Relationship Intelligence: Reality Testing Your Friendships

friendsEver wonder if you are picking the right friends? Have you ever had that nagging feeling that your nearest and dearest might not be so devoted? Here is a reality test that you can use to learn more about who is and who isn’t truly in your corner.

Do the Dance

Relationships have a choreography to them, a natural rhythm and flow. As we get to know each other, I tell you a little something private about me (ie- I am afraid of heights or I find my mother-in-law to be difficult) and then you tell me a little something private about you. Then what happens? A good test of  who to pursue for true friendship would be if the information I entrusted you with stays private, between us. If suddenly our mutual friend Sarah knows this info too, then I would understand that you find it too difficult to keep my private information confidential, or perhaps “private” is not in your vocabulary. In either case, this tells me more about what kind of a friendship I can have with you. Read more

Should You Take A Failed Marriage Personally?

Not necessarily so says Laura Munson of the Huffington Post Divorce Blog. In her thought provoking new post at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-munson/choosing-your-emotions-in_b_845897.html she talks about the importance of looking beyond the words that your oh-so-unhappy-soon-to-be- ex might be saying about you, and quieting down your own internal negative chatter and not jumping to the conclusion that it really is all your fault. These are good ideas for moving ahead after a painful divorce, toward a better life.

We agree that disgruntled spouses may indeed have their own agendas for taking you down (or just putting you down) and that individuals have a choice about whether or not they want to go to that negative and self-critical place. We’d also like to add that in order to take things less personally and be happier, one need not ‘borrow’ others’ negative thoughts and feelings about you (there’s plenty of that already inside you, right?) but instead, focus in on what it is you truly have to offer in a relationship, on what you have learned about yourself as a result of your marriage and divorce (maybe that you are resilient, or stronger than you thought, or more forgiving), and then put your best foot forward. Try to tune into the good for a change.

Of course, half of the responsibility for making a marriage successful does fall on your shoulders so logically you made a significant contribution to whatever dynamics were there to make it fail. BUT, no use beating yourself up over this. (If you need help in understanding yourself better, particularly with regard to how you are in close relationships, seek out a psychotherapist.) Otherwise, treat yourself kindly, with patience, and generosity. Just like you would treat a close friend or a well loved child. And then move on toward a better life.