The Blueprint for Authentic Connection
Relationships go beyond mere connections. They form the very essence of our lives. They provide us with meaning, depth, and richness. The good news is that Just like we can train our mental and physical abilities, we can also train our ability to authentically connect.
The Pillars of Strong Relationships
Communication: The cornerstone of any relationship. It’s not just about speaking but listening with intent, understanding, and empathy.
Trust: Built over time and through consistent actions. It’s the foundation upon which all relationships stand. (Stay tuned for an in-depth dive into trust later)
Respect: Recognizing the value in others and treating them with the dignity they deserve. Understanding: Taking the time to see things from another’s perspective, and to walk in their shoes.
Loving God: Recognizing that our ability to love apart from him is imperfect and following his love as an example.
Without these pillars, a relationship is like a house built on sand, unstable and easily swept away by life’s unpredictable tides. Start by making sure these pillars are in place, then proceed to exercise these muscle groups for peak performance.
Relationship Muscle Groups
Building and maintaining relationships requires continuous effort, like training specific muscles for peak performance. Here are some of the ‘relationship muscle groups’ we must exercise:
Active Listening – Empathy – Boundary Setting – Conflict Resolution – Commitment.
But how does one actually exercise these muscles? The key principle is that it requires being intentional. Do research, and put your findings into practice.
For starters, Here’s a video from Dr. John Gotman on how to strengthen your ability to build trust. Throughout his extensive research, he’s become able to predict the success or failure of a relationship with 91% Accuracy in the first 10 minutes of meeting a couple.