an abusive relationship than end it because to leave it brings other anxieties such as fear of loneliness (eg. I’ll never find anyone at my age), financial difficulty (eg where would I live), shame (eg. what would my friends say) or other stresses that might make the abuse seem the easier option.

Tell-tale Signs of an Abusive Relationship

There are signs that can indicate abuse in a relationship. This list is not exhaustive give an idea:-

1. Your partner is excessively jealous and possessive and will accuse you of betraying them or not loving them enough. They will constantly check on your whereabouts and what you are doing almost to the point of interrogation. They may even monitor your internet and mobile phone activity

2. Your partner manipulates your existing relationships and attempts to cut you off from anyone that might criticise them or encourage you to have your freedom

3. Your partner never takes responsibility for anything unless it is a success. If things fail it is your fault or they blame other people or situations.

4. Your partner’s emotions are made your responsibility. So that if they become angry, sad or stressed it is your fault

5. Your partner makes all the important decisions and doesn’t discuss these with you. You are expected to agree with these decisions unquestionably.

6. Your partner wants their needs met by you and others and never pays any heed to your needs unless it is a manipulation to get their needs met (eg. I did that for you therefore you must do this for me)

7. Your partner may expect you to adhere to rules that they do not follow themselves. They may have been unfaithful but expect you to be faithful.

8. Your partner will accuse you of being unreasonable and yet be unreasonable themselves.

9. Your partner will hide all of the above and often be charming and agreeable with everyone else except you. You will feel trapped in the relationship because everyone else will believe their smoke-screen of being wonderful and how could you contemplate leaving such a wonderful person?

These are probably the most obvious elements of an abusive relationship. Yet any relationship can have elements of abuse that are detrimental to the health of the relationship. Most of us “turn up” to relationships that form as we go along and as the relationship matures.

What Happens to a Relationship?

Rarely does someone begin a relationship understandably with a list of do’s and don’ts about what they like. Rules in a relationship may form in verbal communications (eg. I don’t like it when you… ) and they can form in what we perceive through interactions (eg. partner looked angry when I… ). They can even be historical rules that are brought to the relationship from childhood and observing your parents relationship or from past intimate relationships.

We rarely sit down and consider how our relationships run and have become. This is a pity because it is only through talking about our personal relationship ( or other wider relationships) can we address unspoken issues that, if not resolved can lead to resentment, betrayal, depression and ultimately the ending of the relationship.

Abuse and What it Does to You

Feeling used, abused and disrespected in a relationship eventually leads to low self-esteem and low self worth for anyone. If you feel like you have no status and no respect in your relationship than you won’t get it by acting like a door mat. If you’re always being criticised and never praised, how can you feel good in your relationship? If you’re always giving but never receiving you will find it unsustainable.

Everyone deserves a happy life and for many people, being in a relationship is one of the main pillars of happiness and fulfilment in life. Staying in an unhappy relationship drains your energy, muddles your life purpose and saps your will and if you’re not careful can waste many years of your life.

It’s Time to Find You Again

If you’ve lost yourself in your relationship along with your sense of purpose and don’t know quite which way to turn, this can be a sign that you are no longer thriving. It doesn’t mean that the relationship needs to end but on the other hand sometimes it is the best for all concerned.

Even being free of an abusive relationship can leave you with feelings that cause you doubts about ever finding happiness. Maybe you are in a loving relationship but are unable to let go of insecurities that a past unhealthy relationship has left you with.

Finding Your Authentic Self

What can really make a difference and empower you to make informed choices is to find your ” authentic self ” again. This is the self that you put away and that was rejected by others and has felt crushed, never to come out for fear of being laughed at, teased, bullied and rejected again. Let’s face it, how can you really feel loved if you hide away your authentic self and only present to the world the mask of acceptability you have been manipulated into creating?

Whilst emotions such as sadness and anxiety are a part of living and as much as happiness and joy are, they don’t have to dominate your every moment. Wouldn’t you rather live and thrive with the energy, enthusiasm and verve that goes hand-in-hand with a healthy purposeful life?

EMSRP and Healthy Relationships

There is no secret to living a happy and thriving life. It begins with being honest with yourself, who you are and what your needs are. EMSRP – Emerging Meta-Schematic Repatterning provides a series of simple steps that help you flourish in all your authenticity. It gets you to map what is right for you and then check this against your relationships to be able to make informed choices. It helps to set you free to live and thrive in life.

