Many of my clients who come to me for help in finding more success through better professional communication skills realize that when they start showing up with Fearless Authenticity at work, they start to do it everywhere… and that helps them navigate ALL their relationships better, too.
Why? Because the core of any healthy relationship — whether it’s with colleagues, employees, friends, family or loved ones — is good communication. But so often our communication becomes muddled, misunderstood or even hostile, leading us to feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. This is where simplifying everything comes into play.
I’ve made simplifying everything in my own life a priority because I want to enjoy my life with as few complications as possible. You can’t avoid them all, but I got to the point where I realized a lot of that is my choice… so my goal is to only choose things in my life that best serve me, my well-being and my goals for the future.
And we can absolutely do the same thing with our relationships.
Someone on Twitter recently asked me, “I love the idea of simplifying my life, but I REALLY need to simplify my relationships… how do I do THAT?”
My response was a little saying that has served me well — “Wherever it’s flowing, that’s where I’m going.”
Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with this too (just ask my exes! LOL) I have fought the flow SOOOOO many times in my life and let me tell you — it NEVER works out. Whether it’s friends, work relationships, boyfriends, or the mail carrier… if the conversation, connection or vibe is not flowing or feeling right, pay attention and really think about what’s going on and what that means for you. Be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for in that relationship to begin with and how you can better communicate what you want, respond to what’s going on, and choose the experience you want to have.
We talk a lot about our relationships and what we want from other people… but we talk less about our own choices, what we contribute to the situation and how our energy mixes with others. Sometimes relationships bring happiness, calm or inspiration. Other times, it’s toxic or has an energy that you can’t even identify. You just know that it mentally drains you. And I know you know what I’m talking about. Do not underestimate the importance of that feeling and what it’s telling you. We always have the power to choose what we want or need… and it usually boils down to just three things: choosing to stay in a situation, asking for it to change or leaving the situation.
No choice is wrong. Just be aware of what you’re choosing. And if you’re choosing that for yourself or for the other person. Recognize that we are all at different places at different times. So, always give respect and remember that kindness always wins. Meet people where they are and if you cannot, leave them where you found them. You can always pick it up again later if it is meant to be.
Here are a few things I’ve done to simplify everything in general that I think totally apply to relationships as well:
- Acknowledge what you want, need and how you feel
- Only choose what supports those things
- Be HONEST! With yourself and everyone else
- Commit to letting things go… heal and release anything that no longer serves you
- Use your best resource—your voice— to ask for what you want
It all really comes down to how people make you feel. One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people never forget how you make them feel.” Being purposeful, deliberate, and fearless in how you make people feel (and how you LET them make YOU feel) is what gives you power.