Let’s face it, relationships can be tough and some even debilitating. Although relationships are a fundamental aspect of the human experience, our dealings with friends, family members, significant others, co-workers and superiors are often riddled with strife and consternation. In fact, research by Cornell University estimates that there will be a whopping one million divorces in the United States in 2013, alone. Beyond marital challenges, difficult personal and workplace relationships are far more than a nuisance, as they can cause anxiety, burnout, clinical depression and even physical illness. What’s more, highly toxic workplace affiliations can undermine your professional success and threaten your livelihood at large.
The bottom line is this: the right relationships can propel you to great heights of achievement; the wrong ones will tether you to mediocrity and mire you in disappointment. With this in mind, in striving for rewarding connections with others, it’s essential to evaluate relationships intelligently: What makes a great relationship? How do you keep a relationship great? What are the warning signs of trouble? While it’s so very easy to blame the other person in a distressed relationship, it’s far more effective to consider and assess the situation objectively and build your Relational IQ.
What is Relational IQ?
Relational IQ is the mindset that helps us to better understand and control our personal and professional relationships to maximize happiness and realize life-changing success. Relationships are an art, and most of us lack the skill and mastery to help break—or all together avoid—destructive patterns, disrespect, and deception. Far too many people also lack the ability to have productive connections with others—those that help you achieve goals, sharpen your mind, and generally uplift and enrich your life.
There are, in fact, fundamental principles for living and interacting with others in the complex and ever-changing dynamics of today’s culture that, if adhered to, can best assure relational success in all aspects of life—at home, in social circles, and in business. Choose not to and suffer the consequences. Naysayers might ask, “Is it really possible to master relationships?” The answer is an unequivocal “yes”—if you’re willing to learn skills and proactively apply tactical techniques, that is.
To help kick-start your Relational IQ so that you can better navigate, and begin to master, your own personal and professional affiliations, here are 10 pitfalls to avoid when seeking a meaningful and genuine relationship that will result in a richer, more fulfilling life:
Fundamentally, every relationship you have influences your life. There are no neutral relationships; each one lifts you up or weighs you down. They move you forward or hold you back. They help you or they hurt you. Only by cultivating your Relational IQ—knowing which is which and how to turn the tide on those that are negative—can you then take the appropriate action. Not to be taken lightly, these actions and decisions can make the difference between a great, happy life or one that is riddled with disappointment, failure, and regret.
Field expert Van Moody is the author of The People Factor (an upcoming release by publisher Thomas Nelson) and a motivational speaker who advises on matters related to relationships as they pertain to friends, family, significant others and the workplace. He is a “People Scholar” who helps others build their “Relational IQ” to achieve success at home, in their social circles, and in business. He may be reached online at www.vanmoody.com.
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