 

All About Relationship Management

Introduction

The management of relationships has been a facet of business for as long as business transactions have existed. On the most basic level, Relationship Management is about interaction with customers. From a broader perspective one can consider employees, suppliers and consumers as customers, the employees being the internal customers of the organization. Relationship Management deals with the treatment and management of partnerships, connections, linkages and chains between business entities.

For the purposes of this paper, we view Relationship Management (RM) as a conscious and planned activity. It would be misleading to suggest that there have not been relationships in business or any focus on relationships by companies. However, the thrust of RM, as expounded in recent times, points to a more tactical and strategic approach to focusing on the customer rather than a relentless focus on the competition.

After the economic downturn of the 90s, many companies started to examine the possible benefits to be gained from less negotiation strong-arming, closeness to suppliers and the establishment of constructive relationships with strategic stakeholders. This does not suggest that RM was founded in the US, or has not existed before then; the Japanese had perfected RM and value-concretisation into an art form on the basis of social structure and communal creed.

RM itself has not just many types but many levels. The manufacturer has his suppliers and the end users as his customers; the retailer has the manufacturers and the end users as his customers, and manufacturer, the supplier and every organization with a tactical or strategic agenda have internal customers.

Literature Review

There have been several different sub types of Relationship Management introduced by writers, marketers and business pundits, starting from the most widely known Customer Relationship Management (Buttle, 2004; Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004) to Customer Centricity (Gummesson, 2008); Collaborative Customer Relationship Management (Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004); Supply Chain Relationship Management (Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004), Integrated Supply Chain Relationship Management (Kracklauer, Mills & Seifert, 2004), and so on. Hines (2006) delineates three types of relationships: the strategic alliance, the functional partnership and the one-sided partnerships. Donaldson & O’Toole (2007) outlines four types of relationships: partnership, friendship, adversarial and detachment. Our discussion here centres on four components of Customer Relationship Management: Customer Identification, Customer Attraction, Customer Retention and Customer Development; all of which, for the purposes of this paper, we shall consider all of these under the blanket term Relationship Management; Relationship Marketing, the management of, not the cooperation with customers; the latter being the job of relationship management, is not within the scope of this paper but since from a conceptual perspective, the difference between the two may not be as simplistic and marked, it may be mentioned or discussed in passing.

Traditionally, RM was an activity (or non-activity) that involved an electronic customer database of an organisation’s customers or consumers,which reports on consumer buying behaviour. Contemporarily, RM delves much deeper than this: undertaking intensive research on customers and customer behaviour and using the result of such research to (re)design business culture. RM, at its strategic level, advocates for a business culture with a concentrated focus on the customer rather than on the products or the sales, but what seems to be the biggest trump card of and in RM is loyalty. The customer-centric concentration in business relationships in recent times has forced a move towards shared goals and shared benefits, and for this to work there has to be commitment; each party being committed to their personal objectives but also to the shared goals; each party having the competence to carry out their responsibilities and believing and relying, having a confident and positive expectation that the other party will act within the ambits of the agreement.

The focus on the customer (which is the basis for a relational existence) runs across certain concepts: price, quality, innovation, reliability of product, reliability of associated service and brand reputation. On the proven premise that it is easier and cheaper to retain a customer than to attain a new one or regain a lost one, customer RM on the concepts already discussed should be the goal of the contemporary business.

Different types of RM have been identified, ranging from the transactional, the collaborative and the formation of alliances, which is also known as partnerships or value-added exchanges. The alliance is a partnership with suppliers that involves a mutual beneficiary arrangement where cost-cutting ventures are jointly addressed by both buyer and seller, the seller being considered an extension of the buyer’s organization. The business relationship between Japanese suppliers using JIT is a good example. For example Toyota holds a strong alliance even with its 3rd tier vendors. The result of such partnerships means added value, reduced production and transport costs, a more seamless supply and delivery network, and maintenance of exceptional quality, as per TQM considerations.

