We are not taught how to have relationship skills. You go to school and learn how to calculate how many hours a train traveling at a certain speed will take to get to a certain location – a skill I have never once used. I know how to read a schedule – why would I do the math? But nobody ever teaches you about relationship skills and their importance, how to have a good relationship or even what one is.
There is no area of our life where we don’t need to be in relation with others: home, school, family, friends, social or sports groups, work, social media, shops and services. How to be successful at these interactions is vital and creates the most challenges for people. Relationships are easy until you add people into the mix!
We’re expected to learn these skills and pick them up at home when we are kids I guess, by osmosis mostly. Yet, how many of us had parents or other adults in our life who admirably demonstrated this set of skills and made sure we knew how to do them ourselves?
Personally, I learned conflict was frequent, awful and never ever resolved. I learned you do not forgive and forget but that you store up all ill will from the dawn of time and bring it out regularly. No listening with curiosity and for understanding here!
Jeepers, we sure don’t pick this stuff up from our friends as we go through school! Children and teenagers can be harsh.
In the list of Relationship Skills, Conflict Resolution is key. I’ve long said that we should be taught conflict resolution skills starting in pre-school, naturally geared toward the stages of development. How might your life be different if you’d had this?
It is never too late to gain some of these skills. Step one is always know yourself. Know how you operate, what drives you, what you love, what triggers you and watch for how you impact others, and if you can’t tell, ask for feedback. There are lots of courses and books out there. Take one. Read one. Improve your life and the lives of those around you.
Ask yourself these questions:
Did you have good relationships modeled to you when you were a child?
What are some of the things you learned about relationships by what you witnessed as a child – good or bad?
How does this affect the Relationships you have today?
What do you think some of the other key Relationship Skills are?