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What is our part when it comes to relationships?

ďNever above you. Never below you. Always beside you.Ē ó Walter Winchell.

Last week we looked at the two main types of relationships that I personally believe all other relationships hinge on. I believe that we are either in a helpful or hurtful relationship. Our relationships with others are going to bring us down or they are going to raise us up. Iím not talking about the kinds where we just talk to people in passing. I mean the ones on a deeper level.

Often times we focus too much on what we can get out of it. We fail to ask ourselves what we can put into the relationship. In other words what can the other participant benefit from being in a relationship with us? Today I would like to examine our role in relationships.

We all have a role to play in all of our relationships. Big or small, it doesnít matter. Every single relationship that we are in is a two-way street. Itís not just you give and I take. No, relationships go much deeper than that. We also must invest time, effort and our wisdom into the other people involved. People are looking for individuals to be real with them, who they can confide in, who wonít judge them no matter what they tell them, and a person to be there beside them no matter what.

So how do we invest in others? What are some of the characteristics we possess in order to be a friend as we all should be to one another? I was thinking about that as I was wrapping up last weekís column. If the truth be told, at the end of it I was going to ask if we are an encouragement to others or not, but I realized I needed to put an end to it. Then I also realized that it could be a column in itself. So I began to think, what are the qualities I look for in a friend, and what should I bring to my friendships?

The more I got to thinking about what to write about, the more this concept of what do we need to put into our relationships came to mind. I dare to say that most of us donít even give it a thought, let alone a second thought. Here are just a few qualities I think we need to bring to our friendships with others.

We all need someone to listen to. The world is full of people talking about themselves: what they want to do or are doing, what they like, and what they think. But what about other people and their needs? We all go through difficult times, and we just need a friend to listen to us. We can be that friend to someone else.

They are thinking about something that is just eating them up on the inside, and they just need to get it off of their chest. They are not always looking for answers. It is more important that they share with someone rather then keep it to themselves.

Avoid the temptation of thinking you know what they need to do. Let them talk and just listen to what they have to say. Sometimes just by having someone to talk to, they can figure out the answer for themselves.

We live in an extremely discouraging world where people kill each other for no reason. It seems like the drugs are out of control. The whole world is constantly on the brink of war. A lot of people are depressed and canít see any signs of hope out there. That is where we should be an encouragement to others.

Like I said, people are looking for hope in a hopeless world. Maybe someone lost their job, a loved one has just died, someone turned on them or they have no idea what the next step is. They need someone to be beside them and encourage them not to give up.

Sometimes when people are going through a difficult time in life, the temptation is to think it will last forever, that it is just their lot in life. We must be the one to encourage them that this is only a dry time in their life. Things will get better. Share personal stories with them of times in your own life when you couldnít see any hope for yourself but overcame. People want to know that they are not alone, and when they hear a story of your own personal triumph, it will encourage them that they can overcome as well.

Are we there when people need us the most? I understand people get busy and life doesnít slow down for anyone, but what will happen if we make ourselves available to people when we can?

I noticed that there are a lot more people who donít have rides to places than I would have thought. We should, depending on how well we know the person, offer them a lift to the store, doctor appointments and so on.

I know it will cut into our time if we take someone somewhere and we have to wait on them. How would it be to be the one who couldnít get a ride and have to depend on others to get somewhere? We wouldnít like to make people wait on us. They donít either. We will never know how much it will mean to others if we take time out of our day to help them.

I gave us three ways we can contribute to our relationships. Too many of us go into a relationship with the attitude of what can I get out of this. This is very selfish and could be damaging to our relationships. Nobody likes people who just take and donít put anything back into the relationship.

We can contribute to all of our relationships by being a good listener, encouraging others when they are down and being dependable. We may not have all the answers, but if we do all three, we will be someone who others would gladly call a friend.

Published: October 17, 2016
New Article ID: 2016710179976