Traditionally, companies were preoccupied with rigorous competition, firm-induced and firm-controlled business strategies, focus on short-term profits and strategies and independent decision-making. This transactional existence meant a focus more on the competition than the customer, a concentration on short-term profits rather than long-term strategic gains and likelihood to be blind to opportunities for expansion and change. Today’s strategically-minded companies are pre-occupied with partnership with other firms, collaboration and coaction, boundarylessness, joint decision-making and a focus on long term benefits. With today’s business climate, one can easily foresee a rapidly changing business environment where manufacturers will have the most fruitful partnerships with every member of the supply chain and the consumers, a scenario where the manufacturer will run a ‘virtual factory’ with the effective and efficient use of value chain networks unlimited by geographical location or consideration.

RM functions on a strategic, a tactical and an operational level. Businesses that are product-oriented ensure effective performance of their products, in the design, the features and output; the production-oriented business (not to be confused with the product-oriented) believe in mass production at a cheap scale on the notion that the customer uses low-price as a singular consideration; sales-oriented businesses put a lot of stock in advertising, promotions and public relations while the customer-centric enterprise strives to understand its customers preferences and purchasing behaviour and models its business activities to suit this. This is considered strategic RM. The operational level deals with automating the customer management process using computer applications and devices across market, sales force and service categories. Tactical RM deals with using the data from customer management computer applications to add value both to the customer and the company.

While it would be immensely useful to run a customer database to keep the organization in sync with full information with its customers, RM especially from a strategic perspective delves deeper than mere software; it deals with a ‘pull’ strategy, letting the wants and needs of the customer dictate what products and services are offered, rather than the other way round, using a production-oriented strategy to ‘push’ products and services that the consumers may or may not need, but which does not ultimately satisfy the customer.

Companies generate more revenue when they satisfy – and because of this retain- their customers. It is hereby propounded that the simple economic fact that customer retention is cheaper than customer attraction provides the customer with an intrinsic importance to business performance than anything else.

The Customer

Discussions on RM, or even relationship marketing, cannot be possible with the exclusion of the word ‘customer’. The customer is the object – and sometimes also the subject – of RM. Attainment of an effective RM is consistent upon customer satisfaction, customer retention, customer loyalty and a host of sub-concepts preceded by the word ‘customer’.

But while it is known what the customer represents, it is not always known who the customer is or how many different representations of the customer we have.

A vehicle manufacturer for example will have its suppliers of raw material in tiers, its distribution partners, and the actual end users. From a business point of view, all these are customers and even though there is only a single set of consumers. The basis of the RM between these different customers (and even between different sub-levels of customers – supplier tiers for instance) could be immense. Customer Relationship Management in its true sense may refer only to the end users or consumers in this case, for the attraction and retention schemes may not apply to first tier suppliers, though development will, albeit from a different perspective.

In business, the customer therefore is not someone who pays for goods and services; it is evidently a unit that has some considerable stake – not stock- in the business and whose input contributes in one way or another to the bottom line. By the same token, the employees in an organization are customers; internal customers. Paradoxically, so are senior management; and middle and junior management. On the concept of ‘keiretsu’, the Japanese takes the word ‘customer’ to a disparate level. Kaoru Ishikawa, one of the top five Quality Management gurus, supersedes that when he suggests that ‘the next process is your customer’ as an appropriate maxim for the drive towards customer satisfaction. For Ishikawa, the customer is not merely an object, it becomes an activity, a process, a goal.

Supply Chain Relationship Management

From a supply chain management perspective, RM is centred on the chief players: the manufacturer and the supplier. There may be several suppliers, several tiers of suppliers and several types of suppliers (retailers, resellers, etc). There would obviously be the end user. Of major importance is the relationship between manufacturer and principal suppliers.

Three major types of relationship types in the supply chain are hereby identified: the adversarial, the transactional and the strategic. Both sets of authorities on the subject hold that the transactional relationship (as opposed to the relational variety) has a transactional rather than a partnership focus; is competition rather than collaboration-oriented; is firm-benefiting as opposed to being partnership-profitable; is independent and therefore myopic rather than interdependent and is viable only for the short term.

Strategically, it is the relational type that is considered a partnership. The traditional partnership is that between the manufacturer and its principal supplier(s). There are also lateral partnerships, between competitors; buyer partnerships between firms and eventual and/or intermediate customers; internal partnerships which refer to the concept of the internal customership within organizations and across functional departments.

