Do you belong to the school of thought that says “the people we meet are as a result of who we are?” and that we can improve our relationships with people by merely improving ourselves?
Now, if your answer is yes, then it means, you are just as horrible as the last person that broke your heart, stole your money, or any of those horrible things humans do to each other. Hard pill to swallow now huh? But, is it true? … I guess we’ll find out.
You see, each time people hear the word ‘relationship’ they begin to think about their Romeo’s and their Juliet’s. Some others begin to think about Christian in fifty shades of grey, you know, the freaky ones, the best ones (you are in no place to judge me).
But don’t you think there is more to it than meets the eye?
The real meaning of relationships.
Before we dive in, I will love to make sure that we are on the same page.
When I say relationships, I mean, mutual dealings, the dictionary meaning of relationships, connectedness in business or education, and of course, romantic relationships, and one thing that is congruent about all of them is that there is ‘mutual growth’.
If you are not growing or helping someone else grow even in your romantic relationships, then you may be a mosquito, or dating a mosquito.
But do not overemphasize on growth because you can scare the other person off.
Growth can be as little as knowing the hates and likes of a partner or a boss, it can be as simple as learning how to adjust your schedule for someone else, and it can be as big as starting a company with someone.
The secret of successful relationships has always been to appreciate little wins. Before you know it, your bond with that partner, boss, friend, compounds to such that understanding and dealing with them becomes seamless.
Now that we are on the same page, we can move ahead.
People can only ruin our lives if we let them.
The point of saying “we are who we meet” is that, the more we keep pushing every day to get better, the increased chances that we meet better people who will share such growth with us.
Good attracts a lot of good, and also evil, because, well, we just have evil people in the world.
But you should know that, before someone can get into your life enough to ruin it, they must have had your permission, you must have let your guard down, you must have told them a secret, you must have trusted them and you must have been a horrible person too, maybe, maybe not.
But the thing here is not to judge yourself, or anyone because that is what losers do.
Accepting we have something to do with our bad experiences opens an avenue for us to be better to grow, which is the most important thing about life – Growth.
The more we grow, the healthier relationships we have, and the better the control we have over situations.
There are several things you can do to have control over the situations of your life, you know, to be the ‘no-nonsense’ yet an adventurous and ‘go-to’ person.
I will tell you a little story about the romantic experience I had.
On one Thursday evening by 10am…
Wait, you really thought I would tell you about my romantic life? Just look at you? Do you even know if I have one? urrghhh, pay attention, please.
The way we perceive situations determines our experiences with people. Which is why I said you should not judge yourself.
Haven’t you bought a gift for someone that you thought will WOW them, and at the end, they are so disappointed or embarrassed? To that person, you are very bad at giving gifts, whereas, in another sense, they are very bad at receiving gifts. Or maybe you both suck at playing Santa.
Do you get the point now? If you don’t, then you may need to repeat elementary school, yes, fight me in the comment section, I’ll fight back.
How we are Responsible for the People, we let into our lives.
I feel I have heaped a lot of blames on your head already so I am just going to rephrase.
“you are responsible for the kind of people you let into your life.”
Including the rich, tall, dark and handsome guy that you said yes to without thought, only for him to date your friend 2 weeks later – men are scumbags, some men actually.
But then, if you had… never mind, we are not going to discuss how to keep a man, or deal with a scum bag today.
Moving on. Responsibility breeds action, and it is just an endless continuum of better-informed action. It is as simple as that.
If we are responsible for the kind of people that we let into our lives whether it be a business partner, a classmate, a colleague, or a romantic partner, then becoming a better person ourselves is going to help us meet better people right? … Did you say no? Oh, thank goodness, you are not so dumb after all, trust me, we all are.
But did you say yes without knowing why it works that way? If you did, I will tell you how it works. If you said no, dare to drop a comment and I will come at you wherever you are, we will trash it out human to human till you understand … dare me … nonsense.
How can self-help enhance our relationships?
Anyways, we both know that humans are unpredictable.
We say this, and the next minute, we are doing something that is completely contradicting.
You trust your girlfriend sooo much because she says she will choose you over her father and the next minute, you see her on a dating app as a single lady looking to meet up.
Now you are angry, but what were you doing on the dating app in the first place. Hehehehe, you bag of first-grade scum.
Let’s get back to business. When you focus on making yourself a better person, you are automatically placing yourself at a level where you can meet the people of that same level, or even better.
The lady with great achievements will seldomly be swept off her feet by a guy who flashes a phone with half-eaten apple just to get into her pants, and that of her friend – men …
The perk of becoming a better person is that it becomes so so easy to connect with them (better people), speak their language, network with them in the highest sense and more especially, have something to contribute. You are not going to be like the reliant mosquito who can get slaps or be shushed at any moment.
