Troubled Friendships

Most individuals form friendships that they intend  or expect to last. But it takes work, commitment and mutual respect to build and maintain relationships of any kind.Initially the encounters are harmonious whether they occur for business , social or romantic involvement.

In the discovery stage, each person finds out about the other, while simultaneously displaying  of conciliation, patience, tolerance and understanding and other positive traits.

Each individual  respects the other’s boundaries,  as they observe, study and note each other’s  behavior i.e. faith, humor, friend and family connections and so on.

In romantic relationships, the friendship building begins while the euphoric stage is being experienced, followed by the real work of ‘friendship building’, if the two individuals are new acquaintances to each other.

In business relationships friendships most often precede the business liaison. It is in this setting where occasional  hurt feelings and unmet expectations are often ignored and swept under the rug in deference to ‘doing business‘. The offended individual is often asked to toughen up if the offender is unwilling to address issues related to disrespect.

Disregard for the affront, or related issues ,which erode the promoting of better harmony,can damage the friendship/relationship, as respect is trampled and feelings of hurt, frustration, insignificance and fear, undermine the morale of the individual who feels wronged,abused, or even bullied.

Repairing a troubled friendship, requires  1.Honesty 2.Humility to admit our faults 3.Efforts to address and fix the problem 4.  Commitment to time for listening.

The reward is a renewed connection with a valued companion , friend or business associate.

The process of saving a friendship begins when you  acknowledge  that damage has been done. When one party is able to reveal or admit:

‘I feel something is not right in our relationship. I’d like for us to find and fix the problem”.

Working on this assessment together is key.Looking for how the conflict began, what has fed it,where the misunderstanding lurks and so on.

When the problem is recognized and revealed,take responsibility for your part in it. “I’m sorry” shows your love and commitment to  sustaining and maintaining the friendship.

Be reminded that an essential aspect of apologizing, is refraining from justifying wrong actions, dredging up old offenses or blaming someone else.

After the troubleshooting work, request for specific action, that both parties can commit to in  repairing the friendship, and strengthening the weak areas identified.An occasional”How am I doing?” signals commitment to awareness building and respect from the offending party, or both.

The preventive steps of exhibiting  love ,respect, compassion and consideration on a daily basis, rather than having to do damage control, is Foresight rather than than Hindsight.

Christ died on the cross for atonement  of all our sins, we don’t get to crucify others again for any sins.We get a chance to celebrate that act by loving others, like he did for each of us.

It is better to be where you are celebrated rather  than tolerated.

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