A relationship is considered adversarial where there is fear, threats (whether tacit or overt) and coercion (whether esoteric or actual). In the automotive manufacturing business for example, a manufacturer can have an adversarial relationship with suppliers if the bargaining power of the manufacturer is considerable in a case where a good percentage of the supplier’s products are purchased by the one manufacture or a chain of them. In such cases, the manufacturer attempts to attain value by pursuing only its own interests; being strategically independent (rather than interdependent); communicating unilaterally; influencing decisions using force or the threat of force; using competitive bidding rather than establish strategic relationships with few suppliers; and entrench all discussions, agreements, terms and conditions in detailed formal contracts.

For the most part, RM in the supply chain is vertical, as partnerships are built with firms along the value chain. Some companies do not realize any value because their customer/consumer RM is kept separate from their supplier relationship management; for supply chain networks to thrive effectively, establishing partnerships is simply a means, not the end itself. The mere establishment of partnerships does not suggest a collective move towards a shared goal. For that to be existent, the partnerships must be collaborative. Collaboration involves significant investment of those involved incorporation mutual understanding, shared vision, shared resources, united goal achievement, trust, trustworthiness and complete functional interdependence.

Culture and Relationship Management

Culture refers to the way things are done and have been done in an organization or social setting for a considerable period. Culture determines behaviour patterns; it is integrated into the behavioural framework of a person or a group of people; it is the result of not only learned, but acquired behaviour patterns, and it is a collection of behaviour, attitudes, character traits, convictions and belief shared by a group of people.

Cultural differences could not only limit the functional success of relationships, it could derail the effectiveness of RM, or terminate it completely. Cultural differences cover personality traits, gender differences, geographical, social and business disparities. Social culture defines how people manage relationships, and effectively therefore, to what extent relationships can be properly managed. Corporate culture issues aptly capture the issue of RM and the extent to which relationships can be successful across two or more firms: The essence of corporate culture is an organization’s conviction about how its business is to be enacted. Then there is culture based on geography; Country culture determines corporate culture(s) to a large extent. One of the main determiners of country and corporate culture may be the extent to which people treasure personal relationships. While the long-standing relationship of two firms in Asia may be maintained primarily because of some earlier personal connection, the long-standing relationship of two firms in the US may be maintained primarily on the betterment of the bottom line of both firms. While using coercion as a conduit for good RM may be an effective negotiating strategy in the US for example, it may be considered grave disrespect in many parts of Asia and may lead to the premature severance of a good business relationship.

From a country culture perspective, it has been suggested that the French are not interested in whether they are liked; the Americans are impatient and negotiate to tie up every loose end, as opposed to the Chinese who negotiate solely to build a better relationship, not to tie up loose ends all at once, since as far as they are concerned negotiations never end; the Italians and Germans never offer praise before they criticize; the Indians feel that interruptions during discussions is a way of fostering more understanding; the Americans are said to talk too much and would ask personal questions which people from other cultures may find distasteful. These classifications may be too generic and type-casted, but if they are to be accepted (or even tolerated) as factual, then it is but natural that customer relationship management with have different results and outcomes in different countries with disparate cultures and different people. As a prerequisite to effective management of relationships therefore, a useful understanding of personal and social attitudes and expectations of the other parties may help the partnership.

‘Guanxi’ is a Chinese cultural way of interacting and managing relationships in business. It encourages supply chains and networks based on interactions and negotiations between family members, friends and people of trust. Anyone outside this circle of trust is likely to be treated with suspicion at best, and hostility at worst. In the management of relationships between international firms for instance, a subject who does not fall within that circle of trust is likely to have zero limit to manoeuvrability in negotiations and discussions. The giving of gifts which is an essential element of ‘Guanxi’ may be viewed upon as unethical or improper by another party or potential partner.

It may be easy to suggest that the establishment of relationships should not in any way be affected by culture. However, if cultural issues are likely to limit the organizations ability to manipulate or manoeuvre in business relationships, it means that realization, identification and modification of the cultural issues should be a valid point in the establishment of set objectives for the effective management of meaningful business relationships. Capon (2004) seems to concur when she says that ‘everyone lives culture, but only the clever are able to manage it’.

For RM to be successful, there has to be a constant supply of reliability between and among all parties. Every party to the relationship should have the confidence that the other party is in a position to deliver as promised, and will. This is where the issue of trust comes in. Trust is one of the most important antecedent to a successful business partnership; in the realm of retailing, many repeat purchases and purchase considerations are made based on product trust, store trust, brand trust or a combination of these.

