We all know what it takes to make relationships work. We have had this knowledge since kindergarten. And if you have siblings, then you knew it before you toddled of to school. We learned to be sociable and to socialize. We figured out, mostly through trial and error, what worked and what didn’t
Recently we have posted a series of articles, quite by accident, on relationships. The first was about domestic assault, and how to help our daughters avoid some of these relationships. We have also talked about what to do when relationships aren’t working. These posts focused primarily on personal relationships, but had points that would have value all of our associations- business, friends, marriage, and church, everywhere.
My question is, why is it that when we become adults, we forget how the world works?
Today, I want to take a step back and talk about what makes relationships work. What are the building blocks to getting things right?
I believe there are four main elements to helping any relationship run smoothly.
Those are: predictability, responsibility, tenacity, and mission-mindedness.
The first block is predictability.
We all want to have a little sparkle of spontaneity in us sometimes. We’d like to do things a little bit differently, and out of the ordinary. We’d occasionally like to surprise someone because we are concerned that we will be perceived as dull or boring by our peers.
But here’s the thing. People need an anchor. They need someone on their team, in the home, at their job, in the church meeting, in their corner, who is predictable. They need someone they can count on to be honest, predictable and present.
When things begin to change, and things will change because that is the very nature of life, people need someone there from who they know what to expect. They know what you are going to do, and what you are going to say.
And, it is at this very first building block that we begin to lose our traction in relationships. We acted one way at the job interview or on the first date, and now we want to be someone else. Actually, we want to be who we have always been, because wearing a mask all the time gets tiring.
Situations may change, but people usually do not.
On the contrary, this doesn’t mean that we need to get bogged down in such a rut that we are only known by our resistance to change or to new ideas. But people know fundamentally how we think.
They know that we will evaluate situations clearly and fairly. They know that we will speak truth and life into situations when possible.
Be uninteresting. Be boring. Be predictable. People are counting on you to be who you really are, all the time. Bring your authentic game-face to the table every time.
Be the rock.
Be predictable, and...
What do you think?
Is this something solid we can build a relationship on?