In case you don’t know too, when you develop yourself in any way, you are automatically ingraining a sixth sense that filters people from your life, I think it is called Charisma.
When something doesn’t feel right, you will know before he even dumps you to date your friend – outscuming the scum.
Why we meet horrible people.
I wrote an article about the 10 kinds of relationships that we should keep in our 20’s and I talked about a few things.
One of such things is that, we are mostly confused in our 20’s, we are just starting to choose responsibilities, career paths, hobbies and areas of interests.
And, what happens when we have a plethora of choices is that we begin to try each and every one of them out. We start out on an adventure to self-discovery.
Sometimes, it is a wonderful experience, and sometimes it is a bitter one.
But you can have control over those experiences by becoming a BETTER person every passing day.
This is why I have listed a few things that you can do to make sure that you meet the right people in your life.
Not just that, when you do these things, you can make sure to get the most out of every relationship because whether we realize it or not, we miss a lot of opportunities with people, simply because, we cannot see such opportunities at the current level when we met them.
This does not dispute what I said about “leaving people better than we found them” but the twist is that, the more we strive to leave people better than we found them, we ourselves will get better even if those people do not appreciate our efforts. In this case, they failed to see the opportunities with us.
Self-Confidence, healthy self-esteem and Positive Ego.
This trio work almost together, sometimes serially, but most often, simultaneously.
Self-confidence is important when you are headed on a new and strange path, say, a new skill, a new job, a new responsibility, meeting someone for the first time, asked to talk in a public event for the first time – and any other thing that is relatively out of your comfort zone.
When you develop self-confidence, the type that doesn’t reveal your insecurities the first day of meeting someone or trying something new, you begin to see yourself in a certain way – positively, of course.
When you are confident, you make your own rules, you say what you want to say in the best way possible, and you will realize that people actually treat us exactly the way we allow them to.
Your self-esteem is your perceived worth and how you perceive yourself in the eyes of others.
However, there is a thin line between healthy self-esteem, low self-esteem, and high self-esteem. You just have to keep it balanced, because when you do, the person you are in the eyes of others becomes lucid and reliable.
Hence, you know what you want, how you want to be treated, what you want to learn, and it dawns on you very early when you meet people who are not headed your direction.
Positive ego in this sense is not completely different. But the important twist here is that your ego subtly motivates others to tell you who they are and what they want from you.
Sometimes, they may not have known you before, but you find out that, they already have high expectations from you.
Your positive ego is what makes friends motivated tell you about their deepest pains, knowing that you are an achiever and will want to help out.
In fact, they become better because of you and from what we will find out from reading further, the relationship gets even better for you.
Don’t forget, growth, the most important thing.
When I mean being honest, I mean telling your colleague that you are having a hard time in what seems to be a very simple ‘easy to grasp’ concept that will make you look dumb.
It can also be; telling your romantic partner that you don’t know how well to please them and would love to hear them out (for the second time, I am not a sex coach, not officially)
Sometimes, we can hold back the truth because we feel the next person might get hurt if we told them the truth.
Other times, which happens most often, we hold back the truth because it is going to hurt our image if we spat it out.
This is why it is important to start any relationships with raw, unmixed, unbiased, I-am-not-trying-to-make-you-like-me honesty.
It helps in that, the only people you let into your life are only the ones who accept you for who you are and not what you say you are.
And trust me, these kinds of people seldom give you sleepless nights (meehn, you should value your sleep).
Also, if at all, these people change in the nearest future, you are going to notice. They are also going to notice when they cross your boundaries or do something out of the ‘ordinary’.
When you notice, it is then easier to ask them to stop, count you out, or grow with them if it suits you right because telling the ‘honest truth’ has been your thing right from the beginning.
This helps for partnered growth where the growth of one person makes it easier for the next to grow with the most minimal effort.
Because if someone manages to grow outside your shared comfort zone, it will be difficult to intimately be bound to them (look up the adjectival meaning of intimate, spoilt brat). Hence, when they grow in the right direction, you will grow with them, effortlessly.
How enhancing relationships through honesty is a filter.
You see, when you tell someone the honest to God truth about yourself, it becomes difficult for them to hide their true identity and it will be easier for you to fish them out when they are acting funny or going back on their words.
This is one of the reasons why you should not dive straight into a committed relationship with someone who you just met. (love at first sight exists, but you may be having a wrong definition of it)
When you do, it becomes hard to face some truths about them, and it becomes hard to leave such a relationship when you have already committed a lot into it.
I for one think that we should not ‘keep-up’ with people. Keeping up, in the sense that there are so many uncomfortable truths about them after you have known them for a while.
No wonder people get stuck in toxic relationships for a long time – afraid to accept the reality that years of commitment is now a waste – well, you know how to avoid those now.