Trust and Relationship Management

Many attempts have been made to define or (failing which, to) describe the apparently elusive concept of trust. Plenty definitions have been offered, some have been markedly different, but most have been consistent on the central issue: that trust is the anticipation by one that the other will not take undue advantage. Trust is an expectation that another will not take undue advantage; it is the chosen susceptibility of one party to be vulnerable to the possible unfairness and selfishness of another; it is the belief in the integrity of another person and party; it exists only where there is risk and uncertainty which connotes that the concept of trust is linked with the likelihood of opportunism by one or more parties. Undertaking to trust therefore is synonymous to undertaking the management of risk.

The thrust in all of the definitions are basically the same; that trust is an anticipation of behaviour or actions based on stated or tacit agreement that another party will not act in its own interests. While the definitions are consistent, the treatment of the concept, the construct and its relationship to management theory and practice seem to differ. There has been very little empirical research to verify how trust functions in business or what determines trust.

Models, Types and Constructs of Trust

There have been myriad views on the models, types and constructs of trust. There are three types of trust: deterrence-based (trust that exists on the basis that opportunism will have dire consequences); knowledge-based (trust based on predictable actions) and identification-based (trust based on emotional association between the parties). Similarly, there are 3 sources of trust: process-based (trust which is based on an exchange relationship of considerable longevity); characteristic-based (trust based on social or other group characteristic) and institutional-based (the inducement of trust by social institutions.

Trust is based on 5 cognitive processes: the calculative process; the prediction process – which is the same as calculative except that the analysis here is more qualitative than quantitative; capability process; the intentionality process – the assessment of the motives and intentions of the other party; and the transference process – situation where trust is based on a trusted reference from a third party.

The processes outlined here do not necessarily challenge the conceptual theories of; rather they represent disparate viewpoints based on environment and whether trust is being viewed as a social or a business construct, and whether these are mutually exclusive. It would seem that the intentionality process is a little redundant; the interpretation of the intentions of the trustee could be analysed under the calculative or the prediction process.

The deeper the examination of trust as a concept and as an intrinsic integer in business practice, the more elusive it seems to become. If the contracts, agreement or legal implications, which we can call ‘governance devices’, do exist, then it follows that these devices were created because one or both parties do not trust each other. This does not refer to distrust, but an absence of trust. Nascent literature has propounded that an absence of trust by a trustor could be based on the fact that the trustor knows nothing about the trustee and has decided therefore not to take the risk of trusting. Since this does not mean that the trustor’s absence of trust was based on knowledge and/or experience of the trustee’s actions, it is not distrust, but an absence of trust.

Relationships and Trust

These two concepts are not the same, but in today’s business environment, the discussion of one brings out the other. Unlike relationships which just exist, trust is not a given. Trust, like respect which it incorporates, is earned; thus trust cannot exist without trustworthiness, which is the ability to earn trust, the capability of being trusted. Trustworthiness is rooted in the believer’s trust that the other party possesses integrity, values and a good sense of ethics, and therefore can be trusted. Trustworthiness has to be fathered, to be engendered by firms and organizations themselves, and this, by running the organization using a visible set of values and ethics. Trust and distrust are to be understood as one ‘bipolar construct’, diametrically existing in a continuum.

Areas for Further Research

As a firm that claims to live on customer satisfaction and successful relationship management as its key to competitive advantage, Toyota does not expect the total absence of errors though it continuously drives towards it. The Toyota Production System does provide several modes of detection and fixing of errors as they occur, but not all errors are fixed, mainly because not all errors are readily visible or apparent.

The cases of the sticky gas pedals, obstructive floor mats and the Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) are cases in points. A gas pedal as a component may not have been sticky up to when the car is driven and tested at Toyota’s plants, nor would any unexpected acceleration show itself. Nonetheless it is a manufacturing error that Toyota has addressed and has recalled vehicles to replace the faulty components at Toyota’s own cost. This does not mean that customers may easily forget or that their trust goes unaffected, especially since the death of an entire family in a Lexus crash after SUA occurred but these mishaps may have dented (not destroyed) the brand loyalty and trust of the world’s foremost car maker, if the customer assesses that the satisfaction considerably outweighs the errors. The recall of vehicles and Toyota’s promise to replace all defective gas pedals may suggest an innate concern for customers.