Actions should speak louder than words.
Do you notice that people are not always who and what they SAY they are?
When someone says they are honest, especially when you have not even asked, check well, they tell the truth as frequent as red moons.
But remember the point of this post. That is, how to enhance our relationships with people or how to be in the best relationships.
You can notice the actions of other people when you are honest with your actions too.
In the business world, you just don’t say you are hardworking and an achiever with an empty CV to show for it.
In friendships and romantic relationships, you don’t just say you love someone and will go over the moon and far away and back for them, and not give up your sleep or make little sacrifices for them – I don’t mean posting them on your timeline, is that even a sacrifice to make?
Your actions should be honest, and your sacrifices should be subtle. I mean, it should not be everywhere in the NEWS that you did this and that for someone.
The same way I said you should be careful when people say things about themselves is the same way you should be careful when people announce or continually remind you of certain actions which they undertook for you. It is always the numero uno of manipulation.
So, in summary, honest to God actions, speak louder than words, loud enough to discard people who cannot live up to theirs.
Put your actions where your mouth is.
Having personal achievements enhances your relationship with people.
This was not the initial headline. I first wrote “have proud achievements”, and just then, I sounded like the guy who goes on a date, and talks about himself alone without even knowing the body count of his partner, wait, what?! Well, you never can tell, people ask a lot of unrespectful questions these days on first dates.
Remember when we talked about: how becoming good at what you do and taking on more responsibilities makes you a better person? Well, it turns out that it allows you to meet the ‘right’ people who will improve your life. Or rightly put, enhances your relationship with people.
When you focus on getting something done rightly and having little wins in anything at all, you have more chances to meet people who are in the upper echelon of your industry and interests.
Don’t forget, it is one of the ways to build ‘the trio’ discussed above.
More likelihood is that you will meet people who want you to help them achieve what you have achieved.
And when you help such people, you end up reaping the benefits of compounding positive self-esteem, ego, and that, that there is what converts the everyday Instagram model who knows nothing by hand about the self-help industry to the one who gets free flights, bookings, and interviews and paid coaching sessions to help people achieve anything they want in life.
Helping others has a compounding effect because, it increases your will power and self-discipline to achieve more.
If you are the best in a subject in your class and people continually come to you for help, even if you don’t fully grasp a topic yet, there is an increased chance that you will learn such a topic. And also, get better at it faster, because they have motivated you (being motivated is gold).
This is not just because you want to be better than everyone in class, but because, you probably have friends that need your help, friends you don’t want to let down, and whether we believe it or not, it is the best form of relationships – equal, selfless, growth.
It is as simple as that, you focus on getting good at what you do, your achievements attract the right people, and simply helping them makes you even better. And so it goes.
PS: for first dates, focus on making the conversation about your partner, people love talking about themselves. Of course, no one wants to hear how you are the only one in your class with ripped butts, is that even a thing?
Hey, I have said a lot, and at this point, I feel like you are tired of reading too. But there is this thing I do when I am tired of writing or run out of ideas, and that is, I decide to write one more sentence. And you see, it doesn’t take long before another idea pops into my head. Ok, speaking of which, here is one more.
This is where the quote “we are who we meet” should come from.
When determining how best to enhance our relationships with people, it is as simple as how we view ourselves, what we do, what we tolerate and how we have valued ourselves.
An engineer cannot apply for work in a psychiatric hospital unless he wants to construct a chain and a cage for such people. The same way, a student who is confident about reading and scaling his exams is always far from trouble when there is a case of exam malpractice.
In fact, his lecturers will vouch for him, he earns respect in their sight, and his classmates always run to him for help…. All just because he is confident that reading a page a day when everyone is tweeting will save him from the red-F-List.
You see what I did there? Yes, confidence, that is the beginning.
Christians will call it faith and hope.
The self-help industry will say it is, believing in your subconscious mind.
But today, I am saying, and we are all agreeing, that it is mere confidence to believe in an end result right from the beginning.
This is the only way to build good habits, and when you build good habits, you attract people who have built or want to build good habits.
It is as simple as not finding a sober person in a beer parlour.
As simple as finding a lawyer in a courtroom, and a pastor in a clubhouse, wait, what? … You get the point.
Hey, I love you, and you really should not be hard on yourself.
No, wait, you need to be hard on yourself because you can’t achieve any measly thing if you don’t, urrrggh, Chris, just take a stand!!!! Ok ok ok Pheww
Just read this next post, maybe I will say if its good to pull your pants down and go hard on yourself, or be lax, and let things work themselves out.
PS: I really feel encouraged, when you comment, that way I get to know you more, and maaaannn, Facebook banned my link. So, if you are sharing my post on Facebook, Just share this instead… www.linktree.com/nzubechi